MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. -- The 30th anniversary of the May 18th eruption of Mount St. Helens will be recognized with a series of events that range from hikes, to photography, videos and oral histories.

Saturday, May 15th

It's a Blast is an all-day event sponsored by the Mount St. Helens Institute that features hikes, a children's science area and hands-on exploration that begins at 10 a.m. at the Coldwater Lake and Johnston Ridge Observatory. The cost is $10, kids under 5 free. Tickets are available the day of the event but it's suggested to order them online in advance.

Sunday, May 16th

Tell Your Story is a chance to hear oral histories from witnesses to the blast at the Hoffstadt Bluff Visitors Center from 10am to 4pm. Speakers include Weyerhaeuser employees, emergency service personnel, rescue pilots and eyewitnesses.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory, with its interpretive center and stunning views into the crater, offically opens for the season. Admission is $8 per person, children 15 and under free. Worth noting is one-day free admission to the Johnston Ridge and the Coldwater Creek observatories on Tuesday, May 18th. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, May 17th

The Washington parks department will host a chance to meet first responders to emergencies. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake.

Tuesday, May 18th

The official commemoration of the anniversary will be all day at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. New features include a touch pad that allows visitors to sense the power of the blast and a jump platform that lets you create and compare old seismic technology to new digital measurements of today. The observatory will also unveil new movies about the seismic activity.

Professional photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel will talk at 11 a.m. at the observatory, explaining how they prepared the images for the May, 2010 edition of the National Geographic magazine. Seating is limited.

The award-winning movie Message from the Mountain will be shown at 1 and 2 p.m.

Tuesday, May 18th

Portland science fiction writer Ursula LeGuin, poet Gary Snyder and forest ecologist Jerry Franklin will speak at the First Baptist Church, SW 12th and Taylor in Portland, on the power of nature and change. The 7:30 event is sponsored by Illahee Lecture Series, along with the Mount St. Helens Institute, the Spring Creek Project, and the U.S. Forest Service. Tickets are $35.

May 14th through the 18th

The Weyerhaeuser Forest Learning Center, normally open only Friday and weekends, will be open Friday through the following Tuesday for the 30th anniversary. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

All summer long

If you just want to jump in the car on a sunny day and peer into the crater, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument website has links to just about everything you need to know.

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