Newman Christmas festivities

Organizers of Newman’s Dec. 7 Christmas festivities are currently accepting applications for food booths, craft booths and a lighted holiday parade.

Food booth applications are due no later than Nov. 11. Fee is $40.

The deadline for parade registration and craft booth applications is Nov. 20. Craft booth fee is $30. There is no charge for the parade.

Applications are available at the Newman Chamber of Commerce office (State Farm Insurance), 1404 Main Street.

Call 862-3200 for additional information.

Gustine Christmas celebration

Vendor applications and lighted parade entries for the upcoming Gustine Chamber of Commerce Old-Fashioned Christmas Downtown are now available.

The annual event will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, offering a full day of events.

Vendor fee is $35. Parade entry is free of charge.

For more information on vendor applications or lighted parade entries call the Gustine Chamber of Commerce, 854-6975.

‘Wreaths Across America’ at local cemetery

A nationwide wreath-laying program which honors and remembers deceased veterans at the holidays  is formally coming to Hills Ferry Cemetery this year. The “Wreaths Across America” program will be held Friday morning, Dec. 13, at Hills Ferry Cemetery.

Following the formal program, volunteers will place wreaths at the graves of veterans buried in the rural West Side cemetery.

Local organizer RoseLee Hurst said community members, families, businesses and organizations can sponsor single or multiple wreaths in remembrance of veterans. Wreaths may be ordered through Nov. 14, Hurst said.

The cost is $15 per wreath.

Hills Ferry will be a “grave-specific” cemetery, she noted, meaning that sponsors can designate the grave on which they would like their wreath placed.

To sponsor one or more wreaths, or for more information, call Hurst at 681-5220.

Newman church taking part in Operation Christmas Child 

A Newman church will once again be taking part in a campaign to deliver shoe boxes packed with school supplies, items of personal necessity, clothing and toys to needy children in a number of nations around the world.

First Baptist Church of Newman will be a drop-off center for Operation Christmas Child, a project of the Samaratin’s Purse organization.

Shoe boxes may be dropped off at the church, located at 910 R St., during designated hours from Monday, Nov. 18, through Monday, Nov. 25. Hours are 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Nov. 18-22; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 23; noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24; and 9-11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 25.

The church will also be hosting a shoe box packing party Sunday, Nov. 17, from 6-8 p.m. All interested community members are invited to participate.

This marks the fourth year that First Baptist Church of Newman has served as an Operation Christmas Child drop-off point for West Side communities.

Through the first three years, nearly 1,800 shoe boxes have been collected locally and distributed to children throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, Central America and South America.

In 2019, Operation Christmas Child hopes to send shoe box gifts to 11 million children in nations such as Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and the Ukraine.

Guidelines on packing a shoe box, as well as suggested items, may be found online at

Items such as candy, toothpaste, ware-related items such as toy guns or military figures, seeds, food, breakable items or aerosol cans should not be included in the shoe boxes.

Community members who wish to sponsor a shoe box may do so through the website. Donation is $9.

Arrangements may also be made by calling Tamara Edwards, 735-8464.

Newman branch library

The November schedule at the Newman branch library is packed with special activities.

Each Wednesday, story time will be held at 10 a.m. followed by a wee move & play session at 10:30 a.m.

A card-making session with Sara Rhodes will be offered Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2:30 p.m. Participants will create unique holiday cards. The activity is designed for teens and adults.

Independent readers ages 12 and under are invited to read to a dog Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 3:30 p.m. Paws4Friends is partnering with the library for that activity. Two canine friends will be on hand for the activity.

A Lego derby is planned for Thursday, Nov. 14. Participants will build Lego cars and compete against one another on a race track. The fun begins at 3:30 p.m.

A Hogwarts fall party will be held Tuesday, Nov. 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Visitors of all ages are invited to make Harry Potter-themed crafts and enjoy activities and treats. Costumes are welcome.

The Newman branch library is located at 1305 Kern St. Call 862-2010 for more information.

Orestimba reunion planning

A reunion of Orestimba High graduates from all classes through that of 1978 is being planned for October 2020.

A large OHS reunion, attended by several hundred alumni, has been held every five years since the 1980s.

This year, the list of invited classes is expanded to include graduates of 1974-78.

Organizers are seeking a class representative from each of those years to assist with the reunion planning by gathering addresses and contacting classmates.

Alumni interested in serving as their class representative for those years may contact Carol Martens, 535-5720, or by email at

Veterans to be honored

Sacred Heart Catholic School in Patterson will host a Veterans Day commemoration Friday, Nov. 8, at 9 a.m.

All veterans and spouses are invited to the ceremony, during which students will honor and thank veterans for their service. Veterans and their spouses are invited to stay for a breakfast served by the Vincentian Marian Youth Group at the school.

The event will be held at the Lopes Orchard De Paul Center, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 505 M. St., Patterson.