Hometown Holidays kicks off Friday

Annual event features tree lighting, photos with Santa, hayrides and plenty of hot cocoa in downtown Camas

Hometown Holidays attendees were treated to fireworks and foam snow flurry surprises during the Christmas tree lighting event in 2016. Post-Record file photo

The Camas community will pounce right into the holiday cheer on Friday, Dec. 1 with the annual Hometown Holidays event from 5 to 9 p.m. in historic, downtown Camas.

The city streets have become lined with merry red accents, bows and Christmas bells to set the mood for a night of photos with Santa, crafts, hayrides, hot cocoa and tents filled with entertainment performances.

Krista Bashaw, Camas Parks and Recreation special events coordinator, says that Hometown Holidays is special because it’s an opportunity for the community to gather and celebrate together.

“For my favorite part, I love having all the school choirs, bands and dance groups come out and provide all that great entertainment for our guests,” Bashaw says.

All of the schools from the Camas School District are represented through various types of performances, she adds.

The tree lighting in the core of downtown is a highlight of the event and kicks off with a fireworks display at 6:30 p.m.

The city of Camas hosts the event and gives thanks to Majestyk Mountain Tree Farms of Bear Prairie for donating the holiday tree.

Attendees are welcome to come hungry because all downtown restaurants will be open and new vendors Getta Gyro, Papa Murphy’s and Tequila Mexican Grill will add even more food options this year.

Journey Church will hand out its “fabulous” hot cocoa, Bashaw says. The church pre-makes the cocoa and provides an array of toppings to be handed out for free from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the church lobby. The children’s holiday craft station also will be located inside Journey Church.

Just outside of the church, in a tent on Birch Street and Fifth Avenue, photos with Santa will take place. The photos and hayrides at Hometown Holidays are free. Donations support the partners of Camas Parks and Recreation. The Liberty Theatre will show “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at 8 p.m. for a $6 admission.

The main downtown roads will close to traffic at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, and reopen after the event has been cleared.