Hood River, Odell, Parkdale host fall festivals

The cornucopia pours forth once more with this weekend’s Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, in its 21st year at Hood River Expo Center.

Friendly cousin events take place the same weekend in Hood River County (details below) providing an easy day’s loop that takes in every kind of Hood River County produce.

Harvest season in Oregon yields a bounty, ranking it among the top agricultural regions in the world in both the quality and diversity of local crops.

Some of Oregon’s most hailed and revered products will take center stage at this year’s Hood River Valley Harvest Fest.

At the Expo Center and other locations, a total of 19 special harvest-related events are taking place throughout the Valley during the weekend.

Of course, there will be Hood River’s famous winter pears, apples, and wines. Also ready to be bagged, boxed, or eaten on site are Oregon-grown cranberries, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, peppers, garlic, onions, gourds and pumpkins, specialty jams, jellies and preserves, and salmon.

It’s all framed by the spectacular autumn colors of the surrounding countryside, with the winds of the Columbia River Gorge still hosting legions of autumn-season windsurfers, and snow-capped Mt. Hood nearby.

Harvest Fest is Hood River’s largest annual event. More than 25,000 people attended the 2002 Hood River Valley Harvest Fest from throughout the Northwest.

Along with some of Oregon’s best agricultural growers, more than 100 of the region’s finest artisans, quilters and crafts people will offer their wares, which range from fine art and photography to homemade fudge, from bonzai trees to stained glass. There will be more than 130 vendor booths in all, plus live entertainment all weekend long. (Details on this page.) A variety of other events occur during Harvest Fest weekend.

On Oct. 18-19, the Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair returns to the Hood River County Fairgrounds in Odell, just south of the town of Hood River. Turn to page A8 for details.

Rasmussen Farms’ popular Pumpkin Funland will be in full swing. Pumpkin Funland was named one of the Top 10 best Halloween places for kids by Nick Jr.com in 2001 and 2002. Apple Valley Country Store will hold its Huckleberry Dessert Party.

Mt. Hood Railroad will offer scenic rail excursions to Parkdale, located in southern Hood River County, where riders can explore the Parkdale Fine Arts & Music festival and the Fiesta Days Celebration, Oct. 18-19.

The festival runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Cascade Trio will play music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Savant Garde will perform from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., both days.

Local artisans will present pottery, Native designs, furniture, bird houses, glass and metal works, botanical cards and wreaths, photography, jewelry, clothing, and other items, along with local fruit, produce and cider.

Call 386-3556 to arrange train tickets from Hood River to Parkdale and back; excursions leave at 10 a.m. from Hood River, returning at 2:15 p.m., and 3 p.m., returning at 7:15 p.m., both days.

For more information on any of these events, call 386-2000, or visit www.hoodriver.org

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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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