HERMISTON — Hermiston city leaders will be making their annual goodwill pilgrimage to Portland on Aug. 2 to give samples of local produce and network with metro-area leaders.

The event in Portland's Pioneer Square at noon will include giveaways of watermelons and other fresh Hermiston-grown produce, plus a seed-spitting contest between Hermiston and Portland officials. 

It is sponsored by the city of Hermiston, the city of Portland and the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce, with produce donated by Botsford and Goodfellow, Pollock and Sons, Bellinger Farms, Walchli Farms and Walchli Organic.

The annual giveaway began in the 1980s when then-mayor Frank Harkenrider loaded up a pickup truck with watermelons and challenged Bud Clark, then Portland's mayor, to a seed spitting contest. After a haitus in 2007 it was restarted in 2015.

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