Downtown First Friday ends an artful first full year

and RUBY BRUNK, News intern

The last First Friday of 2002 is Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Hood River. Sponsored by the Hood River Downtown Business Association and the Gorge Arts Council, First Friday brings together arts, business and community in a celebration of the talents and services of our local region. December’s event marks the finale of the first full year of First Friday celebrations, which began last fall.

“It’s been very, very successful,” said organizer Joanie Thompson said. “More than I could have ever imagined.” She said nearly all participating businesses have reported the monthly event as being “a benefit for them as far as actual sales.”

“It’s not all necessarily that night, but they’re seeing people come back in because of First Friday,” she said. Many of the artists whose work is highlighted also have indicated the event has helped them sell work as well as earn commissions.

“When I’m approached on the street (people) just tell me how much they love it because of the sense of community it creates,” Thompson said. That, she added, was one of the main goals in creating the event.

“It’s been fun to see how well it’s been accepted,” she said. Thompson also said the gatherings have drawn people to the downtown who wouldn’t normally go there — including people from the Upper Valley, White Salmon and The Dalles.

Friday’s event will highlight artists Susan Garret Crowley, Laurel Grey of Joie De Vivre and Ruth Langland displaying their work at A Salon Day Spa Boutique. Elizabeth Anderson will display her work at Gorge Dog, John Shultz at At Home on Oak Street, Karen Jacks at the Frame Gallery, and Steve and Mary Andres of Opal Color at Big Winds. Designs by Ken Apland and Kevin Craig may be seen at Apland Jewelers. The Columbia Art Gallery will be open with its ever popular show of local artists.

The evening’s music offerings include Charles Crossman at At Home on Oak Street, No Depression at 6th Street Bistro, and Bob Connelly at the Hood River Hotel. A local author, Lori Marques (“Holiday Child Safety”) will be featured at the new Columbia River Christian Bookstore.

This First Friday will be a little different as the holiday season has arrived. In addition to the regular events, caroling by the Fourth Dimension and the Community Ed Choir as well as special appearances by Santa will add to the festivities.

This month’s First Friday will feature a Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. in the Overlook Memorial Park at Second and State streets. Performances by the Fourth Dimension, The Community Ed Christmas Choir and the Shar/Lynn Duo will help welcome in the season.

Art produced by May Street Elementary students will also be featured. Nearly 30 May Street students will display their work at Summit Projects, located above Doug’s Sports. Proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go directly to the artists.

As part of the Peace Project out of Portland, children and families can create an ornament for peace in Mall 202 on Cascade Avenue. Local artists will be present to help interested people make a “Peace on Earth” ornament, which will then be donated for sale on Dec. 14. All proceeds will go to global non-profits that work with indigent third world children.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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