As we near the holiday season families are already planning for the myriad of festivities. Baking cookies, trips to see relatives, decorating and shopping for the perfect gift.  One of the most important things on the annual to-do list is a visit with Santa Claus.

For many people this means bundling the kids into the car, driving all the way to the nearest mall. Waiting in long lines only to pay a small fortune on a package of photos of which only three have your kids smiling.    For something closer to home, the City of Camas is in its 15th year of hosting “Hometown Holidays” which occurs each year on the first Friday in December. A free event for the whole family. A chance for the community to come together and share in the spirit of the holiday season.

Activities include; hayrides, art shows, crafts, local school bands and choirs, fireworks and even snow!  Journey Church runs a free hot cocoa bar. There will be a tree lighting ceremony at 6:30pm that night and most importantly, Santa Claus will be attendance!  The jolly man in the red suit will be waiting to hear your kids Christmas lists, and of course, take free photos! He’ll be in a tent on Birch Street near 4th Avenue. Donations welcomed. “Hometown Holidays” starts at 5pm and wraps up at 9pm.

Along with first Fridays each month. “Hometown Holidays” is just one of many holiday events happening in Camas this year. Other events include Sip n’ Shop happening November 14th, 4-9pm. A 21 and over event which raises funds for The Downtown Camas Association. For those wanting to have a fun evening while supporting Downtown, this delightful activity only costs $25 a ticket. Which gets you a passport to collect stamps from 12 locations around downtown. You’re also entered to win a fantastic “Explore Downtown Camas” basket including; movie tickets, dinner for two, a stay at the Camas Hotel, olive oil of your choice, free cupcakes and coffee.

You can increase your chances of winning by earning more tickets. For every $10 spent in downtown that night, you receive another chance to win! In addition, elves will be handing out goodies and gift cards.   A great way to get ahead start on finding the perfect gift this holiday season is on “Little box Friday.” On November 29th, the City of Camas encourages its citizens to shop local and get rewarded. Each participating shop will have a small box with gifts, coupons and goodies. If you spend $100, you’re entered to win movie tickets, from downtown’s very own Liberty Theater.

This event runs from 10am to 6pm.  Don’t forget “The Golden Ticket event” which also starts on November 29th and runs till December 20th. The “The Golden Ticket event” works like this; with each purchase from a participating business customer receive a golden ticket which enters them to win a prize from that shop! Multiply shopping trips are allowed and encouraged. The grand prize is a $250 Downtown shopping spree!

If you want to break from the hectic malls, crowds and long lines this holiday season, come support local businesses in Downtown Camas. Enjoy close to home entertainment and holiday magic, creating treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

See you there!