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CENTER STAGE: OVOC brings great performance

Saturday brought a stellar show to the Omak Performing Arts Center as the Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus hosted its annual holiday concert. Never before have I been more impressed with this fine group of musicians as I was with their latest performance.

CENTER STAGE: Holiday events on tap Saturday

Christmas is right around the corner. Earlier this week, while driving to the office, I noticed only a few houses along my way with beautiful colored lights on them. Which begs the question, why are so few people decorating this year?

CENTER STAGE: Streaming music can be really convenient

I love listening to music, be it one of today’s “hot new” songs, or a classic from yesteryear. While I’ll admit the bulk of my music collection (both physical and digital) is country, bluegrass and classic rock, I’ve got nothing against classical, folk, blues, and even the occasional pop song. Last week my brother purchased a subscription for me to the popular streaming music service Spotify.

CENTER STAGE: Too early to decorate for Christmas?

Brrr! Where did this wintry weather come from? It seems we went from a nice autumn breeze to cold north winds all of a sudden.

CENTER STAGE: Thank you, Elizabeth Widel

Every so often you will come across a special person in life. Someone that motivates you by his or her ethics or who leads by example. Elizabeth Widel was one of those people to me, and many others.

CENTER STAGE: Winter is just around the corner

Ready or not, it seems winter is just around the corner. While we only had rain at our house this weekend, that wasn’t the case throughout much of the region.

CENTER STAGE: Barter Faire returns to the Okanogan

People of all walks of life and from all corners of the northwest will gather this weekend in a remote field atop of Cayuse Mountain east of Tonasket for the 44th annual Okanogan Family (Barter) Faire.

CENTER STAGE: Holiday season is just around the corner

I can’t believe were only 43 days away from Thanksgiving. Where has this year gone? On the topic of Thanksgiving, it was announced last week that the first Black Friday advertisement was released by Harbor Freight, a tool and equipment retailer.

CENTER STAGE: Fall brings great music to region

Each morning I have a routine. I get up, let Gypsy (my 70-pound German Shepherd) outside, get a cup of coffee and sit down at my computer to read the daily headlines. It was sure a surprise to see an email from Garth Brooks’ promoter with information about his upcoming show Nov. 11 at the Spokane Arena.

CENTER STAGE: Plenty to do this weekend

Although the days are getting colder and darker earlier, there’s still plenty of activities to take in around Okanogan County.

CENTER STAGE: Are musicians the last of a dying breed?

Lack of support may make live music a thing of the past

Do you remember going to town and walking through the video store to rent a movie? For me it was an occasional weekend treat to hop in the car with Dad and drive uptown to pick out a classic movie.

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CENTER STAGE: Okanogan County Fair proves success

Another Okanogan County Fair has come and gone, but not without leaving smiles on faces and joy in hearts.

CENTER STAGE: Lots of local entertainment on tap at county fair

It’s that time of year again. Tomorrow kicks off the first day of the 70th annual Okanogan County Fair. Perhaps one of the largest family reunions of sorts, the county fair brings something for everyone.

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CENTER STAGE: Area brims with entertaining events

As the mornings are getting colder and area youngsters are heading back to school, I hate to say it but summer must be coming to an end. Around the house, the lawn is needing less watering and mowing, and our garden is nearing the end of its season.

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CENTER STAGE: Neal McCoy: 'You Gotta Love That'

A blend of country music, comedy and patriotism left a crowd of several hundred people in Waterville cheering and standing on their feet Friday.

CENTER STAGE: Neal McCoy brings show to Waterville

Johnny Rodriguez brings traditional country sounds to Manson

While we are less than a month away from the first day of fall (Sept. 22), there’s still time to enjoy the sunny weather and take in a great show around the Northwest.

CENTER STAGE: Johnny Rodriguez headlines Manson casino

Although the month of August is almost over, there’s still plenty of entertaining events to take in. Saturday night brings country music icon Johnny Rodriguez to Deep Water Amphitheater in Manson.

CENTER STAGE: Kenny Rogers brings great performance

It’s often said that things only get better with age. Nothing could be truer than when it comes to Kenny Rogers.

CENTER STAGE: Month brings plenty of music

How can it be August already? It seems like it was not that long ago that we were shoveling snow, trying to keep the pipes from freezing and keeping the woodstove blazing.

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CENTER STAGE: Vincent talks about success of new album

‘There is a definite need for traditional country music’

Saturday I traveled to the 41st annual Darrington Bluegrass Festival in Snohomish County. Even though it’s a two-hour drive west of Winthrop, it was well worth the travel. Being a musician and supporter of the arts, I figured it was finally time to see the “Bluegrass Capital of the Northwest.”

CENTER STAGE: Famous musicians come to region

Queen of bluegrass comes to Darrington

Not very often will you find a “big-named” act coming to the region. And it’s especially not that often that you will have an opportunity to see a celebrity literally up-close and personal.

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CENTER STAGE: Wauconda Hall plans celebration

Long before the Internet and modern technology ruled our daily lives, gathering with friends and neighbors was the thing to do for weekend entertainment. A small taste of the way it was is planned this weekend in Wauconda.

CENTER STAGE: Summer brings work, fun

Last week I came to the realization that I truly love summertime. Aside from the sometimes-scorching temperatures, the lawn constantly needing to be mowed and an abundance in what seems to be never ending yard work, there’s just something special about the season.

CENTER STAGE: Idol star comes to casino

Sammy Kershaw to perform Chelan Fair

Can you believe today is the first day of summer? Wow! Where has the year gone! Last Friday I attended the annual Art in the Park in Omak.

CENTER STAGE: Time to dust off the vinyl

Cassette tapes begin to make comeback

Every now and then I enjoy going on an online shopping spree. I usually am looking for one specific item, and before you know it, I’ve wasted several hours and filling my shopping cart with all kinds of things I don’t really need.

CENTER STAGE: So many activities to take in

Summertime must be on its way. The lawn is needing to be mowed ever few days, the strawberries are almost ripe in our yard and the mosquitoes are out.

CENTER STAGE: Lots of events, festivals set this weekend

Brewster singer, songwriter featured on RFD-TV program

It seems as though this year is just flying by. Can you believe tomorrow is the first of June already?

CENTER STAGE: Lots of live music on tap this weekend

Last weekend I attended the annual May Festival in Oroville.

CENTER STAGE: Festivals planned this weekend

It seems the topic of discussion in Okanogan and Ferry counties is flooding.

CENTER STAGE: How can it be May already?

Can you believe it is May? Where did the time go?

CENTER STAGE: Eclectic music, cowboy poetry set this weekend

I am loving this springtime weather. It seems Mother Nature has finally delivered a bit of sunshine and drier weather this past week.

CENTER STAGE: Music abounds in Okanogan Country

Okanogan Country truly offers something for everyone, especially when it comes to the entertainment scene.

CENTER STAGE: Fair should support local talent

It seems that about this time each year local musicians, bands and entertainers are beginning to book their shows for the upcoming summer season.

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CENTER STAGE: Hardy claims Nashville Country Star title

Leather boots, cowboy hats and elegant dresses graced the Omak Performing Arts Center stage Saturday, April 1 for the 13th annual Washington State Nashville Country Star competition.

CENTER STAGE: Nashville Stars deserve support

I know some of you may be tired of me writing about the 13th annual Nashville Country Star competition, but I feel the event, as large as it is — a statewide – high school competition in our back yard deserves recognition.

CENTER STAGE: Neal McCoy to headline NCW Fair

It’s hard to believe spring has come. And with that comes a lot of excitement in the local entertainment scene.

CENTER STAGE: St. Patrick’s Day brings live music

Each week as I sit down at the computer to write my weekly piece, I try to stay as positive and uplifting as possible.

CENTER STAGE: Enjoying the sights and sounds of balloons, Stars

Mother Nature has sure been playing tricks on Okanogan Valley.

Plenty of entertainment on tap this weekend

The entertainment scene in Okanogan County is in full swing this week.

CENTER STAGE: New Year's Eve promises great music

The gifts have been cleared from under the Christmas tree, and yes, my tree did survive the wrath of my Siamese cat, but I can’t believe 2015 is almost over. Where does the time go?

CENTER STAGE: Week brings time for holiday music

What do you think of all this white stuff outside? It looks like we may have a white Christmas after all. Since I began working for the newspaper almost two years ago, it seems as though my free time has become nearly obsolete.

CENTER STAGE: Rain leaves time for top holiday movies

Due to the wet, rainy weather recently experienced in the Okanogan Valley, I’ve caught several favorite Christmas movies on television.

CENTER STAGE: Musical history remembered

Can you believe Tuesday marked the 35th anniversary of the death of John Lennon? For those not familiar with Lennon, he was most notably known for being the co-founder of the popular ’60s rock band, The Beatles.

CENTER STAGE: Month brings musical treats

I absolutely love the month of December.The snow on the ground, family in town and lazy evenings around the fireplace.

CENTER STAGE: Musical, dancing opportunities abound

There was sure a busy weekend of dancing last Friday and Saturday in the Okanogan. Friday night I attended the 10th annual Jammin’ Against Hunger at the Okanogan Grange.

CENTER STAGE: Time for holiday music, indoor entertainment

Brrr! It’s cold outside. Which begs the question, is it too early to start listing to Christmas music?

CENTER STAGE: Northing to do? Really?

It drives me crazy when I hear people say, “There’s nothing to do around here.”

CENTER STAGE: Wildfires provide musical inspiration

Wasn’t the rain last week much appreciated? As I stood at my kitchen window Thursday morning, sipping on a cup of coffee, I watched the rain fall over the McLaughlin Canyon area and thought to myself things should green up just before the snow falls.

CENTER STAGE: More big-name acts would be welcome

I’m pretty much a homebody when it comes to my weekends. But my wife and I went to the big city (Omak) Saturday night and attended a concert at the Omak Performing Arts Center.

CENTER STAGE: Star singers open for McKinney

Another Okanogan Family (Barter) Faire has come and gone. Although I was not able to attend this year, I’ve heard festivities went off without a hitch.

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