‘Tis the season for trimmings and trees, and Northeast Oregon will have its share of evergreen events:
Festival of Trees
In Hermiston, the two-day Festival of Trees kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, with the dinner and auction. A 21-and-older only event, the auction evening includes tree viewing, wine tasting, dinner and the auction. Tickets are $30 and available at the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, Umatilla Morrow Head Start and the administrative offices at Good Shepherd Medical Center. Reserved seating can be scheduled by contacting Tony Eddy at 541-701-1110.
The Hermiston Festival of Trees continues Sunday, Dec. 8, with Family Day from noon to 4 p.m. The suggested donation for admission is $5 per family, and all proceeds support the Soroptimist Club. Family crafts, games and entertainment will take place during the event.
Raffle tickets will be sold for $10 each during both days. Proceeds from the raffle go to the Oxbow Trail project at Riverfront Park.
Journey to Bethlehem
A city is being constructed behind the Hermiston Seventh-day Adventist Church, and those buildings will come to life Dec. 6-8 for the annual Journey to Bethlehem experience. Dozens of volunteers will don costumes to lead visitors on a walking tour to re-create the journey through the Biblical journey of Mary and Joseph leaded up to the birth of Jesus. Tours run from 5-8:30 p.m. each evening, and the event is free.
The Boardman Christmas Tree Lighting begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Boardman Senior Center, 100 Tatone St. The event also includes Christmas caroling, a Nativity program, cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa Claus.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Boardman Kiwanis Club will offer a Breakfast with Santa. The pancake and sausage breakfast costs $3 and includes photos with Santa, crafts for children and horse-drawn wagon rides.
Thursday, Dec. 5, is the magic date to launch the holiday season in Umatilla. The Chamber of Commerce opens for a free open house from 2-5 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center, 100 Pine Ave., from 2-5 p.m., and the city will turn the switch on during its annual tree-lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at Village Square Park, across from the Umatilla Public Library. After the tree lighting, the city will celebrate inside city hall with children’s activities, refreshments and a choir performance. Santa Claus will arrive at 7 p.m.
Echo’s Main Street will fill with motorcycles and other vehicles on Saturday, Dec. 7, for the annual Echo Toy Run to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston. The cost of the ride is a new, unwrapped toy, and donated toys will be given to pediatric patients in the hospital. Participants will begin lining up at 11 a.m., and the first bikes leave at noon.
Christmas comes to Stanfield in full force on Dec. 14, when the small town will host a holiday light show contest, Santa Workshop, sleigh (hay) ride, a community dinner and auction and a “Winter Wonder Run/Walk.”
The events begin at 2 p.m. at the Stanfield Public Library with the Santa Workshop. For $10, children can build a toy, decorate gingerbread cookie, make ornaments and have a photo with Santa. The sleigh ride will take visitors from the library and through Bard Park from 4:30-6 p.m. for a canned food item donation, and participants in the Winter Wonder Run/Walk will leave Bard Park Bridge at 4 p.m. The Holiday Community Dinner and Auction will run from 6-8 p.m. at Stanfield Secondary School. The dinner is free for the first 300 and the dessert auction begins at 7 p.m.
Proceeds from all events go toward Stanfield’s Movies in the Park for summer 2014.