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April 19-22: Blossom Festival, Earth Day

All over the valley, Blossom Festival, like the blossoms, will be in full flower this weekend.

Here is a roundup of festival events to enjoy:

Hood River History Museum, family activities and Fruit Label Swap Meet: Kids activities are planned Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 1-5 on Sunday. See details on page A5.

Casino Night and Barbecue, Parkdale Fire Department, Saturday, 5-11 p.m.; $20 buy-in, 21 and over, proceeds support fire department programs. Dine on tri-tip and ribs during the appreciation dinner at 5 p.m.; gaming starts at 7. Beer garden for ages 21 and up; local transportation home will be provided if needed.

Blossom Craft Fair and Quilt Show, Saturday and Sunday in Odell — see page B6 for full article.

West Side Fire Department All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast, Sunday 7-11 a.m., 4250 Barrett Drive; cost is $6 for adults, $4 seniors and $3 children; ages 6 and under eat free.

Happy Hands Craft and Bake Sale happens at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1140 Tucker Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

n Parkdale Grange Blossom Dinner, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10 adults, $5 children, kids three and under eat free.

History Museum

In addition to the hands-on Exploration Space, The History Museum is celebrating Blossom Fest with special fruit-themed crafts. Make your own orchard tree, create art from fruit labels, or even design your own label.

The History Museum, Sue Naumes and Kelsey Doncaster will again host a fruit label show and swap meet on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The History Museum. Learn and acquire a piece of the Hood River Valley’s label history. Fruit labels will be available for sale and trade all day. Free Hood River labels will be given to anyone who attends.

Sue Naumes is a longtime collector of apple and pear labels whose father was born and raised in Hood River. Kelsey Doncaster is a Pacific Northwest historian and fruit label collector. They both will be at The History Museum from 10 until 3 to show labels and answer questions. People are encouraged to bring in their labels or if they have Hood River Valley, White Salmon Valley or The Dalles fruit industry history to share.

From mid-1890 until the late 1960s fruit from the Columbia Gorge was shipped in wood boxes with colorful paper labels pasted to the ends. The labels were attractive images to entice buyers in fruit auction houses and customers at local grocery stores. Fruit labels varied in themes — some had pastoral scenes of the orchards or instead may feature young women, while others focused on recognizable Northwest images like Mount Hood to catch the buyer’s eye.

The fruit-growing areas of the Columbia Gorge contained some of the finest examples of stone lithography. The boxed apples, pears and cherries were shipped as far away as Europe and Asia. Sadly, with the coming of the cardboard box these labels became obsolete and are now an historical item sought after by collectors or those who worked in the fruit industry.

Images of America

Museum Director and author Connie Nice will be hosting a book signing at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Nice will be sharing a bit about some of the background and process that she and the book team volunteers had to go through to get this interesting book published.

Books will be for sale as well in the museum store. All proceeds from sale of the books and other items in the museum store go to support ongoing museum education programs as well as archive collection needs.

With Blossom also comes Earth Day, April 20. Here are a variety of ways to celebrate Earth Day in the Gorge:

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Gorge Ecumenical Ministries invites the community to celebrate Earth Day (and night) with a potluck dinner, discussion and movie viewing on the evening of April 21.

The event will take place at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Hood River. The potluck dinner will begin at 6, followed by a showing of the new documentary “Do the Math” at 7.

The movie, which will premiere worldwide on April 21, is a moving and inspiring 42-minute film about the rising movement to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis and challenge the fossil fuel industry.

“We will gather as people who love God’s precious creation to learn, connect and inspire one another to act boldly in this time of crisis,” stated Rev. Carmichael.

All are welcome and there is no charge for the event. St. Mark’s is located at the corner of 11th and Eugene streets in Hood River. For further information about the film, check out 350.org/math. To learn more about the GEM event on April 21, contact Rev. Carmichael at 541- 386-2077.

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Gorge Owned (GO!) and dozens of partners and sponsors invite residents from around the Gorge to participate in 2013 Gorge Earth Day. GO! is coordinating a community-wide celebration that includes Hands-to-Work volunteer projects, kids activities at Hood River Waterfront Park, the annual Community Pride Cleanup in Bingen and a party at Springhouse Cellar.

“Gorge Earth Day is a longstanding tradition here in the Gorge,” says Lindsay Miller, GO!’s executive director. “It’s a community-building event that brings people together to collaborate and celebrate the great work being done by local groups to make this a healthier community.”

Gorge Owned, which recently merged with the Columbia Gorge Earth Center, is hosting an Earth Day and Launch Party on Saturday, April 20, at Springhouse Cellar Winery from 6-10 p.m.

At the party, Gorge Owned will announce the third-annual Tod LeFevre Sustainability Champion Awards, which celebrates people who are working on innovative, creative solutions to the environmental, economic and social issues facing the Gorge.

The Launch Party will also include short presentations from local innovators, including Seth Tibbott, CEO of Turtle Island Foods, and Michael Becker from Hood River Middle School. We Media Project will be live-streaming the festivities and Solstice Wood Fired Cafe and Mobile Oven will be selling pizza.

Details about the week’s scheduled events are listed below, as well as at GorgeOwned.org/Gorge-Earth-Day. Presenting sponsors include CenterPointe Community Bank, Grow Organic, Solstice Wood Fired Cafe and Mobile Pizza Oven, Springhouse Cellar Winery and We Media Project.

Events

n April 20 — Gorge Owned Earth Day Celebration and Launch Party, featuring TED talk-style presentations by local innovators and bluegrass by The Student Loan, 6-10 p.m. at Springhouse Cellar Winery, 13 Railroad Ave., Hood River. Cost: $10 suggested donation

n April 20 — Kids activities at Waterfront Community Park, 9 a.m. to noon: While adults are weeding and beautifying the park, kids can participate in numerous fun activities presented by Columbia Riverkeeper, Cascade Mountain School, Mt. Adams Institute, Columbia Gorge Ecology Center, Let’s Get Out, Cascadia Adventure Education School, Hood River Community Education and Climb Like a Monkey Summer Camps. Cost: Free

n April 20-24 — Hands to Work Projects (times and locations vary). Put on your gloves and boots and give back to the community by volunteering for one of many service projects. For a list of projects visit http://bit.ly/10ZNNuZ.

n April 22 — School Garden Symposium, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Hood River Middle School. Gorge Grown Food Network coordinates this one-day symposium where students and staff from the area come together to learn how to run successful educational farm-to-table programs. For more info visit info@GorgeGrown.org.

n April 26-28 — 18th Annual Community Pride Cleanup, in Bingen, Wash., from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For $5, Washington residents can responsibly dispose of household items, appliances, building materials, yard debris and more. For more info visit http://bit.ly/ZPp9JV.

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