More fun than a barrel of monkeys

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(Above) A Christmas tree decorated by Excelsior High School students and staff (right)won the people’s choice award during the fifth annual Washougal Festival of Trees. Adorned with dozens of sock monkeys in all shapes, sizes and colors, it sold for $350 as part of the silent auction. According to Chairman Chuck Carpenter, the event held Friday and Saturday at Hathaway Elementary School raised approximately $11,000. Proceeds will benefit Washougal schools and students. Carpenter said he was thrilled that the fundraiser exceeded organizers’ goal of raising $10,000 this year. “I feel good about it,” he said. “All of the volunteers, everybody who helped out, should give themselves a big pat on the back.”

(Right) Whipped cream, candy canes, and chocolate were among the toppings available at the hot cocoa bar at Journey Community Church on Friday night (right). The streets of downtown Camas were packed to brims with people who trekked down to the city center to participate in the very popular Hometown Holidays event, organized by Camas Parks and Recreation and the Downtown Camas Association. Festivities also included a tree lighting ceremony led by Mayor Scott Higgins and City Councilman Steve Hogan, hay rides, crafts and pictures with Santa Claus.