In the community

Frosty Fest ready to roll in downtown Ontario

ONTARIO — The annual Frosty Fest returns to downtown Ontario on Friday, Nov. 18, from 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
With scores of vendors, food trucks, carolers and visits from Santa and Frosty the Snowman, the cozy downtown Christmas celebration transforms Oregon Street into a winter wonderland. 
This is what organizer Tracy Hammond, owner of home goods and antique store Vintage Rose, is aiming for this year. 
In its fifth year, Hammond said her goal is to grow the event to where it gets bigger. 
Hammond said she and her sister have worked significantly harder to make this year’s Frosty Fest memorable in honor of their father, who died last year. 
Christmas, she said, was her father’s favorite holiday. 
Every year, she said, it was a Hammond family tradition for her father to pile her and her sister into the car and drive around neighborhoods in Nyssa to look at the Christmas lights. 
As he got older, Hammond and her sister would drive their dad to view the lights.  
“He loved Christmas so much. He loved the lights,” Terry said. “He is with us in spirit.”  
Honoring her dad is not the only reason she has worked so hard. She said she wants the Frosty Fest to be an event that helps improve Ontario’s reputation. Hammond also said she wants the downtown area to not be about crime and homelessness. 
She said she wants to see Ontario become a place people want to visit. Born and raised in Vale, she wants people to know that Malheur County is filled with good people. 
 “I want to contact Hallmark in a few years,” Hammond said, “and say, ‘hey, come shoot a movie here because we’re a Hallmark town.’” 
Contact Steven Mitchell at [email protected].

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