Flying wood chips, impressive music, food, games and outlaw lawnmowers took over downtown Hermiston on Saturday during the annual Funfest put on by the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce.
Crowds started gathering early Saturday to take in the sights and sounds, including the roaring motors of the outlaw lawnmower races featured modified mowers traveling 100 feet in about a second and a half.
Just before 11 a.m., Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan and Chamber President Debbie Pedro were joined by Mrs. Eastern Oregon Lori McNeil for the public unveiling of the new Hermiston community brand.
A year and a half in the making, the Hermiston brand features an image of the Hermiston Butte, a watermelon and the words, “Hermiston – Where Life is Sweet.”
“This is the brand you all voted on,” said Morgan. After unveiling the banner with the new logo, Morgan drew applause when he said the following:
“This is what’s going on the water tower,” he said. “We’ll actually have a full-fledged paint job this time.”
An initial attempt at establishing a brand for Hermiston was met with widespread disapproval a couple of years ago. The logo featured the words, “Hermiston – You Can GROW Here.” The logo was painted on the south end of the water tower, but only the section where the logo was added was given new paint, making the tower look unfinished. Another round of community surveys and interviews over the past 18 months resulted in the new logo that will be put on all city-related promotional and business materials.
McNeil, who is from Baker City, has been traveling throughout Eastern Oregon, said it was great to be in Hermiston where “life is definitely sweet.”
For those who weren’t able to attend Funfest on Saturday, Northeast Oregon Now has some photos from the day’s events.