Wine-Pear Festival returns May 17-18

The Columbia Gorge Wine and Pear Festival returns May 17-18, and meeting the vintners and the growers is a big part of its appeal.

Seven local food vendors will be on hand, and there will be 23 wineries and three cideries, and several dozen artists and craftspeople representing media ranging from textiles and teas to sculpture and furniture. Local musicians will provide rock, folk, bluegrass and jazz both afternoons.

Hood River Rotary and Oregon Pear Bureau present the event, with proceeds going to local scholarships. (See page A2 for details on attending the event.)

Pears will be available for sampling at the Oregon Pear Bureau booth, which this year has been moved from a corner in the entry area to a corner location near the entry of the main hangar. The music stage has also been relocated so visitors get to it after passing through the vendors.

The festival features local wines from noted award-winning winemakers including: Bob Lorkowski, John Haw and Rich Cushman. Admission includes wine-tastings from wineries and vineyards, pairings with local fruit, specially selected food from local restaurants, art from noted local artisans, and music by renowned Gorge musicians.

Attendees will also be able to stroll through the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, one of the largest collections of still-flying antique airplanes and still-driving antique automobiles in the country.

“We’ll have a selection of green and red Anjou pears, and 12 growers will be there throughout both days, as our guest ambassadors,” said Pear Bureau spokeswoman Brittany Wilmes. “It’s been a good year for sales but we still have 12 percent of our supplies in storage, and this gives growers the chance to connect with the public.”

The bureau will provide recipes and nutrition information.

“We really just want to showcase pears and how good they are to eat,” Wilmes said.

Rotary’s Dave Bick said the attendance goal this year is 4,000-5,000, up from the 3,000 who visited last year.

“Many of the booths staffed by owners or winemakers, allowing people to speak directly to the people who make the wine,” Bick said. “We’re happy to be working with the folks at WAAAM, as visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the museum as part of the cost.

“We’re trying to give a little more value to the tickets,” he added; the first 1,500 people will get a tote bag to carry around. Also new this year is a 12-page event guide.

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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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