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Fruit, food fills bill at Harvest

Local talent and up-and-coming artists will provide a bounty of music from the 2001 Hood River Valley Harvest Fest entertainment stage. Music is scheduled every day during the Oct. 19-21 event that draws more than 20,000 people annually to Hood River Expo Center. Entertainment is free at the 19th annual event.

Harvest Fest visitors will enjoy fresh fruit, food, wine, arts and crafts, entertainment, and other attractions at more than 130 booths from around the region.

A new addition to the Festival this year is the Northwest Pear Burerau and Hood River Fruit Loop Pear Pavilion, with educational displays and demonstrations, pear desserts for tasting, and other features.

In Odell, a companion event is the Gorge Fruit and Craft Fair at the Hood River County Fairgrounds. The fifth annual event brings artisans, bakers, wine-makers and craftspeople from Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania counties only, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

At the Expo Center, Gorge musicians will be showcased on opening night, Friday, Oct. 19, and will dominate the stage Sunday, Oct. 21. On Saturday, Oct. 20, a variety of youth groups and climbing stars will perform.

Friday:

4 p.m. -- Music by Misdee.

5 p.m. -- Bluegrass band Crazy Hearts.

6 p.m. -- Bluegrass band No Depression.

7 p.m. -- Alibi (rock and roll, modern country, classic rock) concludes the evening.

Student artists will get attention Saturday:

11 a.m. -- The Mid Valley Latino Dancers kick off the day.

Noon -- Hood River Middle School Choir.

12:30 p.m. -- Hood River Valley Choir.

1 p.m. Hood River Tae Kwon Do will provide a break from the music with a martial arts exhibition.

At 1:30 p.m., the Fruit Loop will host its pear packing competition from the entertainment stage. Following that, Gorge favorites White Salmon Jazz will play a one-hour set that begins at 2 p.m.

Harvest Fest's Saturday attendees can enjoy the sounds of two emerging bands when Flavorpak and Asa Cruz take the stage. Portland-based Flaverpak, scheduled at 3 p.m., is fusion funk/rock, with traces of jazz, blues and rap/R&B. Their latest album, Don't Touch Me, is packed with extravagant arrangements and excellent playing.

Fronted by Salem natives but based in Los Angeles, Asa Cruz manages to combine sounds and styles from a range of eras and genres.

Asa Cruz, slated for 4:30 p.m., mixes the crooning of the 1950s with the rock of the 1990s, sounding like any number of artists in between.

Hood River string benders Pacific Crest close Saturday's entertainment with a 6 p.m. set.

Sunday:

10:30 a.m. -- Traditional music from the Matthews Family.

Noon -- Kristen Reese and Scot Bergeron will showcase their singing and guitar talents.

1 p.m. -- Red-Haired Boys, including 2000 Harvest Fest favorite Paul Blackburn.

2 p.m. Johnny "Creditcard" leads karaoke singing for those hoping to try out their own entertainment chops.

Harvest Fest hours are 1-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The entertainment stage is located outside of the Expo Center's northeast corner, under a tent. Ken Jacobs' Jacobs Productions will provide the sound.

For more information, call the Hood River Valley Chamber of Commerce at (541) 386-2000, or visit hoodriver.org.

Harvest Weekend Highlights

* Pear-packing contest, Pear Pavilion, Expo Center, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

* Parkdale Grange Harvest Dinner, $7 for adults, $4 for children; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

* Odell Garden Club annual flower show, haunted house for children and old-time engines on display, all at Gorge Fruit-Craft Fair at the fairgrounds, Saturday and Sunday.

* Mid-Columbia Junior Orchestra performs from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds.

* Fiesta Days, Kiyokawa Family Orchards, Clear Creek Road, Parkdale; free hayrides and pinatas, fruit bin maze, and Mexican food for sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

* Rasmussen Farms, Thomsen Road in Pine Grove, Pumpkin Funland and corn maze, daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Expo Center admission is $3 per person. Hours are 1 to 8 p.m., 10-8 Saturday and 10-5 Sunday. Parking is free.

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