By Kelly Moyer
CAMAS — With its annual tree lighting countdown, fireworks display, visit from Santa and festivities throughout the downtown area, the annual Camas Hometown Holidays festival draws hundreds each year.
And the 2016 celebration, held Friday night, Dec. 2, was no exception. Families filled the streets of downtown Camas Friday evening, enjoying cups of hot cocoa, photos with Santa, holiday shopping, art shows, music by Camas students, crafts, hayrides and the chance to sit behind the wheel of a Camas Fire Department firetruck.
At 6:30 p.m., Camas Mayor Scott Higgins, wearing a Santa hat and his old, bright red Camas High letterman’s jacket in support of the state tournament-bound Camas football team, spoke to the crowd, which had gathered near the Liberty Theatre to see the town’s tree lighting.
Thanking Hometown Holidays’ many sponsors and organizers, Higgins reminded his community that Camas residents are lucky on many levels — and therefore, know that they need to support other community members who aren’t so fortunate. Signs of the Camas community’s support of others was on full display this weekend — from the canned food drive to feed the hungry that is happening Sat., Dec. 3, to the collections local student musicians were taking up for the Red Cross at an event inside the Camas Gallery on Northeast 4th Ave.
Shortly after this, Higgins led the crowd in a 10-second countdown to the annual tree lighting and fireworks display.
If you missed out on the tree lighting, don’t worry, there are still more holiday events coming up in Camas, including the Thu., Dec. 8 Holiday Shop and Sip event, which includes caroling, holiday shopping, specialty drinks, raffles, prize packages, music, a tour of the new Mill Interpretive Center and a ride on the Double Decker bus for $25. The event is a fundraiser for Downtown Camas and you can purchase tickets at www.downtowncamas.com.