Fruit Loop hosts Pear Celebration this weekend

 ENJOY PEARS fresh off the tree or in many other forms this weekend.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
ENJOY PEARS fresh off the tree or in many other forms this weekend.

The Hood River Valley Pear Celebration takes place Saturday and, all along the Hood River County Fruit Loop. Fruit stands, wineries, farms and attractions along the valley’s scenic “loop” will be offering fresh pears, pear products and more.

Many varieties, sizes, and colors of pears will be available to taste and purchase. There will also be pear wine, pear desserts, pear recipes, and many more special treats.

In addition, pear lovers will find all sorts of other fine food, produce and products, and country fun along the Fruit Loop during the Pear Celebration.

Highlights include:

  • n “Desserts Galore” at Kiyokawa Family Orchards in Parkdale. They’re teaming up with some of the area’s best creative bakers to prepare a mouthwatering selection of pear, apple, and peach desserts using fruit from the Kiyokawa orchards. Take recipes and fruit home to make your own.
  • n Visit Rasmussen Farms for the original Pear Party — since 1985. Rasmussen’s claims the best selection of pears in the valley. Enjoy live music each afternoon, wine tasting, tasty barbecue, pear pie, samples of Oregon food products, many varieties of fresh pears to try, and lots of free recipes.
  • Kids will love the free themed corn maze. There is a picnic area, and lots of fresh fall fruit, vegetables, autumn decorating items, and cold beverages in the sales barn.
  • n Find “Family Fun on the Farm” at Draper Girls’ Country Farm. During September they have a large selection of U-pick fruit and more available, including pears, apples, peaches, and corn. Ready-picked fruit, gifts, and treats, too. They will be pressing their refreshing non-pasteurized pear cider, apple cider, apple-pear cider, and cherry cider. There is a picnic area, and the petting zoo will be open.
  • n Taste Perry (hard pear cider) and unique and delicious pear sherry dessert wine at Hood River Vineyards.
  • n The Gorge White House will have pears harvested from their farm, and complimentary tastes of their Heritage Bosc Pear Wine. Sample their varieties of locally grown pears, and enjoy the views and the season.
  • n Stop by Pheasant Valley Winery and Orchard to sample local organic wines in their estate tasting room— including their organic Pear wine. They will also be featuring homemade pear crisps to pair with their wines.


Farms and attractions along the Fruit Loop are open from at least 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (wineries open at 11 a.m.), and charge no admission. For complete information about the Hood River Pear Celebration, for a listing of Fruit Loop farms, attractions and individual operating hours, and for an easy-to-follow map, visit the Fruit Loop website at

Printed copies are available at the Hood River County Visitors Center (Hood River exit 64 off Interstate 84), at area restaurants, stores, and lodging facilities, and at Fruit Loop locations. Have additional questions? Call the Fruit Loop information number at 541-386-7697.

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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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