Four downtown Camas businesses will celebrate a milestone this week with a 10-year-anniversary celebration at Camas Bike & Sport during the Camas First Friday celebrations on June 7.
The owners of Camas Bike & Sport, Naturally Healthy Pet, Navidi’s Olive Oils & Vinegars and Wintzer Acupuncture are inviting community members to swing by their anniversary party from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 7, at 403 N.E. Fifth Ave., in the Camas Bike & Sport parking lot.
The celebration, marking the four businesses’ decade of operating in Camas, will feature live music, food carts, vendors and raffles.
“We wanted to say thank-you to our customers and the community,” said Dore Blaske, who owns the Naturally Healthy Pet store at 335 N.E. Fifth Ave., with her husband, Don Blaske. “When we started 10 years ago, Camas wasn’t what it is today. It’s really grown since then. But people love that we’re still here after 10 years.”
The four businesses all started in Camas in 2009, but some have moved around. Camas Bike & Sport, for instance, started on Northeast Third Avenue but moved to its current location at 403 N.E. Fifth Ave., in 2014. And acupuncturist Diane Wintzer, owner of Wintzer Acupuncture, started at Fearn Natural Health Clinic in Camas, then moved to into Blossom Natural Health and Wellness on Northeast Birch Street in downtown Camas in 2011 before settling into her current Wintzer Acupuncture Wellness Clinic location at 430 N.E. Cedar St., in 2015.
The business owners all say downtown Camas has changed dramatically since they first opened their Camas shops in 2009.
“There were a lot of empty storefronts when we first started,” said Ed Fischer, who co-owns Camas Bike & Sport with his wife, Katina Fischer. “Downtown Camas is definitely more vibrant now.”
Dore Blaske and Ed Fischer both said they have high hopes for the parts of downtown Camas that aren’t located on Northeast Fourth Avenue on the city’s “main street.” For instance, Dore Blaske said, she has noticed a considerable uptick in foot traffic since other businesses like Hidden River coffee roasters, the Peace Yourself Together wellness center and Grains of Wrath brewery opened on Northeast Fifth Avenue.
“I would like to see some of these ‘outer streets’ develop more over the next few years,” Dore Blaske said. “And I think they already are. The DCA (Downtown Camas Association) does a good job communicating with all of the downtown businesses … and bringing people together.”
Wintzer said she likes the size of downtown Camas, so she doesn’t necessarily want to see the downtown expand too much, but she does have one hope for her business’ 20-year anniversary in 2029: “I hope all the businesses that are here today are still here then,” she said.
‘Unicorns & Rainbows’ star in June First Friday celebration
The DCA will host its monthly First Friday festivities throughout downtown Camas from 5 to 8 p.m., June 7.
This month’s First Friday theme is “Unicorns & Rainbows” and will feature a scavenger hunt along with the regular art gallery openings, children’s crafts and special events at downtown businesses.
The scavenger hunt begins at the DCA booth at Journey Church, 304 N.E. Fourth Ave., and winds its way through participating locations, where hunters will seek out unicorn and rainbow themed items for a chance to earn tickets for raffle prizes.
First Friday-goers can have their photos taken with a unicorn from 6 to 7 p.m., June 7, and Cake Happy and Friends of Camas Arts are hosting a Unicorn & Rainbow cake decorating contest, in which participants can vote for their favorite cake and enter a silent auction to take a cake home.
Other First Friday activities include art gallery receptions at Attic Gallery, Camas Gallery and Second Story Gallery. Attic Gallery, at 421 N.E. Cedar St., will feature artist Jean Schwalbe throughout the month of June. Camas Gallery, at 408 N.E. Fourth Ave., will feature artist Julie Olsen. And Second Story Gallery, located on the second floor of the Camas Public Library at 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., will feature artworks from students in the Camas High School Integrated Arts & Academics program.
For more information about First Friday or the “10 Years Strong” business celebration on June 7, visit downtowncamas.com.