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PEAR fruit gradually emerges on Barrett Drive trees, nurtured by waters from snow-laden Mount Hood.

Centerpiece events arrive April 20-21 for Blossom Time in the Hood River Valley.

Farms, fruit stands and other businesses provide plenty to see, taste and feel throughout the year, but this weekend brings the two main events of this season of floral anticipation among the miles and miles of pear, apple and cherry trees burgeoning with buds, if not full blossoms.

Orchardists report a later-than-usual blossoming, but the abundant fruit-to-be can easily be seen from Hood River to Parkdale.

The 2019 Blossom Fest Craft Show and Blossom Fest Quilt Show and Sale — Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, located at 3020 Wy’east Road, near the community of Odell.

Hood River Hard Pressed Cider Fest, April 20 at Mountain View Orchards facility on Stadelman Drive near Highway 35 — Hood River and Gorge cider makers share the spotlight with their fermenting friends from around Oregon and Washington in the fifth annual event.

The daylong cider event also features a lineup of local music, and a kids’ activity area. Cider Fest is rain-or-shine, as the tasting area takes place in a covered hall. Parking is free; pets are not allowed into the festival, but a new “pet parking” service is provided.

The festival is the main event in Hood River Chamber of Commerce’s annual Blossom Time, which spans the last three weekends of April.

Craft cider makers source the apples, pears and other fruits from 440 or so local orchardists, creating ciders that offer a taste of Hood River. According to the Chamber of Commerce website, the region is “at the forefront of the new national hard cider movement.”

Crafts and quilts

The fairgrounds hosts a variety of events that all make up the Craft and Quilt Show.

More than 120 vendors from around the Northwest will be on hand offering unique arts and crafts, garden art, rhododendrons, azaleas and other yard plants, handcrafted home furnishings and decorations, gourmet foods, wine tasting, jewelry, pottery, clothing, and more.

Odell Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale Saturday.

The Hood River Valley High School FFA organization will be there both days offering a variety of plants for sale from their greenhouse, and professional growers of shrubs and plants will be available for helpful gardening tips.

The Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers will be offering Hood River pears from controlled atmosphere storage for sale. The Special Olympics organization will be there with a fundraiser to support their work, and the Hood River Art Club will have a gallery-style display of paintings and fine art.

Along with the Blossom Craft Show, the Blossom Fest Quilt Show and Sale will be taking place at the fairgrounds in the Floral Building. Admission and parking for both events are free.

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