Celebrating local bounty

Harvest Fest and Fruit, Craft Fair return; see special insert

If current forecasts hold up, we should expect mostly sunny weather for a couple of main events this weekend: The Harvest Fest and the Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair.

The 31st annual Harvest Fest, sponsored by the Hood River Chamber of Commerce, will be held from Friday through Sunday at the Event Site on the waterfront. The Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair happens Saturday and Sunday at the fairgrounds in Odell.

At Harvest Fest, visitors can taste fresh, local produce, get a jump start on their holiday shopping, and fully experience an authentic autumn festival that has become a yearly tradition for visitors and locals alike.

“Visitors seldom leave Harvest Fest without boxes of Anjou pears, heirloom apples, pumpkins, berries, flowers, and a smorgasbord of prepared foods from pies to jams and smoked salmon to chocolate-covered nuts,” said Ashley Huckaby, event coordinator for the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.

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

The event runs Friday from 1-7 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for veterans and seniors 65 and older, and free for kids 12 and under.

As is traditional, Friday at the festival from 1-7 p.m. will be Senior Day for those ages 65 and up. Admission for seniors on Friday will be $3, and special discounts will be available for seniors from food and art vendors.

The 2013 Harvest Fest is supported by presenting sponsor Pacific Power.

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The Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair features arts and crafts, gourmet food products, fresh fruit and produce, baked goods, wine, jewelry, furniture, plants and flowers, soft goods, and much more — all grown or crafted in the Gorge. The Hood River County Fair Board organizes the event. Admission and parking are free.

The event will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the park-like Hood River County Fairgrounds, 3020 Wy’east Road, in Odell.

Special activities include an autumn flower show and sale by the Odell Garden Club; a gallery-style art show and sale by the Hood River Art Club; wine tasting and food offerings including barbecue and traditionally prepared Indian salmon.

On Saturday, at the fairgrounds arena, a ranch sorting competition will take place from late morning into the early afternoon. Admission is free.

On Sunday afternoon the Gorge Strings will provide live music.

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