Harvest Fest: 30 years young

Event promises foraging and fun

Season’S bounty awaits packing and distribution at local storage facilities, including Bickford orchards in Pine Grove.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Season’S bounty awaits packing and distribution at local storage facilities, including Bickford orchards in Pine Grove.

Thirty years of delivering fresh-picked apples, pears and produce mixed in with live music, good food and spectacular views makes for a good bet when it comes to planning your weekend fun — even with a possible sprinkle or two.

Hood River Harvest Fest is on for the 30th annual celebration and everyone is invited to join in Oct. 19-21 at the waterfront of Hood River, off of exit 63.

Usually drawing crowds in the thousands each day, Harvest Fest maintains the quaint and inviting characteristics that keep visitors returning year after year. Visitors and locals alike enjoy celebrating the rich agricultural heritage and abundance of the Hood River Valley and the numerous crops grown for and sold at the event.

In addition to a good sampling of available fruits and vegetables, visitors can meander through high-quality craft vendor displays or relax with some delectable treats for lunch or dinner.

Live music is offered throughout the weekend, along with children’s activities like pumpkin painting, a bouncy house and a petting zoo. The beer garden may appeal to the older set. For that special something that is sure to please everyone, watch a world-class pumpkin carver (with a thousand-pound pumpkin to work on) craft an artisanal masterpiece jack-o-lantern.

“Visitors seldom leave Harvest Fest without boxes of Anjou pears, heirloom apples, pumpkins, berries, flowers and a smorgasbord of prepared foods from home pies to jams, to smoked salmon,” said Nancy Carlson, event coordinator for the Hood River Chamber of Commerce.

“And vendors offer a wonderful array of arts and crafts including works in glass, wood, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, photography, jewelry and much more,” said Carlson. “Every year it’s a little bit different but every year it is truly a great event.”

Bring bags to carry home the goodies and rain gear just in case.

Hours are Friday: 1-7 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and up, and free for 12 and under. A special senior discount applies on Friday from 1-7 p.m. when elder guests pay just $3 each.

Most events and vendors are under tent cover.

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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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