The Northwest in January

Where to go and what to do in the Northwest in January, 2004

CENTRAL OREGON, PUGET SOUND

Get ready to wag your tail if you love dogs, because January is the month for you. The third annual Atta Boy 300 Oregon World Cup Sled Dog Race (Jan 3-11; www.attaboy300.com or 541/350-3049) descends upon central Oregon, and it's one to watch. As many as 40 high-caliber mushers make it second only to Alaska's famous Iditarod in terms of size. The racecourse changes from day to day and ranges from Hoodoo Ski Bowl south to La Pine, mostly on snowed-over roads groomed for the event. Spectators are welcome to ski or snowshoe alongside the courses (maps and directions are available on the race website), or they can visit the Family Fun Zone at Mt. Bachelor to meet sled dogs and try riding in a sled. For a look at more urbane canines, there's the Tacoma Kennel Club Dog Show (Jan 9; www.rogersdogshows.com or 601/583-1110) at the Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Washington. Then there's the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show (Jan 31-Feb 1; www.seattlekennelclub.org or 425/643-6884) at the Washington State Football/Soccer Stadium and Exhibition Center in downtown Seattle. Judges at both shows will inspect canines in seven different groups to determine who is top dog in the Northwest.

PORTLAND

Portland's premier pâtissier, Cheryl Wakerhauser, hosts the Eagles Lodge's Dim Sum Yum Yum on the last Saturday of each month. As the name implies, waiters circulate with rolling carts of three-bite desserts. The sweets are classy, but come prepared for kitschy entertainment and decor: Previous events have featured karaoke performed Gong Show-style and a dance party complete with a disco ball. 8 p.m. Jan 31; admission $3, desserts $1-$3 each. Eagles Lodge, 4904 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.; (503) 232-7505. Purchase advance tickets (advised) at Pix Patisserie and Brasserie, 3402 S.E. Division St.; (503) 232-4407.

LEAVENWORTH, WASHINGTON

If you're a little Bavarian-themed burg in Washington's Cascade Range, when life gives you snow, you make an Icefest. Visitors can make elaborate snow sculptures, see dogs compete in weight-pulling races, and check out kids playing hockey with Frisbees and brooms. For the more adventurous (and coordinated) types, there's "smooshing," a race in which teams of four strap themselves onto boards and plod across the snow like a centipede in cross-country skis. The festival concludes with a large fireworks display. Jan 17-18. At Front Street Park in downtown Leavenworth; for more information, contact the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce, www.leavenworth.org or (509) 548-5807.

― Bonnie Henderson, Vanessa McGrady, Matt Villano

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