A Blossom Welcome

This is simply a glorious time of year to be in the Hood River valley.

In April, and throughout the year, this is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the emergence of all those fruit blossoms just embosses the view, for locals and visitors alike.

Blossom Festival 2014 started last weekend, with plenty of great activities including the highly successful Hard-Pressed Cider Fest. With its huge and receptive turnout, little doubt this has earned the title “first annual”: We look forward to the 2015 edition. Its resounding success is a reflection of the new and widespread interest in cider, and the art of making it. The local cideries, and the Chamber, were correct to look for a way to catch that golden wave.

This weekend brings even more to see, feel, and taste throughout the Hood River valley. There’s pancakes and desserts for the palate, alpaca fleece and handmade baby clothes for the fingertips, classical music for the ears, and lavender for the nose. And that’s just for starters.

The Blossom Festival is a multi-faceted celebration of the importance of agriculture along with the culinary, horticultural, homecraft, and musical traditions that make this county so vibrant, literally and figuratively. The blossoms that give the festival its name are the lovely precursors of the edible wonders that will burst forth in round and oblong shapes this summer and fall, the bountiful fruit that grows from Hood River to Parkdale and even farther south.

The flowers tell us what is to come, and remind us of the critical role the orchards play in the economy and culture of this area. Enjoy your time this weekend, and think of ways to return to those orchards and other locations this summer and fall, to see the fruit in completion and enjoy even further delicious iterations of the county’s bounty.

Blossom is not only for visitors; new and familiar events are on the schedule this weekend, and together they comprise an excellent opportunity to enjoy fun and delicious things in our own backyard.

In the words of Mike Glover, chamber executive director, “It’s an exciting time of year and a great time to get out and explore. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, there’s so much to see and do — take in the Blossom Fest events and follow the Blossom Fest route to visit our local orchards and wineries.”

See page A1 for a summary of this weekend’s events, and look for more details and a map in Panorama, Blossoms section, along with the rest of Glover’s welcome letter.

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