Tacoma museum plans program to mark eruption anniversary

The Washington State History Museum will mark the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens with a special event from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 16.

Artists, authors and volcanologists will share their experiences of the eruption and knowledge of the volcano today. The event is the culmination of the “Living in the Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington” exhibit, which closes May 17.

Speakers include:

• Atlatl expert Larry Nelson, who will discuss the atlatl in the “Living in the Shadows” exhibit and how the weapon was used by ancient tribes.

• Mount St. Helens icon Andre Stepankowsky, the reporter whose coverage of the eruption and the mountain itself has spanned decades.

• John Ewert, scientist-in-charge at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Visitors also can participate in a volcano-themed scavenger hunt through the museum and will have an opportunity to discuss the eruption and their own personal experiences from May 18, 1980, over refreshments.

Containers of ash from the eruption, jewelry made from the ash, and many other souvenirs of the eruption and the “Living in the Shadows” exhibit, including a limited edition “Year of the Volcano” commemorative poster designed by Native American artist Jeffrey Veregge, will be sold.

The museum is at 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. For more information, call 1-888-BE-THERE.