Jurassic Period comes to downtown Camas this weekend

First Friday event will feature extended shopping hours, art openings, children’s crafts and more

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A "dinosaur" holding an umbrella walks through historic downtown Camas during a First Friday event. The Downtown Camas Association's First Friday event, to be held in downtown Camas on March 3, 2023, will celebrate dinosaurs and everthing else from the Jurassic Period. (Photos courtesy of Downtown Camas Association)

The Downtown Camas Association will host its monthly First Friday event this week, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 3, throughout historic downtown Camas.

This month’s First Friday theme is “Welcome to Jurassic Camas” and will feature a variety of free games, activities and crafts centered around prehistoric creatures that once roamed the Earth during the Jurassic Period between 145 million and 201 million years ago.

The First Friday event also features after-hours shopping, dining specials, art shows and live music. Juxtaposition, a home furniture, home accessories and tableware shop located at 425 N.E. Fourth Ave., will celebrate its third anniversary during the Friday Friday festivities, with an art show featuring paintings by local artist Gail Harrington; cookies decorated by local artist Nancy Carkin; a birthday cake; live music and white-glove delivery on furniture sales.

Other First Friday activities will include:

  • A hands-on fossil dig for children ages 4 to 12 at Bookish, located at 335 N.E. Fifth Ave., with an assortment of real fossils, polished rocks, crystals and gemstones;
  • The “Jurassic Camas Quest,” a dinosaur-themed trivia game with puzzles and questions around downtown Camas for participants to find and answer for a chance to win themed prize baskets donated by local merchants;
  • A free salt dough fossil and dinosaur STEM activity with Camas High School students and a Lego table inside Journey Church, at 304 N.E. Fourth Ave.;
  • Children’s crafts at Livewell Camas, at 417 N.E. Birch St.; and
  • Face painting with the Camas High Green Team at Journey Church, 304 N.E. Fourth Ave.

Several downtown Camas art galleries also will host artist receptions with refreshments and music on Friday to kick off their March art shows and featured artists:

  • Attic Gallery (421 N.E. Cedar St.) will feature a retrospective solo exhibition of artist Jean Schwalbe;
  • Camas Gallery (408 N.E. Fourth Ave.) will celebrate featured artist Julie Olsen;
  • The LOFT Gallery (411 N.E. Dallas St., inside the Lara Blair Studio) will feature a new collection of dioramas, tiny art and new, “faux food” creations;
  • Pike Art Gallery (302 N.E. Sixth Ave., inside Minuteman Press) will feature paintings by local artist Liz Pike and Blue Bond; and
  • Second Story Gallery (616 N.E. Fourth Ave., on the second floor of the Camas Public Library) will kick off its new exhibit, “A Century in the Books,” part of the library’s yearlong 100th anniversary celebration showcasing library milestones over the last century with historic photos and more.

“We’ve seen a passion for dinosaurs, sharks and other prehistoric creatures at our downtown events and in downtown shops so we are thrilled to add Jurassic Camas as a First Friday theme for 2023,” said Leah Nichelson, event and project manager for the DCA. “The kids will love the fossil dig and other dino and shark themed activities, and the grown-ups will love the after-hours shopping and dining. First Fridays in downtown Camas are truly fun for all ages.”

Passports and activity lists will be available at the DCA tables inside Journey Church, at 304 N.E. Fourth Ave., during the event.

For more information, visit or the DCA’s First Friday Facebook page at irstfriday.