Rotary hosts Wine and Pear Festival in May

Third-annual event raises funds for scholarships

Festival Details

Buy tickets from Rotarians as of April 25, or online at

Hood River Rotary renews its annual fundraiser, the Columbia Gorge Wine & Pear Fest, May 18-19 at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River.

This two-day event will feature the many award-winning wineries and vineyards in the Columbia Gorge AVA, including two days of wine tasting, artists from around the Pacific Northwest and fruit pairings from the Pear Bureau Northwest.

“Our attendance tripled last year to 2,300, and we hope to perhaps double it this year,” said Dave Bick, this year’s festival coordinator. “We expect between 3,000 and 5,000 people.”

The event also features food from the best restaurants in the region, and area musicians; Rotarian Chuck Haynie and friends will be among the performers.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Hood River Rotary’s scholarship program for local graduating high school students.

Rotary provides about $40,000 each year in scholarship money.

“We fund other projects, too, but that’s our main focus,” said Bick, who took the reins this year from Neal Price.

This year, the festival moves into a different building at WAAAM, Hangar 3; festival admission includes full admission to the museum.

Admission includes wine tastings, pairings with local fruit, specially selected food from local restaurants, art from noted local artisans and music by renowned Gorge musicians.

Attendees will also be able to stroll through WAAAM, one of the largest collections of still-flying antique airplanes and still-driving antique automobiles in the country.

Vendors and artists hail almost exclusively from the Gorge area.

Participating wineries and food vendors on board so far are:

Wineries: Aniche Cellars, Cathedral Ridge Winery, Cascade Cliffs Winery, Garnier Vineyards, Hood Crest Winery, Hood River Ciderworks, Marchesi Vineyards, Mt. Hood Winery, Naked Winery, Noble Estate Vineyard and Winery, Pheasant Valley Vineyard and Winery, Phelps Creek Vineyards, The Pines, Springhouse Cellar Winery, Stoltz Vi neyards, Sunshine Mill winery (Quenett), Viento Wines, Wy’East Vineyards and OSU Vitis Club.

Food and drink: Boda’s Kitchen, Cascadia Creamery, Divots, Full Sail Brewing, Marley’s Corner, Oregon Pear Bureau, Palate Pleaser, Ryan’s Juice, Solstice Wood Fire Café and White Buffalo Wine Bar and Bistro.

A festival day pass costs $20 per person and includes four wine tastings, a commemorative glass and admission to WAAAM.

A festival weekend pass costs $35 per person and includes eight tastings, commemorative wine glass and admission both days to WAAAM.

Festival hours are: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

On-site parking is free.

Several participating local hotels offer lodging packages that include admission tickets; book at

The Columbia Gorge Wine and Pear Festival features local wines from noted award-winning winemakers including Bob Lorkowski, John Haw, Rich Cushman and Franco Marchesi.

Nineteen wineries are confirmed so far, with another three expected; bringing it to the same number as 2012.

All the money raised from the event goes to support Rotary service projects in the community, the biggest of which is scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

Last year, Rotary gave more than $33,000 in scholarships; and the group plans to give more this year. Since 1996, Rotary has given more than $500,000 in scholarships to local youth.

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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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