Take in Pear Party this weekend

The celebration of Oregon’s official state fruit happens this weekend with the annual Pear Celebration all along the famous Hood River County Fruit Loop. Fruit stands, wineries, farms and attractions along the valley’s scenic “loop” will be offering fresh pears, pear products and more.

A wide variety of pears will be available to taste and purchase. There will also be pear wine, pear desserts, pear recipes, and many more special treats. In addition, pear lovers will find all sorts of other fine food, produce and products, and country fun along the Fruit Loop during the Pear Celebration.

With “Desserts Galore!” Kiyokawa Family Orchards teams up with some of the area’s best bakers to prepare a selection of pear, apple, and peach desserts using fruit from the Kiyokawa orchards. Kiyokawa’s is also a place to enjoy a picnic, take a free orchard tour or hay wagon ride, let the kids romp in the play area, pick your own fruit in their huge U-pick orchard, and enjoy other family fun. Visit the well-stocked fruit stand for fresh cider, local honey, and more.

Visit Rasmussen Farms for the original Pear Party. Enjoy live music each afternoon, wine tasting, pear pie, tasty selections from the food cart, samples of Northwest food products, many varieties of fresh pears to try, and lots of free recipes. Kids will love the free themed corn maze, and a sneak preview of Pumpkin Funland. There is a picnic area, and fresh fall fruit, vegetables, autumn decorating items, and cold beverages in the sales barn.

Find “Family Fun on the Farm” at Draper Girls’ Country Farm. During September they have a large selection of U-pick fruit and more available, including pears, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, and apples, including Honey Crisp. Ready-picked fruit and vegetables, gifts, and treats, too. They will have their refreshing non-pasteurized cider, jams, jellies, honey, and Grandma’s famous cinnamon-sugar dried apples.

At The Gorge White House try a pear-gorgonzola pizza from the food cart, complimentary tastes of their Heritage Bosc Pear Wine in the historic tasting room, and the ice cold pear-based hard ciders on tap. Fresh Bartlett, Starcrimson, Anjou, Bosc, and Comice pears will be available in the fruit stand, along with pear recipe ideas, sauces, syrups, cookies and more.

Cody Orchards and Fruit Stand celebrate with the “Pear Party at Cody Orchards.” Special for the weekend are Donna’s Pear Pies, food to savor from Ahi’s Ohana Catering Co., canning and preserving demonstrations, scavenger hunts and a wagon and tractor area for kids, and a “Give a Hand to Farmers” mural. (Check their website for u-pick varieties available.) Friendly dogs on leash are welcome at Cody’s.

It’s “Pear Season at Pearl’s.” Sample many varieties of orchard-fresh, glacier-fed pears grown in the heart of the Hood River Valley. Taste the healthful goodness while surrounded by beautiful, fruitful orchards.

Find wonderful pear dumplings, stuffed with sugar and spices, wrapped in a flaky pie crust and baked to perfection, vanilla pear pies, cranberry pear crisp, and much more at “Apple Valley Country Store’s Pear Festival.” Enjoy a meal of cherry-wood smoked barbecue ribs, pulled pork, and chicken, all served with cider baked beans and pear coleslaw.

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 about the Hood River Pear Celebration, for a listing of Fruit Loop farms, attractions and individual operating hours, and for an easy-to-follow map, visit the Fruit Loop website at www.hoodriverfruit-loop.com.

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