The jingle bell hop is officially in swing as the city prepares to invite the community to have bushels of fun in downtown Camas.
Deep forest green garland accented with twinkling white lights has been draped around light poles. Merchants have filled their windows with seasonal displays in hues of silver, gold, red and green. And on Monday, a 25-foot noble fir tree was gingerly hoisted into place, in plenty of time for Friday’s popular Hometown Holidays event.
One and all are invited to gather around the Christmas tree, donated by Majestyk Mountain Tree Farms of Bear Prairie, in front of the Liberty Theatre on Northeast Fourth Avenue. City officials will switch the lights on at 6:30 p.m., sharp.
“Each year just gets better and better,” said Krista Bashaw, Camas Parks and Recreation special events coordinator. “This is one of Mayor Scott Higgins’ favorite events and he made sure to add a special surprise to the opening of the festivities.”
The event will also include photos with Santa, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., by Windows on Life Photography, free or by donation, under a tent that will be set up on Birch Street near Northeast Fourth Avenue. Attendees will have the opportunity to watch fireworks and listen to entertainment provided by more than 15 school and community choirs, bands and dancers.
At 8 p.m., Liberty Theatre will present “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the version released in 2000 starring Jim Carrey and Molly Shannon. Tickets are $6 per person.
According to Liberty Theatre owner Rand Thornsley, other movies that will be shown at the historic theater during the holiday season include “Gremlins,” Dec. 9-11, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Dec. 16-21, and “White Christmas,” Dec. 22-24. Show times have not been determined, as of press deadlines.
For more information about Hometown Holidays, call 834-5307.
Other upcoming seasonal events include:
Festival of Trees
The seventh-annual Washougal Festival of Trees returns to Hathaway Elementary School, 630 24th St.
It will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. The event will feature decorated trees and gift baskets, which will be given to the people who submit the winning bids during a silent auction.
Breakfast and photos with Santa, $3 each, will be held Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Proceeds will be distributed to all seven Washougal schools.
For more information, follow the event’s Facebook page at Washougal Festival of Trees.
The Christmas Ships will parade at the Port of Camas-Washougal marina Saturday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m.
The doors of the port office, located at 24 S. “A” St., in Washougal, will open to the public for viewing at 5 p.m. The Washougal X-Tet choir will perform, and there will be refreshments including cookies and hot apple cider.
For more information, visit www.portcw.com.
Journey Theater presents ‘Narnia’
C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s story, “Narnia,” has been adopted for theater with original music and will be performed by the Journey Theater Arts Group.
This musical will follow Lucy, her sister Susan, and brothers Peter and Edmund as they enter the magical kingdom of Narnia through the back of an old wardrobe.
It is recommended for children ages 6 and older, and will take place at the Washburn Performing Arts Center, 1201 39th St. Washougal.
Tickets are $14 for adults, and youth and senior tickets are $10. Groups of 10 or more are $9 each. A “family day,” performance is 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, with all tickets $10 in advance. School day performance tickets are $6.
Tickets for all performances are $4 more at the door.
Public performances will be 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9; 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11.
A school day performance will be 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.journeytheater.org, or call 750-8550.
Holly Days Arts and Crafts Bazaar and breakfast with Santa
The Holly Days Arts and Crafts Bazaar gives local artisans and crafters a chance to showcase their work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at Liberty Middle School, 1612 N.E. Garfield St., Camas.
A pancake breakfast and photos with Santa will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Camas High School grad night party.
For more information, contact Tara Unbanek at HollyDays2016@comcast.net.
Sip & Shop
The Holiday Sip & Shop is an after-hours shopping, dining and interpretive museum tour event. It will be held Thursday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m.
A fundraiser for the Downtown Camas Association, tickets are $25 and include a beverage, holiday caroling, ride on a antique double decker bus, two raffle tickets and tour of the Georgia Pacific mill interpretive center. For more information, visit www.downtowncamas.com.
Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade
Washougal’s annual Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade will be held Thursday, Dec. 8, at downtown’s Reflection Plaza, 1703 Main St.
The parade on Main Street starts at 6 p.m., followed by the tree lighting at 6:30.
Santa Claus will be part of the parade, and then stick around afterwards to distribute candy canes, listen to children’s Christmas wish lists and pose for photos taken by Windows on Life Photography.
For more information, call 835-8501, Ext. 602.
Christmas in the Gorge
Christmas in the Gorge will be held Friday, Dec. 2 though Sunday, Dec. 4, in Stevenson.
On Friday, at 6:55 p.m., a Christmas tree will be lit in downtown Stevenson at the Skamania County Courthouse, 170 N.W. Vancouver Ave., followed by the Starlight Parade at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, there will be a breakfast with Santa event at Rock Cove Assisted Living Center, 986 S.W. Rock Creek Drive. Seatings for the free event are scheduled for 9, 9:30, 10 and 10:30 a.m. Call the Stevenson Chamber of Commerce at 427-8911.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a handcrafted arts and crafts bazaar at the Skamania County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 710 S.W. Rock Creek Drive.
A display of more than 100 ecumenical nativity scenes will be available for viewing at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 650 N.W. Gropper Road, Friday and Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.cityofstevenson.com.