Fair Time

Make a date in Odell, July 28-31

Traditions make Hood River County Fair an event to be appreciated every year for entertaining us while also preserving and displaying our county’s agriculture and rural ways.

The price is right, and virtually unchanged for the past 10 years.

As examples, the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction, carnival rides, floral displays and Saturday night grandstand show provide a lively variety of events and activities for people of all ages.

These events and others are like familiar friends we see each year. But every time Fair comes around there’s something new to do, and this year will be no different; what stands out is the July 28 “Canned Corn Meal,” a benefit for Gorge Heroes Club.

It’s also an event that needs a little explaining:

John and Kathy Alley of Hood River enjoyed their first Canned Corn Meal on a vacation to Colorado and decided the culinary feast would be fun to share with family and friends.

The Alleys will supervise the preparation of vegetables and sausage in milk cans and be assisted by members of the fair board and Gorge Heroes Club.

The food will then be placed in a trough from which people will be allowed to select their favorite items.

Yes, in a trough; think of it as a salad bar with sausage. The “canned” term refers to the food’s preparation in an unusual vessel — unusual, but also sanitary. As part of the event there will also be music and a tribute to people in military service.

(Soldiers from the Hood River Armory will be given a complimentary meal, and veterans dine for only $5.)

Partaking of this unique meal is one way to honor those who serve our country while also savoring a new experience at the county fair.

When you’re done, stroll over and get a sticker at the sheriff’s booth, munch on an elephant ear, have a look at the lambs and pigs and take a ride on the Scrambler.

The fair starts Wednesday, and it will be much easier to get in and out, thanks to a revised parking system (again coordinated by Hood River Lions, speaking of great traditions).

Whether you’ve never been or haven’t given the fair a try for awhile, this is a good year to reconnect with a vibrant, and evolving, Hood River County tradition.

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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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