Holiday happenings

The Post-Record’s round-up of winter holiday events in Camas, Washougal and beyond

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A child enjoys the "snow" at a 2015 Hometown Holidays celebration in downtown Camas. This year's holiday festival will be held throughout the city's downtown from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, with a tree lighting and fireworks at 6:30 p.m. (Post-Record file photo)

If you’re looking for some holiday cheer, a photo opp with Santa, a Christmas tree lighting (or three), or even just a free cup of hot cocoa this holiday season, we’ve got you covered. Following is a list of winter holiday events occurring in Camas and Washougal, as well as a few of the bigger festivities happening in the greater Vancouver-Portland metro area.


Washougal ‘lights up’ with parade, tree lighting on Dec. 6

Washougal will light up with holiday spirit on Thursday, Dec. 6. The city’s annual Lighted Christmas Parade will march down Main Street, starting at 6 p.m. on 24th Street and making its way toward Durgan Street, finally ending at Reflection Plaza in the heart of downtown Washougal.

The tree lighting, also at Reflection Plaza, will happen at 6:30 p.m., following the Lighted Christmas Parade.

“The community enjoys this holiday event and it has become a special tradition here in Washougal,” Washougal Mayor Molly Coston said. “It continues to grow with more and more parade entries and more and more families coming down to watch and be a part of the festivities.”

The city will serve free cookies, hot cider and coffee during and following the parade. Entertainment includes the Washougal High School band and X-Tet choral group. Santa will be riding at the rear of the parade, where he will pass out candy canes. Before and after the parade and tree lighting, Santa will be available for free photos with children of all ages, compliments of Windows on Life Photography.

Event sponsors include Waste Connections, Riverview Community Bank and Windows on Life Photography.

Hometown Holidays comes to Camas Dec. 7

This popular Camas event, which kicks off at 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, has it all: a Christmas tree lighting, “snowfall” to help set the mood, photos with Santa, musical entertainment by Camas students, fireworks, hay rides, holiday shopping, free cocoa, crafts for children and free shuttles running from several Camas locations so you can avoid the hassle of finding parking in downtown Camas.

This year’s event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m., Dec. 7, throughout historic downtown Camas. The tree-lighting, along with fireworks, takes place in front of Liberty Theatre on Northeast Fourth Avenue at exactly 6:30 p.m.

To read a full preview of the Hometown Holidays event, visit

Washougal Festival of Trees set for Dec. 7-8

The Ninth annual Washougal Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for Washougal schools, is back this year with its usual delights, including pre-decorated Christmas trees created by school and community groups, which will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The festival will take place from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, at Hathaway Elementary School, 630 24th St., Washougal.

Breakfast with Santa, with food created by Washougal High School’s culinary students, will be held at the festival at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, also at Hathaway Elementary School.

The festival donated more than $15,000 to Washougal’s seven public schools in 2017, said Washougal Festival of Trees Chairwoman Margie Shoemaker. Proceeds helped purchase books and paid for assemblies and field trips that school budgets could not afford.

This year’s event plans to have more than 20 pre-decorated trees, several gift baskets donated by local merchants, a raffle, photos with Santa and musical entertainment.

For more information about this annual event, visit

Nativity exhibits open to public Dec. 8, in Washougal

The local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will host a “Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him” nativity exhibit from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3920 “Q” St., Washougal.

The free, family-friendly event will feature nativities from around the world, musical entertainment, refreshments and a children’s play area.

Journey Theater presents ‘Scrooge, the Musical’ Dec. 7-9

Washougal’s Journey Theater will present a youth production of “Scrooge, the Musical,” at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7; at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, at Washougal High School’s Washburn Performing Arts Center, 1201 39th St., Washougal.

An adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol,” the stage musical tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Tickets purchased before the show cost $12 for adults age 19 and older, $10 for youth ages 2 to 18, and $10 for seniors age 62 and older. Tickets sold at the door cost $16 for adults age 19 and older, $14 for youth ages 2 to 18, and $14 for seniors age 62 or older.

For more information, visit

Community Orchestra presents Christmas concert Dec. 15

The Camas-Washougal Community Orchestra will present a Christmas concert at 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Camas United Methodist Church, 706 N.E. 14th Ave., Camas. Donations are appreciated. Refreshments will be served following the concert.


Christmas Ships will sail past Vancouver Waterfront

Having already made an appearance in Camas-Washougal, the Christmas Ships will sail past the newly opened Vancouver Waterfront on Dec. 6, 12, 13, 18 and 20.

The ships will start near The James M. Gleason Boat Ramp off Northeast 43rd Avenue and Northeast Marine Drive in Portland, at 7 p.m., and be near the Vancouver shoreline around 8 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Dec. 13.

Look for the ships along the Vancouver shores again between 7:15 and 8:45 p.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 12, Tuesday, Dec. 18 and Thursday, Dec. 20.

On Friday, Dec. 14, the fleet assembles at the Gleason boat ramp at 7 p.m., then makes its way toward the Interstate 205 bridge and Steamboat Landing in Vancouver. The fleet will go to Southeast 164th Street in Vancouver and stay out for two hours that night.

For more information, and route maps, visit

ZooLights run through Jan. 5 at Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo’s annual winter “ZooLights” festival runs through Jan. 5. This year’s lighted festival features a continuous loop that takes visitors on a glowing, kaleidoscopic walk through the zoo, carousel and train rides, a 23-foot-tall mosaic tree sculpture, a projection light train tunnel and animated lawn displays.

ZooLights will be closed Dec. 24 and 25. Santa will be available through Dec. 23, for photos. Ticket prices vary. The zoo offers “Zoo for All” and “Value Night” tickets. The festival hours are 5 to 9 p.m. on ZooLights nights, and 5 to 8 p.m. for the Zoo For All and Value Night events. The zoo grounds remain open for one hour after the gates close. For more information, visit

Daily menorah lightings at Portland’s Director Park through Dec. 9

The Chabad of Oregon is hosting the 35th annual Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Director Park in Southwest Portland, with daily lightings through Sunday, Dec. 9.

A Festival of Lights kicked off the first night of Chanukah on Dec. 2. The group has since hosted daily menorah lightings.

The menorah lightings will occur at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6; at 3 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7; at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8; and at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9.

Director Park is located at 815 S.W. Park Ave., in Portland. All events are free and open to the public.

Vancouver City Ballet to perform ‘The Nutcracker’

The Friends of DanceWorks present the Vancouver City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 7-9, in Vancouver.

Upcoming performances will take place at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7; at 2 and 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9. All performances take place in the Prairie High School auditorium, 11311 N.E. 119th St., Vancouver. Tickets cost between $10 and $25, and are available online at (search for Friends of DanceWorks) or by calling 360-892-5664.