November 2012 City of Yakima Issues Brief

Santa To Share Breakfast at the Harman Center

With Christmas fast approaching, preparations are underway around the world for visits from the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus. Part of Santa’s packed public appearance schedule includes a stop at Yakima’s Harman Senior Center on Saturday, December 8th for a special “Breakfast With Santa” event.

The man known to many as Father Christmas will spend a couple of hours at the Harman Center greeting people, taking gift requests, and handing out candy canes. Santa is scheduled to be at the Senior Center, which is located at 101 North 65th Avenue, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am that day.

During his visit, everyone will also have the chance to to get their picture taken with Mr. Claus. Anyone interested in snapping a photo of themselves with Santa, who will be donning his traditional outfit of a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, matching hat, and black boots and belt, should bring their own camera or other picture taking device.

It will cost only $4.00 for the delicious breakfast on December 8th, which is being sponsored by Yakima Valley Senior Citizens, Inc., a non-profit group that supports activities and programs at the Harman Senior Center.

“We’re really looking forward to Santa being here on December 8th for breakfast,” said Parks and Recreation Supervisor Traci Bennett. “We’re already working to get the Harman Center decorated with lots of holiday cheer. On the day of the breakfast, we’ll have Christmas music playing, the fireplace will be blazing… it will be a lot of fun,” said Bennett.

People who plan on attending the special “Breakfast With Santa” event at the Harman Center on Saturday, December 8th are being asked to make reservations before November 30th. Reservations can be made by calling 575-6166.

For more information about this article, contact Parks and Recreation Supervisor Traci Bennett by phone (576-6348) or by e-mail (

Downtown Yakima’s Holiday Light Parade Returns for 13th Year

Downtown Yakima’s Holiday Light Parade is one of our community’s wonderful family traditions. Having grown every year since it began in 1999, this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than ever.

The 13th Annual Downtown Yakima Holiday Light Parade will take place on Sunday, December 2nd. The parade will begin at 5:30pm at 6th Avenue and will head east down Yakima Avenue. The parade will end at the Millennium Plaza on 3rd Avenue across from the Capitol Theatre.

Following the parade, a fun-filled program will take place at the Millennium Plaza complete with holiday music, a ceremony to announce the parade judging winners, and more.

Parade awards will be presented in categories including corporate, small group, most original, most outstanding use of lights, best kid’s entry, and parade committee favorite.

Entry in the parade is open to anyone and everyone. Parade organizers say that there really are no rules for entries…other than to have fun and to be creative!

People or organizations interested in being part of the parade need to fill out an application. Applications can be picked up at Ron’s Coin and Book Center at 6 North 3rd Street.

Applications have to be returned to the Downtown Ron’s location by Friday, November 23rd.

The 13th Annual Downtown Yakima Holiday Light Parade is being proudly presented by For A Better Tomorrow, the Capitol Theatre, the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce, YV-Tech,  the City of Yakima, and Ron’s Coin and Book Centers.

Anyone needing more information about this year’s parade should call 248-1117

Winter Weather Shelters Need Volunteers and Supplies

Since 2005, the Homeless Network of Yakima County has coordinated the Extreme Winter Weather Housing Project, which has provided a safe haven from the bitter cold for hundreds of people throughout the Valley without homes. The program has mostly utilized churches as shelters during what can be brutal winter months in the region.

The Homeless Network, in collaboration with Sunrise Outreach Ministries, opened three overnight shelters in Yakima on November 15th. Shelters serving men are located at Unitarian Universalist Church of Yakima (2nd Street and Lincoln Avenue) and Englewood Christian Church (44th Avenue and Englewood Avenue). The shelter at First Baptist Church of Yakima (6th Street and Yakima Avenue) serves women.

The Station, which is located in the Sunrise Outreach Ministries facility at 3rd Street and MLK, Jr. Boulevard, is also providing care for the homeless this winter during daytime hours (6:30am to 9:00am).

A family shelter is also open in Sunnyside at the Oasis Community Church (344 North 11th Street).

Sunrise Outreach Ministries Pastor Dave Hanson says that volunteers are relied on heavily to run the shelters.

“It takes about 500 volunteers alone just to keep the shelters going during the winter,” said Pastor Hanson. “In order to be a shelter volunteer, people do have to go through a short training class. But no special skills are needed to work at a shelter,” said Pastor Hanson. “The most important qualification is wanting to help”.

Because demand for the shelters is expected to be high this winter, Pastor Hanson’s organization would like to open a third men’s shelter in Yakima. However, it would take another 50 trained male volunteers to operate a third men’s shelter.

Sunrise Outreach Ministries also relies heavily on donations in order to operate the shelters and provide care for people who are cold and hungry. Pastor Hanson says donations of men’s and women’s winter clothing, blankets, coffee, sugar, creamer, cocoa, and other non-perishable food are always needed.

Anyone willing to become a shelter volunteer or make a donation to support the shelters is encouraged to contact Sunrise Outreach Ministries by phone at 225-9310 or by e-mail at Information about the shelters and opportunities to volunteer can be found on the Homeless Network of Yakima County website –

For more information about this article, contact Community Relations Manager Randy Beehler by phone (901-1142) or by e-mail (