Hood River Blossom Festival starts this weekend

Blossom Fest’s first of three weekends offers plenty of family-friendly activities around the Hood River valley. The Hood River News’ Panorama special section, published April 12, gives the full Blossom schedule and map, but here is the list of what’s happening this Friday through Sunday, weekend one.

Cascade Alpacas and Foothills Yarn and Fiber — Abstract Fiber Trunk Show, April 12-27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., 4207 Sylvester Drive, near Odell.

Gorge Artists Open Studio Tour, April 11-13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all three days; visit artists in their natural habitat — their own studios, in the sixth-annual tour. Free tour guides available at Columbia Art Gallery, Third and Cascade, and online at gorgeartists.org.

Hard-Pressed Cider Fest, April 12 in Odell (see article, page A1).

Rasmussen Farms Spring Flower and Garden Days, 3020 Thomsen Road, Pine Grove (6 miles south of Hood River), select from a large selection of pansies, frost-hardy perennials, herbs and accent plants, single or by the flat. Plenty of free parking.

Second Saturday at Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 12; $12 adults, $6 students, $10 seniors, kids under 5 get in free. Trained volunteers drive or fly some of the 375-plus vehicles on Second Saturday; rides offered in old cars.

Wy’east Vineyards, 3189 Highway 35; $5 tasting fee waived with bottle purchase; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., During Passport Month, this and other participating wineries offer specials on bottle purchases.

(For more information on current and future art exhibits, see the April 9 Hood River News, Kaleidoscope section, and the Spring 2014 edition of The Gorge magazine, available at the Hood River News office and at local shops and cafes.)

For more Blossom Fest information, stop by the Chamber kiosks on Button Bridge Road, near exit 64, and on West Cascade, near exit 62. Also, visit the Chamber Visitor Center, on Marina Drive near exit 64, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., where free fruit and Ryan’s Juice are served.

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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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