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About Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 6, 2017)
A4 • HERMISTONHERALD.COM
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
COMING DOWN AND GOING UP
STAFF PHOTO BY JADE MCDOWELL
The city of Hermiston’s Christmas tree arrives at city hall
after its cross-town trek from Victory Square Park.
STAFF PHOTO BY JADE MCDOWELL
Umatilla Electric Cooperative and Tree, Inc. employees
prepare to unload the city’s Christmas tree.
STAFF PHOTO BY JADE MCDOWELL
The city of Hermiston’s biggest Christmas tree yet is lowered
into place on Monday morning.
Giant Christmas tree provides downtown draw
is Thursday evening
By JADE MCDOWELL
It may look a little strange in
its current form, but the towering
cedar sticking out of the middle of
a street in Hermiston is expected
draw hundreds of people down-
town on Thursday for it’s official
In what has become an annual
tradition, the city — with the help
of Umatilla Electric Cooperative
and their subcontractor Trees, Inc.
— dug a six foot deep hole in the
middle of Northeast Second Street
near city hall on Monday morning
and placed a roughly 40 foot tall
Christmas tree inside.
The tree will be lit every eve-
ning during the holiday season,
starting with a tree-lighting festi-
val Thursday. Food vendors and
live entertainment will start at 5:30
p.m., with the official lighting and
a visit from Santa at 6 p.m. Down-
town businesses will also be offer-
ing deals for December’s First
Thursday event from 4:30-7 p.m.
This year’s tree comes from
Victory Square Park, where parks
and recreation director Larry Fet-
ter said it was crowding a number
of smaller trees and needed to be
“It’s a cedar,” he said. “It’s a
really nice shape, and it’s got a
great color to it.”
Vehicle traffic on Second Street
between Gladys Avenue and Main
Street will be blocked during the
month of December while the tree
is in place. In the spring the city
plans to begin turning that block
into a festival street featuring dec-
orative brickwork, landscaping,
lighting and other features.
“I’m hoping construction on
the festival plaza is done for next
year,” Fetter said. “Looking at the
schedule, it looks like it will be,
otherwise I’ll have to find a tempo-
rary spot for this.”
On Monday morning the tree
traveled across town in horizon-
tal position on the back of a UEC
truck before arriving in front of
city hall, where about six feet of
trunk was lowered into the hole in
the street and packed in with dirt.
Fetter said the city will add
extra lighting to the tree and the
street surrounding it, after people
commented it could use more. This
is the third year the city has placed
a giant tree on Second Street.
For more information about
the tree or Thursday’s event,
contact Hermiston city hall at
fun on Dec. 16
A snowboarding snowman lights up a North Dupont Street home during a past holiday
season in Echo.
Echo to ring in holiday season
By TAMMY MALGESINI
People are invited to head to Echo as the
small town offers big fun during the holi-
“It’s kind of a quaint and historic lit-
tle community,” said Diane Berry, city
Typically, more than half of the homes
are decorated with at least a few strands of
lights, Berry said. In addition, the city has
added several light poles and free-stand-
ing displays from money through the Echo
“You can come over the hill and you can
look down on Dupont Street and see all the
lights,” Berry said about driving into town.
Also, Echo Ridge Cellars and Sno Road
Winery are rolling out festive fun with Hol-
iday Barrel Tasting. The event is Friday
from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5
p.m. at both wineries (551 N. Thielsen St.
and 111 W. Main St.).
Each venue will offer holiday wine deals
and samples of future releases straight out
of the barrel. Also, a gift basket workshop
is available Saturday at Echo Ridge. People
can create their own basket, filling it with
wine and goodies from Alexander’s Choco-
lates and Smith’s Tiny Farms cheeses.
Additional holiday shopping is available
during the Echo Parent-Teacher Organiza-
tion’s annual holiday bazaar. A fundraiser
to benefit students in the Echo School Dis-
trict, it includes handmade goods from
local crafters, homemade desserts and a
raffle. It is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
in the school commons, 600 E. Gerone St.
To celebrate the season in song, head to
Sno Road on Friday, Dec. 15 from 6:30-
9:30 p.m. for Christmas with John Wam-
beke & Students. The festive musical per-
formance features the Hermiston man
along with a number of his protégés. There
is no charge for the all-ages event.
Another highlight of the holiday sea-
son are the annual concerts presented by
the Inland Northwest Musicians orches-
tra and chorale. “The Spirit of the Season”
is Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. and Saturday,
Decorations fill a yard during a past
holiday season in Echo. People are invited
to vote on their favorite displays.
Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Echo Community
Center, 20 Bonanza St. The performances
are free but reservations are required. To
RSVP, contact 541-289-4696 or inwm@
“We’re doing a mix of seasonal music,”
said RaNiel Dunn, program manager. “The
chorale is performing some lovely pieces.”
In addition, the orchestra is offering a
variety of songs, said Salli Ketchersid, pub-
licity coordinator. Among the most famil-
iar, she said, is “The March” (aka “March
of the Toy Soldiers”) from Tchaikovsky’s
“The Nutcracker Suite.”
Before renovations were complete at
the venue, Berry asked for input regarding
acoustics from R. Lee Friese, the group’s
director. After playing at the May 2000
dedication, they arranged a holiday concert
— and have returned each year.
In addition to the building’s great sound,
Ketchersid and Dunn said Berry and her
staff go all out in decorating.
“It’s different than just doing a concert
in a school auditorium or gym,” Dunn said.
“It makes it more intimate and festive.”
“From the big room to the hallways —
it’s just Christmas everywhere,” Ketcher-
The holiday concerts, Berry said, are a
way to give back to the community.
Whatever brings people to town, Berry
invites everyone to pick up a ballot and
vote for the best holiday displays.
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He’s making a list and
checking it twice — trying
to find out who has tickets to
Pancakes with Santa.
People who want to attend
this fun holiday breakfast
need to make sure to pur-
chase tickets in advance.
Pancakes with Santa is Sat-
urday, Dec. 16 from 9:30-11
a.m. at the Hermiston Con-
ference Center, 415 S. High-
way 395. In addition to a
pancake and sausage break-
fast, staff from the library
will share a holiday story
and kids can have a picture
taken with Santa Claus. The
cost is $8 for ages 2-15, $10
for ages 16-and-older or $30
Tickets must be pur-
chased by Tuesday, Dec. 12.
They are available at Herm-
iston City Hall, 180 N.E.
Second St. For more infor-
mation, contact 541-776-
5018 or parksandrec@herm-
Minion to visit SAGE
Center before movie
For more minion mad-
ness and a chance to meet a
minion, head to the SAGE
Center for screenings of
“Despicable Me 3.”
The showings are Fri-
day at 7:15 p.m. and Sat-
urday at 2:15 p.m. at 101
Olson Road, Boardman. The
meet-and-greets are 45 min-
utes prior to each show and
are free with movie admis-
sion. In addition, non-per-
ishable food donations will
Admission is $3 per per-
son and includes a bag of
popcorn. Other conces-
sions are available for cash
For more information,
call 541-481-7243 or visit
Giving trees spread
McKenna Seaton shows an ornament she made while her
friends Athena Huffman-Martin and Harmony Blake work on
craft projects during the 2016 Pancakes with Santa. Tickets
must be purchased in advance for this year’s Dec. 16 event at
the Hermiston Conference Center.
The Salvation Army is on
display at Shari’s Cafe &
Pies, 800 S. Highway 395,
Hermiston. People can
remove tags and shop for
items for needy children and
families who live in west
The gifts must be
returned by Saturday, Dec.
9. For more information, call
•IRRIGON: The annual
Giving Tree in Irrigon pro-
vides a chance for people
in the community to give to
children and youths in need.
It’s in the Irrigon Library/
City Hall lobby, 500 N.E.
Main St. People can drop
by during regular business
hours to pick up a card or
two and shop for gifts on the
recipient’s wish list.
The gifts need to be
wrapped and returned to city
hall by Monday, Dec. 18.
For more information, con-
tact City Manager Aaron
Palmquist at 541-922-3047.
It’s time for Irrigon resi-
dents to tap into their inner
Clark Griswold for the
annual home decorating
Sponsored by the Irrigon
Watermelon Festival, cash
prizes will be awarded to
the top three properties. To
be eligible for judging, peo-
ple must reside within the
97844 zip code. Also, last
year’s winners may enter,
but they aren’t eligible for
the cash awards.
The judging will take
place the evening of Mon-
day, Dec. 18. For more
information, contact irrigon-
com or search Facebook.
Bake sale benefits
A pre-Christmas baked
food and craft sale will ben-
efit the Good Shepherd Hos-
The event is Wednesday,
Dec. 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 4
p.m. in Conference Room
6 at Good Shepherd Med-
ical Center, 610 N.W. 11th
St., Hermiston. Money
raised from the event helps
in purchasing needed medi-
cal equipment and providing
scholarships for local indi-
viduals pursuing a career in
the healthcare field.
For more information,
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With the holiday sea-
son in full swing, peo-
ple are invited to help in
spreading Christmas joy to
area children and youths in
need. Several giving trees
are available for people to
take tags and shop for gifts.
Local opportunities include:
Angel Tree organized by
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STAFF PHOTO BY TAMMY MALGESINI
541-567-8303 • 1-800-282-9075
985 N. First St., Hermiston, OR 97838