Hood River, just 50 minutes from Portland, Ore., is best known for being a four season recreation area, and it's also, in fact, considered to be the wind surfing capital of the world. What many do not realize is that Hood River is also home to many orchards. Here you will find more than 14,000 charming acres of pear, apple, cherry and peach orchards. Fifty percent of the United States' winter Anjou pear crop comes from Hood River!
Each fall in October, Hood River hosts the Hood River Valley Harvest Festival along the beautiful waterfront area that runs between the Columbia Gorge River and the city's adorable downtown to celebrate their bounty. This year, the annual harvest fest will run from Friday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Festival attendees will enjoy a wide variety of fun activities.
Buy fresh produce at the Hood River Valley Harvest Festival — Photo courtesy of Michael Peterson / Hood River County Chamber of Commerce
As always, you will get to enjoy shopping for local produce, which includes pears, apples, berries and pumpkins. There are food options that are not produce, too, such as jams and pies (including the locals' favorite huckleberry pie). Also on hand will be vendors selling food that you can enjoy right away at the festival.
Full Sail Brewing Company will be selling beer. Several wineries from the Columbia Gorge will offer tastings, including award-winning Hood Crest Winery.
On top of the great food available to purchase, Hood River Valley Harvest Festival will feature over 100 art and craft booths to shop at. These will feature regional artists’ hand-crafted products like wooden sculptures, glass, ceramics, jewelry and so much more.
Apples, berries and nuts — Photo courtesy of Peter Marbach / Hood River County Chamber of Commerce
While you shop, you'll be entertained with live music. Different groups are performing on and off all day long. You can watch pumpkin carving and pie eating contests. Plus, you can enjoy watching the wind surfers and kite boarders out in the river.
There is even a fun area just for kids. This year, the kid zone will have face painting, balloon animals and henna tattoos. On hand will also be a bounce house and music just for kids.
Adult admission is $6, while children ages 12 and under get in for free. There are special discounts for seniors and military.
The 2014 Hood River Valley Harvest Festival will run Friday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 19 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day.