Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Cherry Mania Time!

Each year the City of The Dalles celebrates the Cherry Festival honoring the coming of the cherry blossoms and looking forward to the upcoming harvest. This is now the 31st year of the annual celebration and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate for a great weekend. Our local Chamber of Commerce has a nice overview of the weeks events, but the parade on Saturday and the three-day four stage bicycle race by the Oregon Cycling Association are pretty big deals.

Agriculture provides a solid economic base in the cherry-growing haven around The Dalles and is a big part of life around here. The major agricultural product of the City is sweet cherries and The Dalles is a producer for both domestic and overseas markets. There are in excess of more than 10,000 acres acres of sweet cherry trees surrounding the City yielding about 25,000 tons a year. Every spring, cherry blossoms blanket the orchards dotting the Columbia River Gorge providing a beautiful backdrop for cycling, hiking and other outdoor activities. What began with 700 fruit tree rootings brought to the area by covered wagon in 1847 has matured through generations of dedicated families.

The Cherry Festival is a lot of fun and brings the entire community together. I always love a parade and I look forward to spending a lot of time with family and friends this weekend. The city has hundreds of bicyclists from all over for the Cherry Blossom Classic and there will be some rip roaring parties as well.

Rooftop65 has a pretty neat slideshow on Flicker but you really have to be here to fully experience it: