‘Traditional’ Blossom Weekend

Hood River valley events April 18-20 bring good sights, sounds, and flavors

Plants for sale, desserts and fruit to sample, music to listen to, pancakes to eat are just a few examples of what’s in store this weekend with Hood River Blossom Festival, in its second weekend for 2014 throughout the Hood River valley.

Details on all events can be found in the Hood River News’ special section, Panorama, published April 12. Copies are available at the Hood River News’ offices, 419 State St.

Also, Chamber staff and volunteers will be at three locations in Hood River from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday to answer questions and give directions: Find them at the Chamber visitor center, next to exit 64 by the Hood River marina, at the junction of Highways 30 and 35, and on West Cascade Avenue adjacent to exit 62.

Blossom Craft Show and the Blossom Fest Quilt Show happen Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hood River County Fairgrounds. Admission and parking are free. More details on page A5.

Blossom Fest was expanded to three weekends in 2013 to take advantage of the full life of the pear, apple and cherry blossom season; April 18-20, with several long-standing events in place, the Chamber of Commerce terms “Traditional Blossom Weekend.”

Here are highlights:

n Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival returns for year four to the Best Western Hood River Inn’s Gorge Room, April 18-20, featuring classes on spinning, weaving and knitting, and a marketplace full of vendors from throughout the event. Entry and parking are free. (See Knot Another Hat, below, for more details.)

n Blossom Dinner, Parkdale Grange, April 19-20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10 for adults, $5 for children 4-12.

n Apple Valley Country Store Blossom Festival Dessert Party, April 19-20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., taste fresh baked pieces, crisps and cobblers, huckleberry milkshakes, ice cream, and more than 50 kinds of jams, syrups and jellies. Dine on cherry wood-smoked barbecue ribs, pulled pork, and hand-made bratwurst.

n West Side Fire Department holds its annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, April 20 from 7-11 a.m. at the Barrett Drive station. Cost is $7 for adults, $5 for senior, $4 for children; those under age 6 dine free.

n Happy Hands Craft and Bake Sale, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, happens Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to baked goods, browse handcrafted items including baby items, aprons and more. The church is located at 1140 Tucker Road, less than a mile south of town.

n Wine tastings at most local wineries, including those on the Columbia Gorge Passport tour (gorgewine.com)

At Mt. Hood Winery on Van Horn Drive in Pine Grove, savor spring releases on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $5 per wine flight.

n Jump Into Spring lavender event, at Hood River Lavender, 3801 Straight Hill Road, Odell, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Purchase plants and sample lavender tea and cookies at the scenic farm.

n Local yarn shop Knot Another Hat brings the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival back to the Best Western Hood River Inn for its fourth showing. The show brings hundreds of fiber enthusiasts to Hood River each year; past show attendees have come from around the Pacific Northwest, and as far as California and Idaho.

The show boasts a marketplace with over 25 artisan vendors from around the Pacific Northwest, including hand-dyed yarn and fiber artists, locally grown fiber, and even a creamery which will be offering both fiber and cheese from its farm. In addition to the market, attendees can find workshops ranging from knitting to rigid heddle weaving.

A new addition this year will be free demos in knitting, drop-spindle spinning, and rigid heddle weaving, which will run in the marketplace during show hours.

The CGFF kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday, April 18, with a no-host social in the Marketplace, and runs through Sunday. The Marketplace is free and open to the public; advanced registration is required for workshops. More information on the CGFF schedule and classes can be found on its website, columbiagorgefiberfestival.com. Festival hours are 4-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

n The Blossom Craft Show April 19-20 features artists, craftspeople and vendors from around the Northwest selling arts and crafts, garden art, handcrafted home furnishings and decorations, photos, dried flowers, gourmet food products, rhododendrons and azaleas, jewelry, beads, clothing, and more. Taste award-winning wines and enjoy all kinds of food.

n Odell Garden Club holds its popular annual plant sale Saturday at the Craft Show. The Hood River Valley High School FFA organization will be there offering a variety of plants for sale from their greenhouse both days. Plants grown by professional growers will be for sale throughout the event, too. Along with garden art, decorations, and more, the show is a “must” for those who love a beautiful yard, or who want to get a jump on their spring gardening.

n Plans call for the Sunday edition of the Blossom Craft Show features the Gorge Strings performing during the afternoon.

The Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers will be offering tasty Hood River pears fresh from controlled-atmosphere storage for sale.

The Special Olympics organization will both be on hand with a fundraiser to support their work.

n The annual Blossom Fest Quilt Show and Sale will be in the Floral Building at the fairgrounds. More than 100 beautiful handmade quilts will be on display, with many of them for sale. This show and sale is a favorite of quilt-lovers from around the Northwest.

Follow the signs to the Hood River County Fairgrounds, located at the intersection of Wy’east and Summit Roads, south of Hood River, near Odell.

Craft Show attendees may wish to visit the fairgrounds’ nearby outdoor arena, as well. An interesting ranch sorting event will be held that weekend. Watch horses and riders working cattle.

There is no admission charge for the Blossom Craft Show and Blossom Fest Quilt Show and Sale, and parking is free. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

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