Around Town (11-20-13)

SPCA home tour, raffle

Four decorated homes and the Vista Ranch and Cellars will be on the Merced SPCA’s annual Christmas tour of homes, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 8. There will be a lunch, gift baskets and a raffle with prizes including a bicycle, diamond necklace. Tickets are $15 each and can be obtained at Maciel & Co. in the Merced Mall, Christina’s Fine Clothing in the Galleria and at Expressions of Love Floral in Atwater. For more information, call (209) 384-7722 or (209) 723-8953.

Fracking experts to speak

Experts on the petroleum drilling technique known as fracking will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday at Merced United Methodist Church, 899 Yosemite Parkway. The Merced Sierra Club is holding this public event. Call (209) 723-4747 for more information.

Hinds Hospice benefit

Lights of Love, the first annual memorial tree lighting ceremony to benefit the Hinds Hospice Center for Grief & Healing is set to be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at 5th Street and Broadway. A reception will follow at Atwater Women’s Club, 1201 Grove Road. Admission is free; lights are $10. Visit for more information.

Outdoor collectible show

A hunting and fishing collectible show is set to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Los Banos Sportsmen’s Club north of Quail Street on Highway 165. Wildlife and sporting art, antique duck decoys, fishing tackle and related items will be available. Admission is $5. Kids under 12 get in free and there is no cost to park. Food and beverages will be offered for sale, and there will be free appraisals of collectibles. For more information, call (559) 259-5755.

Atwater VFW bake sale

The ladies of the Atwater VFW Post 9946 will be selling cookies, cakes and hot chocolate on Dec. 6 starting at 5 p.m. on the front steps of the memorial building. All proceeds will be used for veterans programs. It’s a good spot to view the Atwater Christmas parade, which starts at 7 p.m.