Archive for the ‘Chamber’ Category

12th Annual Twinkle Light Parade

December 12th, 2013 by Lissy Andros

Bella's Truck at the Twinkle Light Parade

We would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to Anna Rose and Frank Geyer at Eagle Repair & Towing for towing Bella’s truck in the Twinkle Light Parade on Saturday. 

Considering this truck is only driven twice a year, we were thrilled when it actually started.  But we had no luck keeping the “senior citizen” started on Saturday and decorating it was going to be a challenge due to the cold.  And not only did they offer to tow it, they were nice enough to pull it into their shop beforehand so we could decorate it! 

Sadly, we had difficulties with our generator too (stupid string) so the lights didn’t technically “twinkle” but we still got to be in the parade.  It was a short-but-sweet experience and Eagle has offered to tow us again next year.  And considering their truck has a working heater, I think we’ll take them up on it!

The 12th Annual Twinkle Light Parade might be small compared to some other parades but it has a huge following of dedicated townspeople to cheer it on.  And like the inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City that reads:  “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” that too could be said of those that participate in the Twinkle Light Parade.

City of Forks float

Pictured: Councilwoman Juanita Weissenfels and Mayor Bryon Monohon, accompanied by local children.  Photo by Lonnie Archibald.

West End Business & Professional Association Train

Pictured: Train sponsored by West End Business & Professional Association.  Photo by Lonnie Archibald.

Santa's float

Pictured: “Santa” and float, sponsored by JT’s Sweet Stuffs.  Photo by Lonnie Archibald.

 

 

Stephenie Meyer visits Forks!

September 18th, 2013 by Lissy Andros

Stephenie Meyer Day

Pictured L-R Lissy Andros, Stephenie Meyer, Marcia Bingham – Photo Credit Lonnie Archibald

So, many of you know that we had a very special guest at the Chamber of Commerce/VIC on Friday.  Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, chose to spend Bella’s birthday (and her ten year anniversary of the famous dream that was the start of this phenomenon) here in Forks and LaPush with fans of her saga.  She contacted us Thursday (it was very hush-hush) and let Marcia know that she would be coming around 10am the next day.

We made sure that we had all hands on deck for this monumental occasion.  So with a full staff (less Merry, who had other obligations) we were ready for anything.  She showed up as planned, not with a publicist, agent or handler, but with her three friends.  She and her friends could have been mistaken for any visitors that stop by, they were so unassuming.  While it was a “secret” that she was coming, there was a pretty large crowd of people by the time she got here Friday morning.  They knew something was going on because there was a lot of excitement in the air.  We had Forks’ finest awaiting her arrival, along with a tour bus, and visitors here for Stephenie Meyer Day / Bella’s Birthday weekend.

She graciously signed books and posters, taking the time to personalize them, along with posing for numerous photographs with fans.  She chatted with each person coming through the line and even took a moment to put a pin in the map, showing that she traveled here from Phoenix.  Her friends, Jen, Nicole and Shelly were all smiles as they watched Stephenie interact with everybody.  They learned more about how Twilight has influenced fans and impacted Forks.

Stephenie never rushed anyone and was very accommodating.  She could have been here all day signing, so we reversed the process and she went down the line and met the fans, making sure that all were satisfied before she left and headed to Sully’s (for a Chalet burger and a caramel shake).

We will always remember this special day for many reasons.  For me personally, as a fan, it was a very surreal experience.  To know that the day (December 25th, 2008) when I reluctantly (that’s a whole other story) started reading Twilight would lead me to this moment, five years later, living and working in Forks, Washington and meeting the author of the book that changed my life.

Forks Logging & Mill Tour kicks off May 22nd!

May 23rd, 2013 by Lissy Andros

 

The Forks Logging & Mill Tour kicks off on Wednesday, May 22nd.  They are scheduled through the summer and leave the Chamber at 9am.  Tours last about 3 hours and reservations are recommended.  Last year, each tour was at or near capacity.  Tours take place in the Chamber’s van and while donations are always appreciated, tours remain free of charge.  Our volunteer guides are retired from the timber industry and very knowledgeable on “working in the woods”.  We also do special tours for large groups, with walk-on guides.

Logging Tour

For over a decade, visitors to Forks have been treated to an insider’s look at our logging industry with a first-class tour of active logging sites and working mills.  The Forks Chamber of Commerce sponsors this free tour and has gotten numerous compliments on this “E Ticket Ride” thanks to our volunteer tour guides, past and present.  We are very proud to bring this educational and entertaining tour to the public, with the help of our area partners Allen Logging, Rayonier, Dahlgren Logging and Dilley & Soloman Logging and others. 

Logging Tour

The start date is May 22nd and it will run Wednesdays through September 4th. There is a special tour scheduled for Friday, September 13th to give those coming for the busy Stephenie Meyer Day / Bella’s Birthday weekend a chance to take part and another for Hickory Shirt / Heritage Days on Wednesday September 26th.

Logging Tour

We are trying to keep tourism and the timber industry connected and with the success of reality shows about the logging industry, we can show people what working in the woods is really like.  No drama, just hard work!  And many that take the tour extend the experience with a visit to the Forks Timber Museum, open for the season Tuesday through Saturday through October.

To reserve your space, simply call the Chamber at 360-374-2531.  For more information click here

 

 

Forks High School, from the students’ perspective

January 17th, 2013 by Lissy Andros

New Forks High School entry

Greetings from Forks High School! I’m Liz Sanchez, a teacher here, and the following blog entry (including photos) is from three sophomores: Chase Adams, DJ Souder, and Ismael Greene. They will add to this blog each month, including input from their classmates and teachers. In their first entry they tell about our awesome new building-enjoy!

The Forks High School is a very well spirited place and we have made some recent changes to the school. We have made a new Forks High School and it is a lot bigger than the old Forks High School. The first person we interviewed was the 10th grade science teacher, Mr. Hunter.  He had a couple very interesting things to say. When we asked his likes about the new school, he said “it is good for students and teachers to all be in one building.” Also the new heating system makes the school a lot warmer and also the newer technology they put into the school, like the smart boards or the green room, which is still being worked on.

Forks High School hallway

There weren’t very many dislikes about the new Forks High School.  The only real complaint we had about the new school, is about the courtyard.  Teachers and students think we should be able to go into the courtyard.  They also said that we should put more benches, and stuff like that, out there so there is more places to sit other than stand and walk around.

Forks High School courtyard

The basketball players got new traveling gear. The school feels more safe and the heating is way better than the last school. The kids seem to be learning more. The teachers like all the smart boards. The kids and teachers enjoy all the new technology.

 

See for yourself!

January 17th, 2013 by Marcia Bingham

 

James Island webcam

 

The webcams which the Forks Chamber sponsors feature, among other places, First Beach and James Island in La Push.  At this time of year particularly, the views are spectacular.   I invite the public to go to the home page of  www.forkswa.com (the Chamber’s website) and scroll down the lefthand side of the site to Webcams, and feast your eyes on the two La Push sites.  It just doesn’t get more beautiful than these two popular places.  The Quileute Tribe welcomes visitors, as does the Forks Chamber of Commerce, and a visual of the northwest coast is a treat available to all no matter where you are.   

“Hello from Chicago”

January 7th, 2013 by Lissy Andros

“Hello from Chicago! 

I just wanted to drop a line and tell you ALL (especially Marcia and Lissy!!!) a very big THANK YOU! My niece and I visited Forks for the first time in September of 2012 for the Stephenie Meyer Day Weekend and we had an absolutely amazing time! It was so wonderful that even now in January I am still trying to process it all.  

I am so grateful to have met your fabulous team and have gotten so much information before and during our trip.  We were able to see and do so many things that I am speechless.  It was only possible due to your assistance, the information you provided and the constant contact your office had with me each time I sent an email or called with a question.  I always received a quick and courteous response for which I am extremely grateful.  This was the first big trip I have ever planned for myself and it went so well!  My niece and I had such an amazing time that we did not want to leave!  Not only did we visit the Timber Museum, experienced West End Thunder, the Quileute Reservation and sat in on a drum circle, but we also took the Hall of Mosses hike in the Hoh Rain Forest, drove up to the Makah Territory, visited the Makah Museum and hiked up to Cape Flattery where we were able to take really great pictures.  We visited First Beach and Rialto Beach numerous times on our trip and even got pictures at “Hole In the Wall”! We also were able to get a Twilight/Forks tour from Randy who I absolutely fell in love with! He is so down to earth, funny and he really knows his stuff.  All in all I could not have had a better experience! 

I check the First Beach Webcam daily as well as the Forks and Quileute websites and dream of returning to the area that has stolen my heart!  Not only is the area picturesque but the people of Forks, Washington are so helpful, courteous, amazing and friendly.  It was nice to be able to travel to such a beautiful area with so many wonderful sites to see, hiking trails to explore and now new friends to keep in touch with.   Charlene and her team did an amazing job with the entire Stephenie Meyer Day Weekend Festivities.  I was really impressed and had so much fun.  It is truly an even that every TwiHard should experience at least once in their lifetime! 

I am glad to say that I am already looking forward to going back in September of this year (jumping in my seat with excitement right now!)!!! As soon as we landed and my hubby picked me up from the airport I hugged him and my four sons.  I looked at them and said “Can I go back next year?!” LOL! I hope to take some of my friends with me who are also moms, Twilight fans and can use a little get away.  The year after that I plan on taking the trip with my husband! Yes, when I find something I like I tend to stick to it! I am extremely loyal to the things/people that I love.  And I definitely LOVE Forks! I hope to one year see the town in its Winter Glory!!! Thank you so much for everything! All of the information that Lissy provided to me before the trip was extremely useful and we had everything planned out well ahead of time.  When we got there Marcia gave us some additional tips/info and we put that too good use too and tasted some excellent food because of her suggestion.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming and did not consider me or my niece nuts at all! LOL! 

I hope to keep in touch throughout the year and keep you all updated as to my return because you know I will be coming in to say Hello and take more pictures with you all! In the meantime please feel free to let me know if any of your team will be in the Chicago area as I would love to show you around my hometown! Thanks again…a million times thank you!!!! 

Kathryn R.

Chicago, Illinois”

This was a very nice letter we received from Kathy in Chicago.  She was a delight and we can’t wait for her to visit again!  And thank YOU for such an amazing letter!  Lissy  and Kathryn are pictured below (at the Forks Visitor Information Center).

Lissy and Kathy

A Year in Review

December 31st, 2012 by Lissy Andros

This has been quite a year. We stayed busy here at the Chamber/VIC helping visitors find their way, businesses promote their wares, and the community promote their events. Some of the fun things the Chamber sponsored were the Customer Service Workshop, Coast Guard Appreciation Softball Game, Last Chance Salmon Derby (an event co-sponsored by the Quileute Tribe, City of Forks and the Chamber) and the 18th Annual Wine & Cheese “Hoh Down”. We had the honor of participating in a sunny Forks Old Fashioned 4th of July, the Stephenie Meyer Day celebration, the Fish n Brew and the Twinkle Lights Parade.

The Forks Logging & Mill Tour was very popular this summer and we welcomed back two “seasoned” log tour drivers, Jack Zaccardo and Randy Mesenbrink and two new ones aboard, Joe Seymour and Mike Wendell.

One of the challenges faced this year was the heavy snowfall we received in January. A tree fell on Marcia Bingham’s house and caused her and the Sol Duc River a huge headache. The river was actually closed when it was removed. That doesn’t happen every day!   Mike Gurling left the Chamber in September (as a paid employee anyway) to pursue dreams of traveling with his new lady, Claire. Rianilee Belles, our longtime Sunday employee, relocated to a new city. Merry Parker shortened her hours at the Chamber to take on management of the Teen Center at night. And we welcomed the always smiling Whitney Flagg to our staff. Our summer person, Beth Turner was a great help to us. Susie Michels, our webmaster, worked diligently on the Chamber’s new website. Very loyal volunteers, Willard Morgan and Marcia Yanish are now joined by our new volunteer, Tisha Sliwinski. I have taken on Mike’s administrative duties and love every minute!

The Chamber saw businesses open and close. We welcomed new residents to town, and said goodbye to others. The dry summer put everyone on high fire alert (although it was good for tourism.) And with the start of the rain again, we were heartbroken, along with the rest of the community, when the IOOF Hall that housed Rainforest Arts Center burned down. The empty, burning Dazzled By Twilight store was a sad sight to behold, splashed across websites and newspapers.

From the perspective of the Forks Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center, it was a very good year. Our visitor numbers continued to stay strong, according to the VIC guest register. We were prepared for a slow-down this summer and much to our surprise, we had throngs of first-timers, repeat visitors, and those wishing to live here some day! We are continuing to hear from writers – travel, blog, magazine, you name it. They want us to reveal the magic that is Forks. Maybe they will be lucky enough to come here some day to find out for themselves.

We look forward to a very promising, interesting and busy 2013 and hope you do too!

 

“How do I get to Forks, Washington once I arrive at Sea-Tac?”

December 12th, 2012 by Lissy Andros

Lake Crescent

 

“How do I get to Forks, Washington once I arrive at Sea-Tac?” is one of the most common questions we get when people contact the Forks Visitor Information Center.

Forks is about 3.5 hours from Sea-Tac International Airport.  And there are many ways and routes to get from Sea-Tac to Forks.  With some planning, it is very easy to take advantage of the commuter flights and bus service.  I recommend flying into Sea-Tac as early as possible, preferably before noon.  This gives you time to catch the flight or bus and arrive in Port Angeles, and still get to Forks by early evening.

Once you arrive in Port Angeles, there are a few “Twilight” spots to check out like Bella Italia (where Edward and Bella had their first date), the movie theater and the book store – all featured in the books.  You will then travel the 56 miles to Forks where you will see the beauty of Lake Crescent while traveling through the Olympic National Park and Forest.

If you fly Kenmore Air from Sea-Tac to Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles, this is what you can expect:

When you purchase your ticket, make sure that you let them know you will need the shuttle service (no additional charge) to Boeing Field.   After you get your baggage, you will depart from Door 00 on the bottom floor and it is very easy to find.  You will take the shuttle bus from Sea-Tac to Boeing Field where you will depart for Port Angeles.  On a clear day, there is a spectacular view of downtown Seattle, including the Space Needle.

When you arrive in Port Angeles, you can rent a car at the airport or take Clallam Transit* to Forks.  Private flights to Forks Municipal Airport are another option.

If you take the Dungeness Line bus service from Sea-Tac to downtown Port Angeles, this is what you can expect:

You will depart from Door 00, the route takes you over the Kingston/Edmonds Ferry, and since it is a bus service, they don’t make you wait in line.  You will get to enjoy a ferry ride and the beautiful countryside.  And if you are afraid of flying on small planes, this is a great choice.  The 12:50pm route usually arrives in Port Angeles at 4:35pm.

When you arrive in Port Angeles, you can rent a car downtown (at the Olympic Bus Lines office, home of the Dungeness Line) or take Clallam Transit to Forks.

Budget Car Rental – There is an office in Port Angeles that is locally owned by the Olympic Bus Lines so make sure that if you rent a car, you call them, and not the nationwide number.  They have rental offices in downtown Port Angeles and at the airport.  Their phone number is 360-417-0700 or 800-457-4492.

Clallam Transit – This is public transit and operates limited hours.  *The bus does not go to the airport unless you request it prior to your arrival.

Bella Italia, Dungeness Line and Kenmore Air are members of the Forks Chamber of Commerce.

If you rent a car at SeaTac and drive to Forks:

I recommend taking the Tacoma Narrows route from Sea-Tac to Forks.  This takes you I5 South  to 16W to 3N, then turn left and go over the Hood Canal Bridge on 104W, then take 101N and stay on that until you get to Port Angeles, where you will turn left (follow sign to Forks), then you will stay on 101 until you reach Forks.

These directions can be downloaded on Google Maps.

Have other questions?  Feel free to contact us at info@forkswa.com

Thanks and happy traveling!

Visitors from Great Britain

November 27th, 2012 by Marcia Bingham

Two happy visitors from Great Britain, great fans of Twilight, made their third trip to Forks and to the Visitor Information Center on Friday, November 23.  After touring with Randy Bennett once again, they came in to share their enthusiasm for Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 and they promise to return for a 4th time for Stephenie Meyer Day 2013.  We eagerly await them.

Forks 18th Annual Wine & Cheese Event

November 19th, 2012 by contributor

Clallam County District 1 and 6 firefighters

The Forks Chamber of Commerce 18th Annual Wine & Cheese “Hoh Down” was held at the 110 Business Park Roundhouse (formerly the Rosmond Mill and then Loth Lumber) on November 10th.  The evening was brisk but heaters and wine kept most happy.  Music by Loose Gravel, folks in western hats, boots and jeans, great auction items and yummy wine and snacks were a fun mix.  Historic pictures of Forks were a major topic of conversation, with a community coming together to reminisce about the past, share stories and memories.  Along with naming the 2013 Board of Directors and recognizing Chamber volunteers, the Clallam County Fire Districts #1 and #6 were honored for their bravery and dedication to keeping the Forks community safe.

Bryon Monohon, Marcia Bingham and Cindy Mesenbrink

JT’s Sweet Stuffs was named Business of the Year for their community-minded activities like the Twinkle Light Holiday Parade.  Cindy Mesenbrink was named Volunteer of the Year for her tireless commitment to Relay For Life, as Chairperson for 2012 and 2013.  She is also involved in the Soroptimist Club, quilt club, helping at school and church.  Cindy never refuses to help.  And finally, Citizen of the Year was given to Michael Gurling.  He wears many hats, including retired Park Ranger, former Forks Visitor Information Center Manager (and now Chamber volunteer), Rainforest Arts Center building manager (past and future) and Rainforest Player.  Mike’s love of Forks and the surrounding area has been evident with his career choices and hobbies.

Michael Gurling and Marcia Bingham

Forks Chamber of Commerce is very proud to have volunteers Marcia Yanish, Willard Morgan, Izaiah Calloway and Log Tour Drivers Jack Zaccardo, Randy Mesenbrink, Joe Seymour and Mike Wendell.    The 2013 Board of Directors are Bill Peach, President; Susan Brager, Vice-President; Pura Carlson, Treasurer; Pam Hunter, Secretary; Debbie Scannell, Past President and At-Large Members Don Grafstrom, Bruce Paul, Ellen Matheny and Walter Kochansky.  Representatives from the City and Quileute Tribe will be named at a later date.  We could not operate successfully if it weren’t for our volunteers.

Carrol Lunsford talks with Stephanie and Kevin Conway of Lake Quinault Resort.

The evening was a success, not only because of the great attendance or the silent auction (a huge thank you to all the businesses and people that donated goods and services) but because we came together as a community and showed appreciation for what makes this a great place – the people who live here.

Pets in Forks

October 12th, 2012 by Lissy Andros

Forks has changed from a farming community to whatever it is now, and animals have remained important to residents through the various transitions.

Friends of Forks Animals have a message phone listed in the phone book for issues related to animals in Forks.  A nice lady listens to the messages on a regular basis and directs inquires to the appropriate places.

Everywhere dogs and cats, often horses, goats, werewolves (just kidding) and other animals abound.  Used to be a llama was an unusual site here on the west end.  Not so anymore.

There’s room in Forks for new and additional businesses, and several potentials exist with regard to animals.  Pet sitting, training and grooming, pet attire, specialty pet foods, pet housing – all are possibilities for entrepreneurs.  Start with an idea, add some creativity, some hard work, a lot of energy, and you may have a tiger by the tail.  Just a figure of speech:  I haven’t seen any tigers in town.

17th Annual Forks Chamber of Commerce “Wine & Cheese” Fundraiser

October 29th, 2011 by contributor

Don’t miss a gala evening sponsored by the Forks Chamber of Commerce, which benefits the Visitor Information Center.

The evening includes a silent auction, wine & beer tasting along with soft drinks and snacks. Music is also included along with some great socializing while you are placing your bids on some unique items.

Cost is $10 per person which includes two drinks. Another highlight of the evening are awards given to the Citizen, Volunteer and Business of the Year for Forks. This year the theme is “Just say cheese…”

2011 wine and cheese poster

Meet Some Real AX MEN

May 9th, 2011 by contributor

logging pic jackWhile the TV show AX MEN is in re-runs the real thing can be seen every Wednesday for free, courtesy of the Forks Chamber of Commerce. Logging & Mill Tours, offered at no cost by the Forks Chamber, leave from the Forks Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesdays, May through September. The 2 1/2 to 3 hour tour provides a real view into the logging industry in the Forks area. Each tour, led by a volunteer experienced in logging and local forestry, is unique. The tour usually includes a visit to a working mill & logging sites as well as being jam packed with valuable information about forestry and logging. Reservations are strongly encouraged as the tours fill up quickly. Come experience the real danger and drama that loggers face every day, and get a better understanding of our local logging heritage. Call the Forks Visitor Information Center for more information 360-374-2531.
Picture: Joe Wentworth & Jack Olsen (my grandfather)
1930′s Clallam County.

Best of the Year Awards

December 6th, 2010 by contributor

The Forks Chamber of Commerce Best of the Year awards have been awarded to Marcia Yanish – Citizen of the year, Ken Bechtold Logging – Business of the Year and Christi Baron – Volunteer of the year for 2010. Congratulations go to these outstanding Forks citizens!