Blossom Fest comes to the Valley this weekend

More than 25 events and attractions make up the 49th annual Hood River Blossom Festival, starting today around the county.

This year’s festival includes the Blossom Craft Show at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, the Parkdale Fine Arts and Music Festival presented by the Mt. Hood Railroad, the Hood River Antique Show and Sale, and the Mt. Hood Towne Hall Blossom Festival Quilt Show and Sale, Rasmussen Farms’ Pansy Party, and Flerchinger Vineyards Blossom Fest & Barrel Tasting and Open House. All events run Saturday and Sunday.

Presiding over all the events is the 2003 Blossom Court: Anna Hidle, Nancy Meza, Ashley Ogawa, and Treshia Sewell.

Other Blossom events include:

* Parkdale Fire Department’s 8th annual Casino Night, 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the fire hall, 4895 Baseline Drive (admission $10, 21 and over).

* Parkdale Grange Blossom dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, at the Grange, 7375 Clear Creek Road, $7 adults, $45 children.

* All You Can Eat Breakfast, West Side Fire Department, 2363 Tucker Rd., 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children.

* Apple crisp sale and barbecue, 11-5 Saturday, 11-4 Sunday, Dee Fire Hall, 5235 Lost Lake Rd., Dee.

* Hood River Valley Art Club Blossom Sale, Parkdale Community Center, Saturday and Sunday, 10-5.

* Hazel Rebekah Lodge quilt show and bazaar, 10-4 both days, at the Lodge, Odell Highway and Summit Drive.

Hood River County Chamber of Commerce has full details on the Blossom Festival at 386-2000 or www.hoodriver.org

Or, consult the Hood River News’ Panorama section, published April 16.

In addition to the Blossom Fest events, the Hood River Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Jackson Park during Blossom Weekend. The hunt will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. This year’s sponsors are Sprint, Rosauers, Hood River Inn and Columbia Gorge Broadcasters. There will be four sections, one for each of the following age groups: ages 0-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8.

Each year, approximately 20,000 people visit the Hood River Valley to experience the Blossom Festival events.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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