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Cherry Days blossoms along Fruit Loop this weekend

Fresh picked cherries and cherries transformed into all kinds of specialty products will be part of Fruit Loop’s annual Cherry Days Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event features a variety of activities located throughout the Hood River Valley.

The all time favorite varieties of Bing, Lambert, Queen Anne, Rainier, Van and Lapin Cherries will be available and festival goers will have an opportunity to taste cherries tucked into just about everything imaginable all weekend long.

A Very Cherry Dessert Party presented by Apple Valley Country Store will feature culinary creations made from cherries. Selections include Black Forest Cherry Cake, Chocolate Cherry Almond Fudge, Cherry Cream Cheese Pie and Cherry Rugelach to name a few. Fresh baked Cherry Pies plus Cherry milkshakes and Cherry Ice Cream Sundaes will also be available.

Free balloons and face painting for kids will be the draw at Packer’s Cookie Stop. Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies along with Cherry Cream Cheese Tarts and home made sweet cherry ice cream are also on the menu.

Visitors can choose between two behind-the-scenes farm tours as well. For those interested in what goes on at a commercial cherry orchard at the peak of cherry harvest, a one hour tour of A&J Enterprises will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Third generation grower Sam Asai will take visitors through his cherry orchard and packing area and provide insight into the life of a commercial cherry grower.

Double Dutch Alpaca Farm is also offering a tour of its alpaca farm at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They offer an interesting discussion showing the entire process — from sheering the alpacas to spinning the fleece and creating the final garment. There is no charge for either of the farm tours.

Those interested in picking their own cherries will want to visit Alice’s Orchard or Kiss Orchard in Hood River or Draper’s Farm in Parkdale. There’ll also be u-pick blueberries at Nelson’s Blueberries or Browning’s Blueberries.

Or for those who just want to enjoy driving the scenic 35 mile Fruit Loop, a variety of farms selling fresh cherries will be found along the way: A&J Enterprises, the Berry Brier, Country Faire Fruit Market, Sakura Ridge or Rasmussens. Other stops are the tasting rooms at Hood River Vineyards or Flerchinger Vineyards.

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