Favored Fest

October 19, 2005

Despite a mixed bag of weather over the weekend, the 23rd annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest drew crowds to the Expo Center Friday through Sunday. Total visitors to the three-day festival numbered approximately 24,000, according to Genevieve Scholl-Erdman of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

“We were only a hair up from last year – about 300 people,” Scholl-Erdman said. One big difference this year, however, was the number of weekend passes sold.

“We sold at least a thousand percent more weekend passes,” she said. “People were definitely shopping more than one day, and that makes me feel that they were staying the night.”

In addition, Scholl-Erdman said, traffic on Friday and Sunday were up from previous years, while Saturday afternoon and evening were slower than usual.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a drawing this year that required visitors to fill out a survey card about Harvest Fest.

Scholl-Erdman said she got about 150 of them back, and almost everyone had ranked the event an 8, 9 or 10 out of 10.

“We got some really good feedback from them,” she said. Vendor surveys, done every year, showed once again that nearly all vendors were pleased with the festival’s organization, crowd numbers and sales.

Scholl-Erdman said one request many vendors and festival-goers continue to have is for an on-site ATM machine.

“We haven’t found a way to get an ATM machine down there yet without breaking the bank,” she said. “But we are trying to solve that problem for next year.”

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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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