1840’s Oregon Trail emigrant Samuel Welch founded the Village of Welches in the western foothills of Mount Hood in 1880. By 1890 he had modified his two-story farmhouse at the Welch Ranch into a hotel to go along with the campground he had built two years earlier. To celebrate, he decided to hold an annual festival to celebrate the birth of tourism on this Mountain that the Native Americans called “Wy’East”. This pioneer celebration survived up until the realities of the Great Depression in the 1930’s forced it to come to an abrupt halt. Then, 35 years ago, the Cascade Geographic Society revived it and started out with a table in a parking lot trying to get people to remember this Mountain’s great heritage. Today, we are celebrating our Thirty-Second Anniversary. You can enjoy a watermelon launch; delicious berry jams; Native American salmon bake, Native American storytelling, music, "Huckleberry Ceremony" and much, much more. It will be held from Aug. 17 - 18 at 73341 East U.S. Highway 26 in the historic Village of Rhododendron. This is a FREE event. Visit cascadegeographicsociety.com.