Thursday, November 8, 2007

Podcasts for November 2007

The podcast is going on vacation for a few weeks. Sorry if this poses an inconvienence to any listeners. The staff is trying to pack up the Chamber to move everything to our new office. This requires A LOT of time if you've ever stopped by to see how much stuff we have! The podcast will return in December in full force, complete with holiday music. In the meantime, please check out the online version of "The Weekly Fax" online or subscribe at to recieve it in your inbox each week.

Have a great couple of weeks!

- Erin

Friday, October 26, 2007

Weekly Podcast for October 25-31, 2007

Sorry about not posting the podcast last week folks, but Harvest Fest takes priority. Get all of this week's juicy events right here in this week's podcast.

Click here to view and download this week's podcast -- straight from Erin's desk to yours!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

With Not Much Help From Mother Nature, Harvest Fest Still a Great Success

Boy, did it rain! Rained on the fireworks, rained on the Kids Zone, rained on the beautiful apples and pears from the Hood River Valley. But still, people came from all over the region to enjoy the 25th Anniversary Harvest Fest. Thank you to all of you sturdy folks for making our big event such a big success! When the weather did finally dry out on Sunday, the number of people through our gates where nearly twice that of last year's final day! Makes you think how many records we would have smashed if ol' Mister Sunshine had shown his face on Friday and Saturday!

Speaking of Friday.... how about them fireworks??? Great job to all the pyros at the Hood River Eyeopeners Lions Club and especially Russ Paddock for putting on such a great show.

Thanks also to Mike Doke, our entertainment arranger extraordinaire. Once again he put it out of the park with a line up of terrific entertainment all weekend long. Kept us all singin' in the rain...

Thanks to all of our terrific sponsors -- their generous support brought new attractions to the festival and gave us all that we needed to promote the event in markets that we had never been able to reach before and also to promote it much more heavily in both print and broadcast media.

Thank you Pacific Power, The Fruit Company, Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Tim's Cascade Snacks (great chips!), Griffith Motors, Hood River Ford Mercury, Hood River Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Columbia Center for the Arts, Columbia River Bank, Embarq, Your Rental and Party Center, the Hood River Heights Business Association, Tony White Farmers Insurance, and Shortt Supply.

Commemorative T-shirts are still available at the low, low price of $12.00 -- they are beautiful and feature the original art work of local artist Mark Nilsson. Call 541-386-2000 to get yours today!

Thanks to all of our amazing volunteers who came from far and wide to help out! You guys rock! Thank you also to all of our vendors, the main attraction -- so many talented, creative people in one place is really a sight to see. Great job!

We hope to announce the location of the 2008 Hood River Valley Harvest Fest by mid-January or much sooner so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Weekly Podcast for October 4-10, 2007

Click here to view and download this week's podcast -- straight from Erin's desk to yours!

We Love the Associated Press -- and Looks Like They Love Us! Yeay!

Check out this great (and perfectly timed) write up from the Associated Press this week!

Oregon in the fall

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Enjoy the colors and tastes of the season in Oregon this fall.

From Oct. 1-Nov. 30, vintners, brewers, farmers and innkeepers participate in Oregon Bounty, a statewide promotion with events ranging from the Canby Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Aurora on Oct. 6 to the Village Mushroom Fest, Oct. 19-21 in Yachats. Details at

Oregon is home to hundreds of wineries, and many offer tastings throughout the fall. In the Willamette Valley, Wine Country Thanksgiving, from Nov. 23-25, is an annual event showcasing many small, family-owned wineries that are not always open to the public; In addition, dinners with winemakers will be held at various venues around the state, $150 a person. Details at ners.jpg .

The Hood River Valley Harvest Fest is scheduled for the town of Hood River, Oct. 19-Oct. 21, with craft and art exhibits, food, music, local produce, and a quilt raffle. Details at

While you're in Hood River, rent a bike and head for the Mosier Twin Tunnels by taking a bea.jpgul ride along the Columbia River Gorge. Be prepared for some uphill pedaling on the way there; the views are worth it.

The 40-mile drive between Hood River and Government Camp, located on Mount Hood, is a lovely, leisurely ride past numerous farmstands and wineries, perfect for a lazy weekend outing with plenty of stops along the way. The drive, along Route 35, is part of the Mount Hood Scenic Byway,

A series of four festivals will showcase fresh hops or wet hop beers, which are typically brewed at the end of the summer. These will take place at Hood River Hops in Hood River Oct. 6, at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale Oct. 13, at the Ninkasi Brewing Co. in Eugene Oct. 20, and at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend Oct. 27. For more information, visit

At Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, the Timberline Lodge Art Show takes place Oct. 3-23. This year's theme, "In The Shadows of Mount Hood," celebrates arts and crafts of local mountain residents;

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Weekly Podcast for September 20-26, 2007

Click here to view and download this week's podcast -- straight from Erin's desk to yours!

25th Annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest Presented by Pacific Power

We are thrilled to announce that Pacific Power has just signed on as the presenting sponsor of this year's Hood River Valley Harvest Fest!
We'd like to thank all of our sponsors for all that they are doing to make this year's festival the best and brightest ever.

Thank you to:
Pacific Power
The Fruit Company
Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort
Tim's Cascade Snacks
Griffith Motors
Columbia River Bank
Columbia Center for the Arts
Your Rental and Party Center

Sponorship opportunities are still available so call Genevieve at 541-386-2000 ext. 10 to discuss how your business become involved in the largest annual event in the Gorge!

And don't forget -- Friday, October 19th is opening day and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Harvest Fest, we'll be having a 4th-of-July-Style fireworks show! Fireworks will start around 7:15PM, but the festival opens at 1:00PM so come early and enjoy the show!

Click here to view and download our special movie "Scenes From Harvest Time in the Hood River Valley

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Scenes from the Historic Grand Opening of WAAAM!

Congratulations to Jeremy and Terry and EVERYBODY who worked so hard to make the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum a reality, and the Grand Opening such a great success!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Cross Channel Event Goes "Swimmingly"

HOOD RIVER, OR - Despite having to relocate the place where all Roy Webster Columbia River Cross Channel Swim participants boarded the sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge" due to the new Hood River delta blocking access to the cruise ship dock, and several other changes in the morning registration process, the staff at the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce happily report that the 65th Annual Swim went off "without a hitch."

"We can't thank all of our volunteers and sponsors -- and swimmers -- enough for all that they did to make this year's swim such a success," said Chamber Board President, Ray Felton. Felton specifically cited The Best Western Hood River Inn, the Portland Spirit staff and everybody onboard the sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge," the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bonneville Power Administration, Radio Amateurs of the Gorge, the Hood River Valley Swim Team, HRCCC's Leaders for Tomorrow, the Hood River Yacht Club, Hood River WaterPlay, Big Winds, the US Coast Guard, Hood River City Police, City of Hood River Fire Department, the Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, and Master of Ceremonies Mary Brenneman with credit and thanks for the event's success. He also wishes to thank all of the individuals who arrive early in the morning on their labor day holiday to volunteer on foot, kayak, longboard, and boat to help make the event well-organized, fun, and above all safe for all the participants.

"Sheriff Joe Wampler deserves a special mention of thanks for all that he does to control the safety situation on the water. He did a terrific job bringing in help from Wasco County and the Coast Guard. He coordinates with the Yacht Club and the Swim Team to create the swimmer safety "picket line" and we had a fantastic line this year." says Felton.

2007 Cross Channel Swim Quick Facts:

494 people swam the Columbia this year, comprised of 216 male and 278 female swimmers.

Oldest person to make the swim this year was Admiral Horton Smith of Seattle, Washington at 82 years of age. Margaret Euwer of Parkdale was the oldest female swimmer at 71 years of age.

Joe Sullivan of The Dalles once again took the award for the Most Consecutive Years swimming in the event, with this marking his 36th consecutive swim. Hood River resident Norberto Maahs is the closest behind Joe from the Columbia Gorge area with 29 consecutive swims. Jeff Gudman of Lake Oswego and Doug Brenner of Portland are both sitting ahead of Maahs, however, each with 34 consecutive years swimming under their belt.

Thomas Olsen of Coral Gables, Florida took the award for the furthest distance traveled to make the swim, making a 3,251.10 mile trek to Hood River. Almost tied for second place in that distinction were Ruthe Farmer and Elizabeth Marker, both of New York City. Farmer beats out Marker by 47 city blocks.

The largest team swimming together this year came, with family pride, from The Fruit Company with Roy's grandsons, Scott and Addison accompanied by 19 other friends and family members. The next largest team at ten fewer swimmers were the NORM team from Salem.

The largest family group this year was the Euwer Family of Hood River, with 6 family members swimming together.

Background information:

Presented by the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, this year's swim continues an annual tradition begun in 1942 by orchardist Roy Webster. Webster, accompanied by a few friends and family members, began the watery tradition simply to get more exercise. Now, the swim has grown into an event that today draws teams and individual swimmers from throughout the Northwest and the nation.

In the early dawn hours of Labor Day, the swimmers are ferried to a spot near the Washington shore by the sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge". They then depart in ten-person "flights" to swim approximately 1.1 miles across the Columbia River to the Oregon shore.

This event is not a race. Nearly all that attempt it complete the swim, in their own time and at their own pace. Those few who tire are quickly plucked from the water by a fleet of safety boats, kayaks, and assistants on longboards.

The entire swim is overseen by the Hood River County Sheriff's Department and the US Coast Guard, who observe weather and water conditions as they relate to swimmer's safety. Should conditions reach a potentially dangerous stage, those agencies could determine to cancel the swim. The swim has been cancelled only twice in it’s sixty-five year history, both times due to rough water and high winds. Additional assistance is provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers by regulating the stream flow through the Bonneville Pool during the swim, and by all the barge lines who use the Columbia by notifying their captains of the times swimmers will be in the water.

Many who will be taking to the water on Labor Day have made the swim a number of times, considering it an annual tradition in an especially beautiful place. All swimmers receive a souvenir swim t-shirt.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007



HOOD RIVER, OR - The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce is seeking volunteers from the boating community to help ensure swimmer safety during this year’s 65th Annual Roy Webster Columbia River Cross Channel Swim on Labor Day, September 3. Boaters with any kind of sailboat or motor vessel (excepting jet skis or wave-runners) comprise the “picket line” across the Columbia and provide a safe place to swimmers to either hang on for a brief rest mid-swim or be plucked from the river entirely if they are having difficulty completing the early morning swim across the river.

Besides getting “front-row seats” to Oregon’s most unique and sporting event, boaters are rewarded for their volunteer help with a commemorative event T-shirt. Members of the Hood River Yacht Club have always provided several volunteer boats for the service, and they will be organizing a group to participate together again this year. To ensure the best possible picket line for the nearly 600 people who will make the swim this year, the Chamber hopes to welcome even more boaters to participate. To sign up your vessel for the picket line, please call the Chamber office at 541-386-2000 as soon as possible.