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by: Special to, Last summer’s Yoshida’s Sand in the City brought Snoopy, a walrus and plenty of gawkers to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

FRIDAY

OUTING

Yoshida's Sand in the City

It takes a lot more than a pail and shovel to make these sand castles, creatures and creations.

Corporate teams and architectural-design professionals use truckloads of sand to craft the sculptures on Friday, which are judged and left on display through Sunday. Along with the sand extravaganza, visitors can enjoy puppet shows by Kids on the Block, food, live music, face painting and kids' crafts.

This annual benefit event, now in its 11th year, raises a third of the annual operating budget for Portland's Kids on the Block, a nonprofit featuring child-size puppets kids can talk to about sensitive issues when confiding in an adult feels difficult.

- Suzie Ridgway

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (construction) Friday; public viewing until 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 14-16, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 S.W. Sixth Ave., 503-223-1613, www.powerfulpuppetry.org, free, $3 suggested donation

ART

Scratching the Surface

Billed as 'The Willamette River Arts Festival,' this display of east-side pride (and artwork) makes use of the riverbank, as well as that dead zone in the Willamette just north of the Burnside Bridge, the channel between the bank and the floating esplanade. In it will be tethered artworks.

Paul Middendorf of Gallery Homeland says he is 'inviting the participants, viewers and community at large to reflect on their relationship to the Willamette River.' Such a wide-open brief should prove a litmus test for the local artists: Just how creative are they?

Events include panel discussions exploring the intersection of art, environment and development in Portland (1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 15, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Swigert Commons, 1241 N.W. Johnson St., 503-226-4391, free) with city Commissioner Sam Adams; Brad Malsin of Beam Development; Carol Mayer-Reed, who helped design the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade; Tom Webb, editor of The Bear Deluxe magazine and Orlo board member; and Victoria Frey of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

The opening party for the show is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 15, along the esplanade, with maps to the art available at Festival Plaza (between Southeast Salmon and Main streets). Performance artist David Eckard will perform a new work, 'Widow's Walk,' and Middendorf nails his colors to the mast with 'One With the River.'

- Joseph Gallivan

Friday, July 14, to Sunday, July 30, Eastbank Esplanade, 503-819-9656, www.galleryhomeland.org, free

CEREMONY

Hollywood Theatre Sign Relighting Ceremony

In honor of the Hollywood Theatre's 80th birthday, the theater's historic neon sign, which has been dark in recent years, shines again. The theater was built in 1926, and soon lent its name to the surrounding neighborhood.

This May, the enormous sign was carefully removed from the theater's ornate, traffic-stopping terra-cotta facade, to be restored by Ramsay Signs in Southeast Portland. Grants from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation paid for the renovation.

- Anne Marie DiStefano

10 p.m. Saturday, July 17, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-281-4215, www.hollywoodtheatre.org, free

SATURDAY

THEATER

'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

The star power of actor Wade McCollum became abundantly clear in Triangle Productions' treatment of this odd story back in 2002. McCollum would later take Hedwig for a successful spin in Hollywood.

Now, despite a hectic schedule that includes a new CD, the marketing of his original musical 'One' and a possible move to New York, McCollum steps back into his breakout role.

Though he regards the work as 'an old friend,' McCollum knows anything can happen onstage. 'Inevitably, something new comes out,' he says. 'The role deepens. It's brand-new in a lot of ways.'

- Eric Bartels

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday,

8 p.m. Thursday, through Aug. 12, Artists Repertory Theatre Mainstage, 1516 S.W. Alder St., 503-239-5919, www.hedwigpdx.com, $35-$38

MUSIC

Vans Warped Tour

The Warped Tour turns an unbelievable 13 years old this year. With more than 50 artists performing at the Columbia Meadows show, there's a wide variety of music that extends from veteran rockers like Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Helmet and NOFX to current stars like AFI and Gatsby's American Dream and intriguing upstarts Mute Math.

With extra attractions like skate jams, the Major League Baseball Road Show and the socially conscious Take Action! Stage, there's no chance you'll be bored - and there's even an air-conditioned 'reverse day care' tent for parents, complete with soundproof headphones.

- Barbara Mitchell

Sunday, July 16, Columbia Meadows, 63701 Columbia River Highway, St. Helens, 503-224-8489, $33.75, all ages

STAGED READING

Emergence Festival

Radiant Theatre's fourth annual celebration of women in the theater arts brings five days of original works by female playwrights.

The festival opens with two one-act plays on Saturday followed by a full-length piece by Helen Hill on Sunday. Performances - all are staged readings - continue into next week.

- EB

'Crawling Out of Her Skin' and 'The Naming of Things,' 2 p.m. Saturday, 'Perfection,' 2 p.m. Sunday, July 15-16, CoHo Theater, 2257 N.W. Raleigh St., 503-502-8261, free