Local EVENTS Schedule
Baker County remains under state-mandated restrictions which will impact indoor gatherings of more than 25 people in attendance. Please note that face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when not able to maintain a physical distance of six feet throughout the state of Oregon.
Jacob's Dream 15th Annual Christmas Sale
Friday, December 4, 8am to 4pm
Saturday, December 5, 8am to noon
Halfway Lions Hall
Take stock of what you need to deck your halls, make your list for gift-shopping, and come to the annual Jacob's Dream Christmas Sale! As always, there will be a wide assortment of holiday decor, gifts, stocking stuffers, and much more. Physical distancing and masks will be required to keep this a happy holiday event.
Eagle Valley Christmas Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 5, 6pm
Main Street in front of Richland City Hall
This annual event will still be a fun and special time for all, in spite of modifications necessitated by the coronavirus. Santa will be there with little gifts for the kids, and they will be able to have a turn at his table to visit with him and have photos taken. Masks are mandatory, and safe distancing will be respected. Come make a special memory!
2nd Annual Jr. Rodeo Christmas Bazaar
Saturday, December 12, 9am to 3pm
Halfway Lions Hall
Don't do all your Christmas shopping too early, there's sure to be a wonderful selection of beautiful and unique hand-crafted gifts to buy at this year's Jr. Rodeo Bazaar. You can stay all day--a lunch of soup and pie will be available. To round out the event, there will be door prizes and a Silent Auction. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. To reserve a vendor table, contact Liz McCullough at 541-742-7892.
Eagle Valley Drive-By Caroling
Tuesday, December 15, 2:30pm
Line up on First Street near Snake River PCS office
What better way to shake off the CoVid blues and get in a cheerful holiday mood than to sing Christmas Carols for your neighbors? Warm up your vocal chords and join in the fun. Andy Patton will lead the parade in his red truck with a Bluetooth sound system playing Christmas music. The parade will start at 3pm, and a map of the route will be provided. If you would like to be sure carolers come by your home or that of a friend or relative, call Andy at 541-979-3931 to get them included.
Family Christmas Decoration Tour Night
Sunday, December 20, 5 to 7pm
New Bridge Grange
Holiday elves will be outside in front of the New Bridge Grange handing out bags of treats to children in cars with their parents out enjoying the Christmas decorations in Eagle Valley prior to the contest judging on December 22.
Annual Christmas Bird Count
Sunday, December 27
This count encompasses a 15-mile wide area including Eagle Valley, New Bridge, and Pine Valley. A list of bird species and tally sheets are available on the Audubon website or may be obtained from Margaret Durner, who compiles the total count each year. For more information, visit the Audubon website or contact Durner at 541-742-4375 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations for Fire Victims on the west side of the state will be collected at the Richland Christian Church for transportation to the west side. Suggested items are canned goods, cereals, condiments, dried foods like beans, rice, and pasta, household cleaning items, bed linens, pillows, towels, sleeping bags, personal hygiene and first aid items, and kitchen dishes, utensils, and small appliances that are appropriate for use in a motel. See page 6 of the November 4th issue of the Hells Canyon Journal for a detailed list of supplies most needed. Donations should be packed in boxes or plastic totes to stack for transport. The date of the next trip has not yet been set, but the need for larger items such as furniture and appliances will come into play as homes and businesses begin to rebuild in the spring. Call Pastor Roy Gotzman at 541-519-9173 to arrange a time to drop off your donation.
Dtour Youth Ministry has transitioned to weekly take-home packets for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, while high school students will meet for service projects and other outdoor activities for the remainder of the year. The take-home activity baskets will be available after 10am every Monday through the end of December, and may be picked up at any time throughout the week. Locations will be announced soon. If you would like to participate but aren't already on the Dtour mailing list, you may register at their website.
Christmas Tree Permits are now available at Halfway Mercantile and online. In addition to purchasing Christmas tree permits, this new website is a one-stop online resource to plan trips, share information, and make reservations at more than 103,000 public lands locations nationwide.
Crafters & Quilters are gathering once again at the New Bridge Grange Wednesdays from 9:30am to 2pm, with COVID-related stipulations to allow for use of the Grange Hall.
There will not be a Community Connections Bus trip to La Grande this December, but the bus is still making its weekly trip to Baker City on Wednesdays, and is available to pick up prescriptions at Bi-Mart for Panhandle residents. Call William Jackson at 541-742-7433 by Tuesday evening to arrange a ride or prescription pick-up.
Community Connections Meals-to-Go in New Bridge and Halfway--Thursday senior meals are still being provided to residents of the Pine Valley and Eagle Valley areas on a "to-go" basis out of the New Bridge Grange and at the Old Pine Market parking lot. Meals are distributed starting at noon; please follow the one-way traffic directions and stay in your car. Entrees are made fresh each week, but will come frozen and ready to microwave. To order a meal, call Leanne Hinkle at 541-554-5549 or William Jackson at 541-540-7600 before noon on Monday.
Baker County Libraries Open - The county's main and branch libraries have reopened with limited services and special access requirements: face coverings are required while indoors; children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible person 16 years or older; visitor occupancy is limited to 8; visitation time is limited (timed passes issued at front desk upon entry); public restrooms, meeting rooms, and drinking fountains are closed; seating is restricted; people unable to wear a mask will be provided outdoor drive-up/curbside service. For more details, see the new Director's Message on the library website.
Local Resources for Assistance During Coronavirus
Help is available for grocery delivery or other basic services while sheltering at home through the Halfway Helpful Facebook page or the Panhandle Response Team. To have groceries delivered in Halfway by the PRT, contact Old Pine Market at 541-742-4366 or Halfway Mercantile at 541-742-6171. Grocery deliveries in Eagle Valley may be arranged by contacting Thorny Hampton at The Hitching Post at 541-893-6175.
Economic assistance is offered by the newest local group, The Village Fund, facilitated by UCP. The application form is available as a PDF through the UCP website to print, complete, and mail to The Village Fund committee. Donations and pledges to contribute stimulus checks are currently being accepted; checks may be made payable to United Community Partners with "The Village Fund" noted in the memo line and mailed to P.O. Box 545, Halfway, 97834. For more information, visit the project page on the UCP website, or email TheVillageFund20@gmail.com.