Blossom Fest blends old and new

From staff reports

April 15

The 51st annual Hood River County Blossom Festival returns this weekend, from the foot of Mount Hood to the shores of the Columbia River.

Traditional events are joined by new attractions this year, as the Hood River Valley celebrates the sprouting of the white and pink blossoms that herald another growing season for the pear, apple, and cherry bounty of one of Oregon’s most fertile areas.

Festival maps are available at the Visitor Center, 405 Portway Ave., on the waterfront, and full schedules are also available in Panorama special sections from the April 13 Hood River news.

The Visitor Center is inside the Expo Center, home to the 22nd annual Hood River Antique Expo, one of the festival’s anchor events.

More than 65 vendors will present items from through the Northwest and beyond; food concessions will be available. Admission is $4 for adults, children get in free and there is no charge for parking. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

It’s one of many festival events that offer cover from the rain. Others include the Hood River Art Club Show at Parkdale Community Center, Quilt Show and Sale at Mt. Hood Towne Hall, Food and Wine Festival at Sixth Street Bistro, Wine Fest and Estate Sale at Columbia Gorge Hotel, Casino Night at Parkdale Fire Hall, Dessert Party at Apple Valley Store on Tucker Road, and the tour of Leko’s hat factory in Odell.

New events this year include the Oregon Glass Guild Gallery premier at Mt. Hood Railway Depot, the Trunk Show at Oak Street Hotel at Oak and Seventh streets, and tours of the Fruit Company in Pine Grove.

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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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