Nothing announces the start of the Christmas season like a community tree lighting. Everyone gathers outdoors, cheerfully tolerating the rain and cold, just to see their local tree come alight for the season. It truly is a bit of small-town magic. Here are four not to miss in Clark County.
Washougal kicks off the holiday season with the Lighted Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting 5-7:30 tonight at Reflection Plaza, 1703 Main St., Washougal. For the first time in more than a decade, there will be a harvested tree at the center of the plaza, a 17-foot grand fir donated by the Keister family. The tree and plaza will be decorated with nearly 7,000 lights. The event starts at 5 p.m. with “Selfies with Santa.” The lighted parade will start at 6 p.m. along Main Street, ending at Washougal River Road. The tree lighting is at 6:45 p.m. During and after the parade, the city will serve complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. Entertainment includes performances from the Washougal High School music program. Santa and Mrs. Claus will bring up the end of the parade and be available for photos. The event will also be livestreamed at facebook.com/WashougalGov at 6 p.m.
Camas Parks and Recreation is hosting Camas Hometown Holidays and Tree Lighting 5-8 p.m. Friday in downtown Camas along Northeast Fourth Avenue. The event will include photos with Santa, crafts, hayrides, entertainment, free hot cocoa, after-hours holiday shopping and art shows. The tree will be lit in front of the Liberty Theatre and “snow” will fall. Friendly elves will hand out festive goodies to children. The recently formed Artisans’ Guild of Camas will host a free reception for its holiday show at the Second Story Gallery, upstairs at the Camas Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas. For more details about Camas Hometown Holidays, visit cityofcamas.us/parksrec/page/hometown-holidays-returns-camas or call Camas Parks and Rec at 360-834-5307.
Battle Ground will host its Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St., Battle Ground. Enjoy live music and caroling with the Battle Ground High School Choir. Santa Claus will make his grand arrival atop a Fire District 3 Engine adorned with lights as the Battle Ground Police Department leads the way. After the tree is shining bright, the celebration will move into the warmth of the community center where Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet children. Families and friends are encouraged to bring cameras or phones to take free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy complimentary holiday cookies and hot cocoa. For more information, call 360-342-5380.
Ridgefield’s Hometown Celebration and Tree Lighting lasts from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Ridgefield and in Overlook Park, 113-131 S. Main Ave. Visitors will find lights, holiday decorations, food and sales in downtown businesses. Get started on holiday shopping at the Holiday Food and Gift Marketplace in Overlook Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 40 local vendors. Have breakfast with Santa at the Ridgefield Administrative and Civic Center, 510 Pioneer St., from 9 to 11 a.m. Visit Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Liberty Theater, 115 N. Main Ave. See holiday entertainment from school bands and choirs at Overlook Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cap it off with the tree lighting at 4:30 p.m. with DanceFusion NW. Shop at the Ridgefield Art Association’s Chickadee Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the gym with crafts for the kids. Join the Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K-10K run at 9 a.m. Get even more shopping done at the Winter Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene, 747 Pioneer St., Ridgefield, featuring vendors, food carts, a photo booth and a gift basket raffle. Finally, visit Candy Cane Lane on North 34th Court from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.