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Lots to do on Labor Day

Labor Day weekend is here, and with it a Hood River signature for this weekend, and all others, the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim.

The swim is currently sold out, but there is a waiting list, first-come-first-served, on the morning of the event.

More than 500 people will get aboard the sternwheeler Columbia Gorge, jump in on the Bingen side, and swim back to the Best Western Hood River Inn; first swimmers across make it by about 8 a.m..

See details below on how boaters can join the support flotilla.

If you have a burning desire to swim, be at the Chamber of Commerce office (next to I-84 exit 64) by 5 a.m., “if not before,” said the Chamber’s Rara Byrne, who will be the one to sign you up if there is space.

Swimmers must have the exact payment of $70, and sign a release form.

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Looking for other Labor Day activities?

Schools, banks and many businesses will be closed — including Hood River News offices — and there is no mail delivery Monday, but there are plenty of things to do.

n Hood River Aquatic Center will be open Sunday from 1-5 p.m. for open swim, and on Monday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with open swims from 1-5 and 7-9 p.m.

The pool will close Sept. 3 for its two-week annual cleaning.

n Wineries throughout the Gorge hold their annual Labor Day Open House Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Go to columbiagorgewine.com for full details.

Wineries include Hood River’s newest, Hood Crest Winery, west of town, also serving wood-fired pizza.

n A Glass Act, the glass art exhibit at Columbia Art Center, will be open Saturday and Sunday.

See live demonstration in the studio of painted and cast glass from noon to 3 p.m.; the event is free. The center is located at Third and Cascade streets.

n On Sept. 2, Timberline Lodge presents its annual Americana Music Festival, which is free, starting at 1 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater with Broken Top. Great Northern Planes plays at 2 p.m., The Barn Birds at 3, and Rita Hoskins and Cousin Jack at 4 p.m. Headliners Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band takes the stage at 6 p.m.

The all-ages show takes place rain or shine; no dogs please. Musicians are invited to bring instruments and jam on the “pickin’ patio.”

n Boats are needed to support the Cross Channel Swim on Labor Day. Volunteers’ boats need to be on the line east of the Hood River Bridge at 7:15 a.m.

The Chamber has promised coffee and treats for the boats anchored on the line.

Email Doug Archbald of Hood River Yacht Club at doug@donnunamaker.com or 541 490-7846.

If you plan to have your boat on the line, bring some festive clothing, an instrument, cowbell or something outrageous to turn the swim into a party.

“The whole event is good fun, and I think a carnival atmosphere from the volunteers would really add to the swimmer’s experience!” Archbald said.

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