Lots to do on Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is here, and with it a Hood River signature for this weekend, and all others, the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim.

The swim is currently sold out, but there is a waiting list, first-come-first-served, on the morning of the event.

More than 500 people will get aboard the sternwheeler Columbia Gorge, jump in on the Bingen side, and swim back to the Best Western Hood River Inn; first swimmers across make it by about 8 a.m..

See details below on how boaters can join the support flotilla.

If you have a burning desire to swim, be at the Chamber of Commerce office (next to I-84 exit 64) by 5 a.m., “if not before,” said the Chamber’s Rara Byrne, who will be the one to sign you up if there is space.

Swimmers must have the exact payment of $70, and sign a release form.


Looking for other Labor Day activities?

Schools, banks and many businesses will be closed — including Hood River News offices — and there is no mail delivery Monday, but there are plenty of things to do.

n Hood River Aquatic Center will be open Sunday from 1-5 p.m. for open swim, and on Monday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with open swims from 1-5 and 7-9 p.m.

The pool will close Sept. 3 for its two-week annual cleaning.

n Wineries throughout the Gorge hold their annual Labor Day Open House Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Go to columbiagorgewine.com for full details.

Wineries include Hood River’s newest, Hood Crest Winery, west of town, also serving wood-fired pizza.

n A Glass Act, the glass art exhibit at Columbia Art Center, will be open Saturday and Sunday.

See live demonstration in the studio of painted and cast glass from noon to 3 p.m.; the event is free. The center is located at Third and Cascade streets.

n On Sept. 2, Timberline Lodge presents its annual Americana Music Festival, which is free, starting at 1 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater with Broken Top. Great Northern Planes plays at 2 p.m., The Barn Birds at 3, and Rita Hoskins and Cousin Jack at 4 p.m. Headliners Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band takes the stage at 6 p.m.

The all-ages show takes place rain or shine; no dogs please. Musicians are invited to bring instruments and jam on the “pickin’ patio.”

n Boats are needed to support the Cross Channel Swim on Labor Day. Volunteers’ boats need to be on the line east of the Hood River Bridge at 7:15 a.m.

The Chamber has promised coffee and treats for the boats anchored on the line.

Email Doug Archbald of Hood River Yacht Club at doug@donnunamaker.com or 541 490-7846.

If you plan to have your boat on the line, bring some festive clothing, an instrument, cowbell or something outrageous to turn the swim into a party.

“The whole event is good fun, and I think a carnival atmosphere from the volunteers would really add to the swimmer’s experience!” Archbald said.

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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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