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Windfest hits town this weekend

Drive along Oak Street and you know immediately windsurfing season has arrived. Cars loaded with boards and sails vie for parking spots. Colorful rows of sale items crowd the sidewalks outside downtown windsurfing shops.

To celebrate the return of the warm west summer winds, the American Windsurfing Industry Association (AWIA), along with the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association (CGWA) have put together three days of activities, called Windfest, that anyone can enjoy and take part in.

AWIA will be offering the chance to try all types of brand new windsurfing gear from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, at the Event Site. Cost is five dollars a day to demo as many boards and sails as you want. Free lessons will also be offered.

Saturday night from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., CGWA will host its 9th annual Pray for Wind Party at the Best Western Hood River Inn. The Northwest’s premiere Reggae band, Byron Mercurius & Rhythm Culture will play. There will be a silent and oral auctions, along with numerous raffles. There will be a full barbeque menu for $5 a plate. Tickets for the Pray for Wind Party can be purchased in advance for $10 at Big Winds, Windance, and Windwing, or for $12 at the door. Sunday morning from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. bargain hunt at CGWA’s all recreation gear swap meet held in the Hood River Expo parking lot.

For more information on Windfest weekend, visit www.cgwa.net.

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