Blossom Fest starts with cider

Hard-Pressed Fest in Odell celebrates valley’s burgeoning libation industry

It is blossom time again, and Hood River Blossom Festival starts off Saturday with a new event: Hard-Pressed Cider Fest, noon to 6 p.m. in Odell.

For the second year, the Chamber of Commerce presents Blossom Fest for three weeks instead of just one weekend, to take advantage of the full extent of the flowering of the pear, apple and cherry trees that grace the valley all this month.

Panorama, the Hood River News’ annual special section, returns April 12 with its full list of Blossom events, and a feature on the Cider Fest, held about 10 minutes south of Hood River at Mt. Defiance Cold Storage.

The event will feature 40 or so artisan ciders from 11 Oregon cideries — over a third of which are from the Hood River Valley. Guests will also get to enjoy a menu of local cuisines from smoked barbecue to American pub fare to gluten-free and vegetarian dishes, produce and arts vendors, a kids area, and a lineup of local music with genres that range from bluegrass to classic rock.

“We are very excited about the expanding cider industry in the area, the Hard-Pressed Cider Fest is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the art of cider making,” said Ashley Huckaby May, event coordinator for the chamber of commerce, which is putting on the cider fest. “We hope to see the event grow exponentially in the next few years.”

The name of the event is in reference to the ages-old act of pressing apples, which creates juice that is later fermented into cider.

Cider Fest Facts

WHEN: Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Mt. Defiance Cold Storage, 3351 Stadelman Drive, Odell, just off Highway 35 — look for the “Cider Fest” signs

Updated cidery list: Atlas Cider, Portland; Bull Run Cider, Forest Grove;

Carlton Cyderworks,

Carlton; Fox-Tail Cider, Odell; Gorge Cyder House, Hood River; Gorge White House, Pine Grove; Hood Valley Hard Cider Co., Parkdale; Portland Cider Company, Portland

Rack and Cloth, Mosier

Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Portland; Two Towns Cider, Corvallis

COST: $10 for ages 21+ (includes glass and four 3-oz. taste tokens)

Free for those under age 21 and designated drivers.

PARKING: At Mt. Defiance and neighboring areas; look for parking helpers.

FOOD VENDORS: Apple Valley BBQ, Nouveau Raw and Oldfather Farms, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Columbia Cochon featuring Pine Street Bakery rolls, Cascadia Creamery, Ryan’s Juice, and Gorge Grown.

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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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