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Celebration makes HR bounty a-pear-ant

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

September 16, 2006

The Hood River Pear Celebration this year takes place Saturday and Sunday, all along the Hood River Valley.

Pear lovers will find all sorts of fine food and country fun along the Fruit Loop during the Pear Celebration. More than 18 different varieties of pears will be available to try and purchase. Events include:

Rasmussen Farms’ Pear Party, now in its 13th year. Enjoy live music each afternoon; wine tasting, all kinds of pears, pear treats, and their popular Corn Maze.

Apple Valley’s Food and Craft Fair celebrates great local food and crafts. Find specialties including breads, cheeses, homemade sodas, flaky pear dumplings, unique pear jams and other treats, then browse the craft market.

Sweet treats are the focus at Country Girl Fruit Farm, too. They’ll have chocolate-dipped dried pears, chocolate fondue for dipping fresh pears, and their special pear pies.

Try a tasty “Pie in a Cone” at Packer’s Cookie Stop, or warm cookies, or a delicious pie ….

At Draper’s Farm, there will be pear and apple pies, cookies, and homemade cider, in addition to lots of fresh fruit.

Sparkling vanilla cider, chocolate-covered pears and a wide selection of fresh pears are featured at The Fruit Company (closed Sunday). Take the whole family on The Fruit Company Express orchard Tour.

An orchard tour will take place Sunday, at A & J Enterprises. Find lots of pears and apples, too.

Tours are on tap at Cody Orchards, as well, as part of their “Pear-fect Pears” celebration. There is also accordion music at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, pear pie, pear samples, and more.

Pear wine and pear butter can be found at Pheasant Valley Winery. All of the wineries along the Fruit Loop will be offering tastes of award-winning wines.

The Pear Celebration weekend is the kick-off of the “Hispanic Heritage Month” observance at Alice’s Orchard and Fruit Stand. Learn about the Hispanic culture with piñatas, recipes, and more.

At the Lavender Valley Lavender Farm, discover lavender-pear vinegar, lavender tea, lavender products, lavender scones and pears, and hand-painted glassware.

Farms and attractions along the Fruit Loop are open from at least 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (wineries open at 11 a.m.), and charge no admission. For complete information, visit the Fruit Loop Web site at www.hoodriverfruitloop.com.

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