A Hummin' Summer

Sternwheelers to tank engines, fireworks to Lugnuts, the warm season brings a bounty of events tailored to families

The rising temperatures last week let Hood River residents know that, while the solstice hasn’t quite arrived, it might as well be summer in the valley.

With those soaring temperatures, staying cooped up indoors becomes more difficult, especially when there are fresh-out-of-school children to deal with.

Bearing these concerns in mind, The News presents a brief rundown of some summer events (see coming editions for more) that will let the whole family enjoy fun — and even educational — events close to home.


The Columbia Gorge Lions will present Sternwheeler Days from June 28-30 in Cascade Locks. The festivities begin on Friday with excursion rides on the Sternwheeler “Columbia Gorge.”

Over 40 food and craft booths will be on-hand to browse through, with live music, bingo, and children’s activities including pony rides, a petting zoo, kiddy train rides, The Bounce, mini-racers and games.

A salmon bake will be held on Saturday from 1-5 p.m., and Thunder Mountain will be alive with a rendezvous of Mountain Men and Women depicting fur-trading camps of the 1830-40s along with the “1856” Army Men’s regiment. There will also be salmon fishing in the old locks. Overnight parking is available overlooking the Columbia River.

The annual Sternwheeler Day parade will be Saturday at 11 a.m. Festival hours are Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cruises on the Sternwheeler are available all weekend. Call 541-374-8427 or 800-643-1354 for more information, or visit www.sternwheeler.com.

Hood River’s Fourth of July celebration at Jackson Park will include a children’s play area, music, food and market vendors. The Gorge Winds Big Band, White Salmon Jazz Band, and the Rock and Roll of Dennis Williams and Friends will fill the summer air following the parade, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 12th Street from upper Heights to Jackson Park.

For park information call 386-3999, and for parade information call 387-9370.

The Hood River Eyeopeners Lions Club will provide a fireworks show, a tradition the club has carried since 1980. The Eyeopeners will operate a retail fireworks booth in the Safeway parking, and all proceeds will go directly to the fireworks fund. The Lions are also accepting donations to help make the show possible. Checks should be made payable to “Lions Fireworks” and may be sent to Lions Fireworks, 3950 Hays Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.


An Antique Appraisal Fair will be June 30 from 1-4 p.m. at the Hood River County Historical Museum, located at Port Marina Park.

The Museum, along with the Hood River County Historical Society, is sponsoring the free antique appraisal service for anyone in the general public interested in having a professional evaluation of their family treasures.

The lead appraiser is Shari Keeler, past president and past secretary of the Oregon Antiques Dealers Association, as well as 15-year member of the International Society of Appraisers. She has 25 years of experience and has been involved in numerous Northwest antique shows.

No firearms or Oriental rugs will be appraised. Donations will be accepted to help offset costs. For more information call museum coordinator Connie Nice at 386-6772.


In recognition of the 100th anniversary of 4-H, the theme of the 2002 Hood River County Fair is “Red, White and Blue, 4-H is For You!” The fair comes to the fairgrounds near Odell from July 31 to Aug. 3.

In addition to open class, 4-H, FFA and commercial exhibits, there will be carnival rides and midway fun, special entertainment every evening, fair music, displays and food.

Wednesday is Family Night, and for $10 after 5 p.m. an entire car full of family and friends gains entrance to the fair, and the opportunity to enjoy the new Fair Talent Contest from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the fairgrounds’ park area. If you’re a county resident and wish to perform for cash prizes, pick up information at the fair office, at Columbia Market in Cascade Locks, Columbia River Bank, KIHR Radio, Rosauers, Annz Panz, Mid Valley Market, McIsaac’s in Parkdale, or Zeman’s Music. Among the sponsors of the event is the Mt. Hood Bluegrass Festival.

Thursday is Senior Citizen’s Day. Seniors pay $2 admission, and are invited to enjoy a lunch sponsored by Mid-Columbia Senior Services, Safeway and Rosauers. That evening, the popular Latino band Gruppo Fugazz will perform on the main stage.

Friday evening, the Gorge’s own Les Richardson brings his “New Country” sound to the main stage at 8 p.m. On Saturday evening, fair favorites Williams and Ree return with their unique brand of great vocals and comedy at 7:30 p.m. All performances are free with admission to the fair.

Other fair fun includes Sourdough Slim’s comedy music, sagebrush humor, yodeling and more each day on the park stage. The creatures of Brad’s Reptiles will return, and on Wednesday and Friday evenings the Hood River Soroptimist Club will host barbecues. Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the barn area is the 4-H/FFA animal auction. Saturday morning, the 16th annual Open Horse Show takes place along with the Custom Car Show.

Every day will be “Bracelet Day” on Cascade Amusements’ carnival rides. Save money on carnival rides by purchasing a $15 ride bracelet for $12 in advance of the fair’s opening, available at the fair office at Waucoma Bookstore, and must be purchased by 5 p.m. on July 31.

For more information about the fair, call 354-2865.


Children and adults alike can find something to enjoy at Rasmussen Farms this summer. Young children can visit Thomas the Tank Engine and the bin maze, open June 16 - July 14.

A cherry celebration will be held July 1-4 with recipes, 10-15 varieties of cherries to sample, pie and desserts, and live music. The celebrations continue August 3-4 from noon to 5 p.m. with Afternoons in the Country, featuring complementary wine sampling from Hood River Vineyards, herb teas and breads, U-cut and ready-cut bouquets, a picnic area and live music, and a 20-acre vegetable garden scavenger hunt for the kids.

To reach Rasmussen Farms, travel on Highway 35 to Fir Mountain Road and follow the signs. For more information call 386-4622, or visit www.RasmussenFarms.com.


Saturday Market events continue until Oct. 12 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 5th and Cascade in downtown Hood River, across from Full Sail Brewery.

Children’s Market Days will be held this Saturday and on July 27, Aug. 24 and Sept. 28. On such days the market is open for local children to try their hands at becoming merchants.

This Saturday will feature a special performance by the Mid Valley Mexican Folk Dancers.

For more information call 387-8349, email lisaconway @gorge.net, or visit www.community.gorge.net/saturdaymarket.


The 20th-anniversary Families in the Park concert series returns to Jackson Park starting Aug. 1, with Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts. Community groups serve up food with proceeds going to good causes. Or, bring your own picnic, stretch out on the lawn and enjoy the music. The series runs each Thursday in August, with music starting at 7 p.m.


A “Day Out With Thomas,” daily June 28 through July 7, at the Mount Hood Railroad depot in Hood River.

Take a half-hour excursion along the Hood River aboard “Thomas,” made famous in books and on PBS in “Thomas and Friends.”

Back at the depot enjoy music, balloon making, a video viewing station, Learning Curve Station, coloring station, and meet Sir Topham Hatt. It costs $14 to ride the train (call 1-800-872-4661), which will run hourly from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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