Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Events

Coming Back to Ashland is more than coming home! It is falling into vacation rhythm for us. We don't love the winter cold so we head south at that time, but returning in March is a return to a  new world. It takes a while to recover our home and yard -- here is a picture sent by our neighbor in December. But all the nurseries are blooming with new offerings and it is a spring ritual to fill my deck pots with bright colors.

Our House in Dec. -- WHY WE WERE GONE

BEFORE: Our street for a few days

AFTER:  Spring Showers

So much happens in southern oregon in the spring. Last Saturday alone was the Pear Blossom Festival in Medford,  with a parade and great food booths and lots of local informational booths, and bands in the new Commons area. Medford is gradually looking up from the 50's, reinventing itself and becoming a place where families go. Over 15,000 people came to this event.   Lots and lots of young children at the parade, who are as much fun to watch as the parade! Miles of tractors, jeeps and even a long string of beautiful corvettes from every era. (There seem to be many car clubs in Oregon!)
The same weekend offered a Home Show at the Fairgrounds in Central Point, a performance by the ensemble of the Ashland Peace Choir as a fund-raiser for the Yes to banning GMO crops in southern Oregon on the upcoming ballot, a writing workshop, a choice of 7 theater performances (always available!) and a couple of wineries with musical programs.

The weekend before was the 13th annual Ashland Film Festival, with over 80 films.  It is always special for many Ashlanders, who stand in line for an  hour to get into each event and enjoy the time chatting with new neighbors and old friends. The films here tend to be adventurous documentaries and touching features. Awards are given for achievement to a few celebrities who show up.  One I especially enjoyed this year was with Barbara Koppel, the winner of two academy awards for documentary film-making, who was interviewed. Clips were shown from several of the films she directed, folk music from Appalacia was played by a father and son musician (the father's music was featured in her first award-winning documentary about the battle for unionization in West Virginia coal mines 30 years ago.) A lot of variety for a great and educational program!

Miles of jeeps in parade
Cute Characters
Here are some photos of the events!
Great Strawberry Shortcake
 Food and wine tasting from Harry & David's 
Roller Derby Girls

A Few Band 

Peace Choir With Young Friends

The Peace Choir is over 100 members who sing for the love of peace and singing. The main choir is open to all and the ensemble is by audition. They hold concerts    and special event performances in Ashland, and their are rumors another group will be forming in Medford.  It is one of several outstanding choral groups in the area.
Another is the Threshold Choir, who sing at the bedside of folks who are ill or dying.
There are also male and female Barbershop Quartets.