How do you get Mother Nature to keep a date?
Expand the schedule.
Turning Blossom Festival from one weekend to three this year proved highly successful, according to Kerry Cobb, executive director of Hood River Chamber of Commerce.
Next year the chamber’s April celebration of the valley’s floral orchard display will be renamed “Blossom Time.”
Cobb explained that events newly associated with Blossom, such as Passport to Wine and Gorge Artists Open Studios, will be scheduled the first weekend, and the second weekend of Blossom Time will be designated “Blossom Fest.”
That’s the weekend people are used to attending predominately mid- to upper valley events such as Blossom Craft Show, Parkdale Grange Dinner, West Side Fire Department breakfast, Parkdale Fire Department Casino Night and others.
Cobb said the third weekend of Blossom Time will emphasize downtown Hood River.
“We got really good feedback. People were glad to have it expanded,” Cobb said. “For many visitors it’s just about the blossoms, and we have some people who come every year for certain events, and they want to know exactly when these events happen. We want to be clear on the traditional things and then expand it for everybody else to do stuff.”
As a measure of the size of the Blossom Fest attendance, Cobb said the chamber handed out double the number of Blossom Fest guides this year.
“We had far higher numbers, particularly the first couple weekends,” she said. “The final weekend, there was not as much scheduled so people came out just for the blossoms.”
That said, Gorge White House, Packers Orchard and Bakery and Foothills Alpacas “were all jammed, and we had gorgeous weather all three weekends,” according to Cobb.
The blossoms peaked on the second weekend and stayed full in the third weekend.
“The timing was right; we had blossoms pretty much the whole time. It’s still beautiful,” Cobb said.