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Hood River, Odell, Parkdale host fall festivals

The cornucopia pours forth once more with this weekend’s Hood River Valley Harvest Fest, in its 21st year at Hood River Expo Center.

Friendly cousin events take place the same weekend in Hood River County (details below) providing an easy day’s loop that takes in every kind of Hood River County produce.

Harvest season in Oregon yields a bounty, ranking it among the top agricultural regions in the world in both the quality and diversity of local crops.

Some of Oregon’s most hailed and revered products will take center stage at this year’s Hood River Valley Harvest Fest.

At the Expo Center and other locations, a total of 19 special harvest-related events are taking place throughout the Valley during the weekend.

Of course, there will be Hood River’s famous winter pears, apples, and wines. Also ready to be bagged, boxed, or eaten on site are Oregon-grown cranberries, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, peppers, garlic, onions, gourds and pumpkins, specialty jams, jellies and preserves, and salmon.

It’s all framed by the spectacular autumn colors of the surrounding countryside, with the winds of the Columbia River Gorge still hosting legions of autumn-season windsurfers, and snow-capped Mt. Hood nearby.

Harvest Fest is Hood River’s largest annual event. More than 25,000 people attended the 2002 Hood River Valley Harvest Fest from throughout the Northwest.

Along with some of Oregon’s best agricultural growers, more than 100 of the region’s finest artisans, quilters and crafts people will offer their wares, which range from fine art and photography to homemade fudge, from bonzai trees to stained glass. There will be more than 130 vendor booths in all, plus live entertainment all weekend long. (Details on this page.) A variety of other events occur during Harvest Fest weekend.

On Oct. 18-19, the Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair returns to the Hood River County Fairgrounds in Odell, just south of the town of Hood River. Turn to page A8 for details.

Rasmussen Farms’ popular Pumpkin Funland will be in full swing. Pumpkin Funland was named one of the Top 10 best Halloween places for kids by Nick Jr.com in 2001 and 2002. Apple Valley Country Store will hold its Huckleberry Dessert Party.

Mt. Hood Railroad will offer scenic rail excursions to Parkdale, located in southern Hood River County, where riders can explore the Parkdale Fine Arts & Music festival and the Fiesta Days Celebration, Oct. 18-19.

The festival runs 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Cascade Trio will play music from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Savant Garde will perform from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., both days.

Local artisans will present pottery, Native designs, furniture, bird houses, glass and metal works, botanical cards and wreaths, photography, jewelry, clothing, and other items, along with local fruit, produce and cider.

Call 386-3556 to arrange train tickets from Hood River to Parkdale and back; excursions leave at 10 a.m. from Hood River, returning at 2:15 p.m., and 3 p.m., returning at 7:15 p.m., both days.

For more information on any of these events, call 386-2000, or visit www.hoodriver.org

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