Summer in the Gorge is like nowhere else: The Mid-Columbia’s wealth of indoor and outdoor happenings amounts to a long list of events, attractions and activities needing a good three months to exhaust.
It’s just about July 4 — see page A10-11 for full information on holiday events — and County Fair comes at the end of the month, but the rest of the month holds its own trove of fun.
Here is our periodic calendar of one activity to try each day, covering the first half of July:
July 1 — Pop-up Creation Station, 1 to 3 p.m., Library Lawn at Georgiana Smith Gardens, downtown Hood River, open to all. (Details on page A2.)
July 2 — Cherry Days, Packer Orchards Bakery and Farm Place, 3020 Thomsen Road, Pine Grove, near Highway 25 south of Hood River. Cherry jam, pies, cookies, and ice cream from the bakery, multiple varieties of cherries fresh from the farm, and lots of free samples. Call about U-pick availability at 541-234-4006.
July 3 — Independence Eve, Bingen Theater, 7 p.m.; comedy, music, poetry, and more, presented in Spanish and English by community members, broadcast on Radio Tierra. (Details on page A3.)
July 4 — The Heroes’ Challenge. Half marathon, 24.18-mile bike race, 5K run/walk available. Races start and finish at Cape Horn Skye Elementary in Washougal. $25 pre-registration for each event. All money raised goes directly to support local military veterans in times of need. (backaherotoday.com)
July 5 — Opening reception, Best of the Gorge exhibition, Columbia Center for the Arts, 5 p.m.
July 6 — An ale-some view: head to Solera Brewery in Parkdale for a handmade beer (ask for the low-alcohol but deliciously tangy Farmhouse) and the world-class view of Mt. Hood from the back lawn.
July 7 — The pool. What more can be said? Open swim 1 to 5 p.m., and $1 swim is 6 to 8 p.m. Hood River Aquatic Center, 541-386-1303.
July 8 — WAAAM Traffic Jam, 8-5 p.m. at WAAAM Air and Auto Museum. A car show and more. All types of vehicles are welcome to participate.
July 9 — Lavender Daze Festival, Hood River Lavender, near Odell, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 8-9. Live music, food, crafts and vendors, and plenty of u-pick lavender and lavender products. No pets. (www.Lavendar Daze.Com)
July 10 — Monday Night Open Sailing, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Hood River Marina, South Basin Dock. Gorge Sailing Team and Gorge Junior Sailing instructors will take you sailing in a small 1-2 person sailboat. Open to public; all ages and abilities welcome. No registration, just show up. Bring your life jacket. More at gorgejuniorsailing.org. Free, but donations appreciated.
July 11 — Springhouse Cellar, Ruins Tuesday, band unknown — does it matter? This is a unique Hood River musical tradition 5 to 9:30 p.m., all ages, no cover 5:30 to 7 p.m.; 21 and up with $3 cover 7 p.m. to close.
July 12 — “Bees and Beekeeping,” Brassica and Beer summer gardening seminar series, 6-7 p.m., free, at Volcanic Bottle Shoppe on the Heights. Sponsored by Oregon State University Central Gorge Master Gardeners.
July 13 — Learn to can fruits and pie fillings, just in time for the summer harvest: 6-9 p.m., FISH food bank. This OSU Food Preservation class costs $10; pre-register at:bit.ly/FoodPreservationa
July 14 — 11th Annual Kiteboarding 4 Cancer opens. The three-day kiteboarding festival held at the Hood River Event Site raises money to help people affected by cancer. (kiteboarding4cancer.org)
July 15 — Movies in the Park at Jackson Park. There will also be events in Cascade Locks and Odell (Spanish with English subtitles) in July and August, with dates and times TBA.
July 16 — Views of the Gods: Walk the length of Thunder Island. Park at Marine Park and finish up with a lunch at The Locks Café or a pint at Thunder Island Brewing. This unusual urban trail provides dramatic views of the cliffs on both sides of the Columbia River, the Bridge of the Gods, and the roiling Columbia itself.