Blossom Festival runs April 12-28

It's blossom time throughout the Hood River Valley. Get out there and enjoy the flowers while they last.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
It's blossom time throughout the Hood River Valley. Get out there and enjoy the flowers while they last.

— Three weekends of scenic beauty and community activity start Friday.

It’s time for the annual Hood River County Blossom Festival, all around the valley.

The Blossom Fest, sponsored by Hood River Chamber of Commerce (, runs April 12-28, with many events focused in the April 20-21 weekend.

There will be plenty to find starting Friday, including wine and art tours, an alpaca fiber show and antique aircraft show.

Panorama, the Hood River News’ annual special section, will be published Saturday, April 13. You will find all event details, along with numerous features and photos, within the four sections — Blossoms, Reflections, Community and Recreation — of this colorful, informative four-part section.

One such event, Winery Passport Weekend, happens all over the Gorge, April 12-14. Discover a “World of Wine in 40 Miles” during Passport Weekend with exclusive offers at more than 28 Gorge wineries.

Mosier celebrates Blossom Festival with its annual Community Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., hosted by Mosier Grange and Mosier Volunteer Fire Department.

The dinner will be at Mosier Grange Hall, just a few blocks from exit 69 off of Interstate 84.

Cost is $10 for adults, ages 6-12 pay $2. Those under age 6 eat free. Menu features grilled salmon, glazed ham, main dishes, salad and a cherry dessert.

After you eat, take a drive through the Mosier valley to view the blossoms and wildflowers; the route is marked by signs.

Also scheduled this weekend are the Second Saturday at Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, Foothills Alpaca Fibre Show and Trunk Sale in Odell, and Gorge Artists Open Studios tour, throughout Hood River, Parkdale, Mosier, The Dalles and White Salmon. (

Looking ahead: Traditional Blossom Festival events scheduled for April 20-21 include:

Blossom Craft Show, April 20-21, and Quilt Fair at Hood River County Fairgrounds.

Blossom Time at The History Museum, April 19-21. Hours are Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Parkdale Fire Department 20th annual barbecue and casino night, April 20, 5-11 p.m.

Parkdale Grange Blossom Dinner, both days, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

West Side Fire Department breakfast, April 21, 7-11 a.m.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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