Take the weekend by storm

You might think a town that just endured a direct hit from a tornado would have seen enough storms to last a lifetime. Not so for the secluded coastal gem of Manzanita, which is battening down the hatches in preparation for another Dark and Stormy Night.


Returning for a second year, the mystery weekend promises a host of twists and turns with events running from Friday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 20.

Event coordinator Madeline Olson said the weekend grew out of a mystery book sale at the North Tillamook Library in Manzanita two years ago and expanded last year to bring in more activities from a host of partners interested in giving the town a signature event for the fall.

This year’s weekend will see mystery-themed goings on at the Hoffman Center for the Arts, North Tillamook Library, Riverbend Players Readers Theater, North County Recreation District and the CARTM recycling center.

The chills will begin on Friday, Nov. 18, with two evening events.

At 7 pm, the Riverbend Players Readers Theater will present “Dead Giveaway” in the North County Recreation District auditorium in nearby Nehalem. Written by Mary Orr and Reginald Denham, the story opens with two crooks robbing a service station and accidentally killing the proprietor in the melée. In a state of panic, they take the dead body with them and hide out in the vacant summerhouse of a US senator. To their surprise, the senator unexpectedly shows up with a newly acquired lady friend. Highway robbery soon turns into a case of political intrigue.Admission is $15 and the auditorium is located at 36155 Ninth Street. For more information or advance tickets, call 503-368-7008.

Back in Manzanita, there will be action on the big screen at 7:30 pm, with a screening of “If There’s A Hell Below” at the Hoffman Center for the Arts. The 2016 movie from writer/director Nathan Williams takes audiences to a desolate location in the West, where a young journalist meets with a mysterious source and the tension ratchets up to almost unbearable levels. The center is located at 594 Laneda Avenue, with admission $5 at the door.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, a mystery-themed Story Time for Children will feature “Where’s My Teddy,” by Jez Alborough, at 11 am at the North Tillamook Library, 571 Laneda Avenue in Manzanita. The first 10 families attending the event will receive a free book.

And the lighter theme will continue with CARTM’s “Taking Your Mystery Recycling” event from 10 am to 4 pm, where participants will get to complete bingo cards by answering questions about what can and cannot be recycled. CARTM is located at 34995 Necarney City Road, Manzanita.

Saturday will also see the return of last year’s popular Live Clue Experience at the North County Recreation District building at 36155 Ninth Street, Nehalem. The family-oriented whodunnit transforms the former school into a faithful representation of an old-fashioned Clue board game, complete with volunteers dressed as Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett and the other colorful suspects. From 11 am to 1 pm, guests will be invited to make their way from room to room, gathering clues to solve the mystery. Great prizes and healthy snacks will be on offer.

That same day, Portland mystery author Cat Winters will be at Manzanita’s Hoffman Center for the Arts, holding a “Writing Scary” workshop from 1 to 3:30 pm, followed by a reading from her new novel “Yesternight” at 7 pm. Tuition for the workshop is $30, with registration online at hoffman.blog.

Admission to the reading is $7 at the door, with Winters’ reading followed by an open mic on the theme “It Was A Dark & Stormy Night.”

Mystery Weekend wraps up on Sunday, Nov. 20, with the Mystery Book Sale from 11 am to 3 pm at the North Tillamook Library, featuring gently used mystery books with proceeds helping to support library building maintenance. And, for anyone who missed the Riverbend Players’ presentation of “Dead Giveaway” at the NCRD auditorium, there will be a matinée performance on Sunday at 2 pm.

Editors note: This article is attributed to, and posted on, Oregon Coast Today.

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