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Outdoor fun planned at state parks

The state parks August events calendar continues with a variety of exciting offerings for visitors who want to take part in the yearlong Centennial 2013 celebration.

Centennial 2013 celebrations activities through the remainder of summer include a variety of events and activities, ranging from family educational opportunities to recreation challenges and music, arts and cultural events that highlight the richness of Washington state.

Most state parks events are free, however a Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the parks. A few of those events are included here.

State parks around Washington: Painting in the parks, now into September. Plein Air Washington Artists, an outdoor artist group, is sending small groups of artists out to paint the day away in various park settings. Spectators are invited to stop by and chat.

Find the artists in Palouse Falls-area state parks until Aug. 25; Sept. 6-7 the artists will be at Rasar State Park near Concrete on Highway 20; on Sept. 20 and 21 they will be at Olmstead Place historic homestead near Cle Elum. A juried show of the artists’ park paintings is scheduled for Oct. 19 through Dec. 31 at American Art Company in Tacoma.

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park, Grand Coulee: “On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods” from 2 to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) visitors can head to the Dry Falls Visitor Center for views of the dramatic landscape created by Ice Age floods. Geologist author Bruce Bjornstad will be signing his “Ice Age Floods” trail series.

Steptoe Butte State Park near Colfax: A night of star gazing at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, will be offered to visitors at Steptoe Butte State Park. Join park rangers from Riverside State Park and members of the Spokane Astronomical Society as they view Saturn, Mercury and Venus at sunset from atop Steptoe Butte, a popular Palouse view site near Colfax. Guides will provide a tour of the night sky and show visitors how to find the North Star. Call 509-465-5064 for details.

Grand Coulee area: Flood Fest is slated for Saturday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Dry Falls Visitor Center, Grand Coulee area. This Centennial event focuses on the Ice Age floods that carved much of Washington’s landscape, with local geology experts, tours of unique geologic features, booths attended by local vendors, authors, Native American tribes and government agencies. Food will be available for purchase.

For more adventure ideas at Washington’s state parks’ visit www.AdventureAwaits.com.

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