Although tickets quickly sold out for the Hermiston Festival of Trees gala dinner and auction, the community is invited to attend Sunday’s Family Day. The festive event runs from noon to 4 p.m. at the Hermiston Community Center.

In addition to admiring the beautifully decorated trees, the fun-filled afternoon features a variety of holiday-related activities, pictures with Santa and performances by local students..

Sponsored by Soroptimist International of the Greater Hermiston Area, the suggested donation is $5 per family. Money raised from the event helps provides funding for the service organization’s “Live Your Dream” award, which provides educational and training opportunities for women.

For more information about Family Day or the Soroptimist group, call 541-567-9409 or search Facebook.

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The Hermiston First United Methodist Church is gearing up to share the reason behind the Christmas season. The biblical story about the birth of Jesus is featured during the Living Nativity.

In its 27th year, the free event is Dec. 14-15 at the church. For more information, call Becky Hunt at 541-314-5797 or the church at 541-567-3002. Also, see next week’s Hermiston Herald for a full story and photos.

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Santa Claus (in this case also known as John Perkins) will be making several stops around town in the next couple of weeks.

On Thursday at noon he will hand out teddy bears to seniors at the Harkenrider Senior Activity Center, and on Dec. 11 he will be visiting Hermiston’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities to hand out bears.

Perkins, dressed as Santa, will also be available at several local businesses, including Rogers Toyota on Friday and Bellingers from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 14. On Saturday he will land at 1 p.m. in a Life Flight helicopter behind the Hermiston Public Library and be available at the Union Club afterward from 1-3 p.m.

He will also be present at Pancakes with Santa on Dec. 14 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Hermiston Community Center. Tickets ($8 for children ages 2-15, $10 for ages 16 and older, $30 for a family) are limited and must be purchased in advance at the community center.

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If the cold weather continues, Rudolph won’t be the only one with a red nose. People are encouraged to bundle up for the third annual Rudolph Fun Run.

The event collects food for the Umatilla Volunteer Firefighters Association’s annual Christmas basket program. Participants are invited to have fun and dress up in costumes.

The Rudolph Fun Run starts Saturday at 9 a.m. at the McNary Fire Station, 305 Willamette Ave, Umatilla. The Umatilla High School National Honor Society is teaming up with the firefighters association to present the 5K event. To enter, adults need to bring five nonperishable food items (or cash equivalent) and for kids 10 and under, they can enter with two food items.

For more information, contact Nancy Swarat at, 541-922-6525, the fire district at 541-922-3718 or search Facebook.

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The menu for the Harkenrider Senior Activity Center for Thursday is pork loin, rice pilaf, veggies and dessert. Friday is clam chowder, garlic bread, cole slaw and dessert. Monday is cheddar vegetable soup, fruit and dessert. Tuesday is spaghetti, garlic bread, tossed salad and dessert. Next Wednesday is chicken noodle soup, bread, crackers, fruit and dessert.

— You can submit items for our weekly By The Way column by emailing your tips to

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