What a glorious time of year and how blessed we are to wake up to the beauty all around this 100-year-old city. The color pops of pink, lavender, yellow and blue across the Longview landscape on the old growth trees and bushes is astounding. Can we all agree that Longview is a gorgeous place to live any season of the year?
Recently while speaking with a group of Longview Pioneer Lions Club members, I reiterated the gems we have here in our city. There are so many, and they are worth repeating.
Gem #1: Lake Sacajawea
This crown jewel of our city, like the natural stone opal, shines brighter as more light descends upon it. Of course, this is where many of our city events take place throughout the year, especially during the summer months. Lake Sacajawea has three incredible playgrounds, 3.5 miles of jogging/biking or walking trail paths, restrooms, kayak/paddle board launch, fishing, Japanese Garden, Lion’s Shelter, a Solar System Walk, Harlie’s Hoops, and the Elks Memorial building, which houses our after-school program.
Hundreds of individuals from all over the community will gather at the lake this summer for our Go-4th Celebration from July 2-4. After our 4th of July events, the outdoor concerts at the lake series runs on Thursdays July 6, 13, 20, 27 and August 3 and 10. Featuring a mix of country, rock-n-roll, and oldies from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s, the concerts are sponsored by Kirkpatrick Family care and numerous other generous donors. Following the concert series, enjoy family movies at the lake at Martins Dock on Thursdays August 17, 24 and 31. Bring your kids, a blanket or chairs and groove on!
Gem #2: Downtown Longview
Longview’s historic downtown is another bright jewel with its eclectic mix of fabulous restaurants, distinctive storefronts, and quaint shops housed in historic buildings and surrounded by twenty-three stunning outdoor sculptures from outstanding artists. Our downtown business owners are top-notch and ready to serve you. Visit the Columbia Theater or Stageworks for performances, hop on RiverCity Transit, stroll along the street and see the beautiful historic banners, lighting and bricked intersections. Downtown also features a Tuesday Farmers Market during the summer!
Gem #3: Location-Location-Location
R.A. Long had it right when he built this community where he did - surrounded by water. With the Columbia River and Willow Grove Park on the west and the Cowlitz River and Riverside Park on the east, manmade Lake Sacajawea (formerly Fowlers Slough) in the center of the city, and a total of 17 city parks in between, there just isn’t a more beautiful place to call home. Longview is situated 45 minutes from Portland International Airport, and one hour from the towering Cascade Mountains or the majestic Pacific Ocean. As Longview continues its Centennial Celebration this year in this prime location, it’s no wonder that activities abound: Cowlitz County Fair at the event center July 26-29, Squirrel Fest at Civic Circle August 19th and many 100-year Centennial Celebrations - Vintage Car Show at R.A. Long June 24, Columbia River Reader Centennial Gala at LCC June 30, Gala Dinner and Drone show over LCC September 8, and Pageant of Progress Parade downtown, Time Capsule sealing at City Hall and Lighted Drone show at Lake Sacajawea on September 9th.
Other notable gems:
- Mint Valley Golf course, built in 1973, and city run for the past five years has now become the 5th Best Golf Course in Washington State. Beautifully manicured greens, excellent staff and fantastic lunch menu. Enjoy golf or lunch on the green this spring!
- JH Kelly is celebrating 100 years this year! Beginning in 1923 as the first plumber and trash collector in Longview, they have grown to an expansive valued multi-trade service company. Today they are gifting back to our community by restoring the Monticello Convention Park with a complete redo of the historical plaques from the 1950’s, restoring the original bench and adding new lighting and landscaping. Thank you, JH Kelly and Team!
- Campus Towers, originally built in 1971, a senior living facility that houses 89 low-income seniors is currently adding eight cottage apartments to the footprint of their campus. Congratulations Campus Towers Team!
- Bright spots and gems in the City of Longview are everywhere. Let’s look out for these sweet gems and opportunities, and share the light they offer with each other.
Have a blessed June!
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis