Hometown Holidays kicks off Christmas season in Camas

Tree lighting, fireworks and local performance groups help usher in the holiday season

CAMAS — The streets of downtown Camas were filled with crowds full of holiday cheer on Friday evening as local residents flocked to the 12th annual Hometown Holidays event, and the official lighting of the Camas Christmas tree.

The event revolved around the lighting of a 40-foot tall Christmas tree in front of the Liberty Theatre in Camas, but that was not the only activity during the Hometown Holidays event.

Throughout the evening, various local community groups performed at several different tents scattered around the downtown region. These included local choirs, bands and dance groups.

The Camas High School band entertained attendees as they waited for the Christmas tree to come alight. The Lacamas Heights Elementary school choir also provided musical entertainment, and invited the bustling crowd to participate in well known Christmas songs.

Children excitedly waited in line to have their photo taken with Santa Claus, and this became a popular attraction for families attending the event.

Many families lined up outside of a tent to have their childrens’ pictures taken with Santa Claus during Camas’ Hometown Holidays on Friday. Camas resident Lisa Kuhlman worked as the photographer, and Rick Knapp of Camas appeared as Santa Claus. Here, Harley Kays smiles for the camera and tells Santa what he wants for Christmas. Photo by Mike Schutlz
Many families lined up outside of a tent to have their childrens’ pictures taken with Santa Claus during Camas’ Hometown Holidays on Friday. Camas resident Lisa Kuhlman worked as the photographer, and Rick Knapp of Camas appeared as Santa Claus. Here, Harley Kays smiles for the camera and tells Santa what he wants for Christmas. Photo by Mike Schutlz

 

The annual Hometown Holidays event in downtown Camas had attractions for all ages. Children were drawn to the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa Claus. Brayden Butterfield of Camas tells Santa, played by Camas resident Rick Knapp, what he wants for Christmas. Photo by Mike Schultz
The annual Hometown Holidays event in downtown Camas had attractions for all ages. Children were drawn to the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa Claus. Brayden Butterfield of Camas tells Santa, played by Camas resident Rick Knapp, what he wants for Christmas. Photo by Mike Schultz

Camas Mayor Scott Higgins presided over the Christmas tree lighting. He presented a brief speech that was intended to inspire pride in the city’s history as a mill town.

 

“Never forget where we came from,” Higgins said.

At 6:30 p.m., Higgins led the crowd, now standing shoulder to shoulder along the sidewalks and streets of downtown Camas, in a countdown for the tree lighting.

When the countdown reached zero, the tree lit up in red and white lights, and fireworks burst overhead. Snow machines mounted on buildings delighted the crowds with additional holiday ambiance.

Activities and performances continued into the evening after the tree lighting. Attendees were able to take hayrides in a trailer decorated with Christmas lights and greenery.

Additionally, almost all of the shops and restaurants in downtown Camas threw open their doors to welcome eager customers and hungry attendees.

The Hometown Holidays event centered around the lighting of the Christmas tree and accompanying fireworks display at the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Hometown Holidays event centered around the lighting of the Christmas tree and accompanying fireworks display at the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas. Photo by Mike Schultz

For those wishing to have a warm drink to ward off evening chills, Journey Community Church in downtown Camas provided hot cocoa.

Even the brief sprinkling of rain could not keep the crowds from visiting downtown Camas for this kickoff to the holiday season.

 

As the tree in front of the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas was lit during the Hometown Holidays event, crowds were enthralled by fireworks bursting overhead, marking the beginning of the Christmas season for the city. Photo by Mike Schultz
As the tree in front of the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas was lit during the Hometown Holidays event, crowds were enthralled by fireworks bursting overhead, marking the beginning of the Christmas season for the city. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

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About The Author

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Alex Peru is a 2017 graduate of Washington State University Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and a double minor in Political Science and Business Administration. Peru grew up in Battle Ground, and graduated from CAM Academy in 2013. He worked for The VanCougar, WSU Vancouver’s campus newspaper, for three years, including one year as the editor-in-chief. When not working, Peru enjoys reading books about history, working on cars and enjoying the outdoors in Clark County’s beautiful rivers, lakes and forests.

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