Hood River County is one of those blessed places where the harvest happens close to home, and we all have the opportunity to celebrate it.
The 35th annual Harvest Fest, one of the community’s greatest local traditions, fills the Event Site Friday and Saturday (pages A13-14) and it’s a chance to sample the wide variety of local fruits and vegetables available this time of year, along with the artistic and culinary creations of neighbors as well as more far-flung visitors. The festival draws vendors and visitors from throughout the Northwest, but it maintains a distinctly local feel. It happens rain or shine, and look for plenty of tents, and ample parking at the event.
Or, take in any number of fruit stands and agricultural enterprises in this the peak season of world-famous Hood River Valley fruit. Along the Fruit Loop (hoodriverfruitloop.com) farmers and their employees welcome visitors to sample ripest Comice pears, freshest apple cider, and desserts and other locally-made and locally-grown fare. The fact that these places are literally just a few miles up the road is an oft-overlooked benefit of living where we do.
Note that the annual Gorge fruit and Craft Fair, a Hood River tradition in its own right, happens on a separate weekend, Oct. 21-22, at Hood River County Fairgrounds. Having the two related events take place on the same weekend had always been a pleasant synchronicity, but this way visitors and residents will have two opportunities to celebrate the bounty.
Fallen Firefighters, Las Vegas victims
Governor Kate Brown ordered all flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset for two reasons last week, including the memory of the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. On Oct. 8, the governor ordered the flags lowered in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, which coincides with Fire Prevention Week.
“Especially after one of the most intense wildfire seasons in recent Oregon history, I cannot be more thankful to all our firefighters, many of whom serve their local communities as volunteers,” Gov. Brown said. “We honor the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and give special pause to recognize the bravery of firefighters who stand ready around the clock to protect homes and save lives. I encourage all Oregonians to join me in honoring our firefighters to do your part to help prevent fires.”