‘Tis the Season for holiday events in Camas and Washougal

Susan Kashas decorates her home in a French romantic style. She is looking forward to welcoming visitors during the Camas Holiday Home Tour on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s now December, and many people are finally feeling ready to get into the spirit of the holiday season. A number of events this weekend in Camas and Washougal will help local residents do just that.

Washougal Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade

The Christmas parade and tree lighting are scheduled for Saturday, in downtown Washougal. Parade participants and floats will assemble at 5:30 p.m., at 21st and Main streets. The parade will begin at 6 p.m., traveling west on Main to Durgan Street.

Following the parade, Santa Claus will help light the community Christmas Tree at 6:30 p.m., and stay for photos with children. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be provided for attendees. Waste Connections will sponsor the event again this year.

For more information about the tree lighting or parade, call City Hall at 835-8501 or visit www.cityofwashougal.us.

Washougal Festival of Trees

The trees will be on display Friday, from 3 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Washougal Town Square, 1700 Main St. Admission is free and open to the public.

Silent auction bids will be accepted for 18 trees, eight wreaths and more than 30 gift baskets until Saturday, at 5 p.m.

Tree Festival Committee Chairman Chuck Carpenter, a past Lions Club president, said the trees are donated by Washougal River Christmas Trees and decorated by schools and businesses.

The trees will range in size, from 3- to 8-feet tall.

“Every one is an individual work of art, put together by community volunteers,” Carpenter said. “It’s an opportunity to get a tree for your home or business that is truly distinctive. This year, there will also be tabletop trees.”

Donations are tax-deductible, and proceeds from the festival will be donated to Washougal schools.

One of the trees will be raffled off with $400 worth of gift cards. There will also be a raffle of a three-day getaway, including a $100 voucher for food.

The festival will include live music and free refreshments.

“I just enjoy people coming together for a common purpose,” Carpenter said. “What could be better than raising money for the schools?”

For additional information about the tree festival, contact Carpenter at 335-1947 or Washougalchuck@gmail.com or visit the Washougal Festival of Trees page at www.facebook.com. The page includes links to the websites of businesses that have donated merchandise or will be decorating trees.

Camas Hometown Holidays

A visit from Santa Claus and the lighting of the community Christmas tree will be among the highlights of the popular Hometown Holidays event on Friday, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in downtown Camas.

The free community celebration will include entertainment and activities from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will be photos with Santa, music provided by student groups from the Camas School District and others, crafts for kids, local art, hayrides and refreshments.

The lighting of the Christmas tree, located in front of the Liberty Theatre, 315 N.E. Fourth Ave., will take place at 6:30 p.m. sharp, and Santa will arrive at 6:45.

In addition, Hometown Holidays will coincide with First Friday, when downtown businesses will be open for extended hours and offer special deals and giveaways, and the Second Story Gallery at the Camas Public Library will host a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. for its featured artist for December, Karyn Mastrud.

To accommodate Hometown Holidays events, the downtown core will be closed to parking and vehicle traffic on Northeast Fourth Avenue and its side streets between Adams and Everett streets beginning at 1 p.m. Friday. Roadways will not reopen until after 11 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ci.camas.wa.us or call 834-5307.

Camas Holiday Home Tour

The Camas Holiday Home Tour has become an anticipated event during the past three Christmas seasons, and this year is no exception.

The 2012 tour will feature two historic and two notable homes. The former are a French country cottage style residence and a classic Victorian near Crown Park. The two contemporary homes are on Lacamas Lake, and include an Asian influenced home decorated in Feng Shui style, and a French country estate affectionately nicknamed, “Maison sur la lac.” All four will be decorated for the holidays.

Local businesses Lizzabeth A, Flowers Washougal and Camas Antiques support the event, along with local designers Kathy Wilson and Carma Zarosinski of Carma for Design.

Tickets, $20 each, can be purchased at five downtown Camas locations: Ballard & Call NW Art Gallery (408 N.E. Fourth Ave.), Camas Antiques (305 N.E. Fourth Ave.), Camas Hotel (405 N.E. Fourth Ave.), Lizzabeth A (339 N.E. Fourth Ave.), and the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce (422 N.E. Fourth Ave.).

Tickets include the opportunity to learn about each home from docents, who are volunteers from Soroptimist International of Camas-Washougal, along with the chance to enter a raffle.

Proceeds benefit the Downtown Camas Association and the Soroptimists.

For more information, visit www.downtowncamas.com.