Hood River, Cascade Locks ring in Christmas cheer

The Christmas spirit abounded in Hood River and Cascade Locks this weekend as families turned out to celebrate the season.

On First Friday, a large crowd gathered at Overlook Memorial Park in Hood River for a tree lighting ceremony. The festive event organized by the Downtown Business Association included a lively performance by the White Salmon High School Jazz Choir.

Even pets joined the fun along Oak Street during the holiday parade earlier that evening. People who had adopted stray dogs marched with their leashed animals under the PROD (Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs) banner. They were joined by several vehicles decorated with lights – one even towing Santa’s sleigh.

The newly formed Cascade Locks Community Choir sang traditional tunes at the Festival of Lights on Sunday. Also taking center stage at the city administration building was the Victorian-era clad Columbia Gorge Carolers from The Dalles.

The Columbia Gorge Lioness Club sponsored the Festival of Lights that included dozens of homemade cookies. The Cascade Locks Benefit Association also served up “chili boats” and the Port of Cascade Locks furnished beverages.

Santa was kept busy at both occasions as children competed for his attention. During the Hood River ceremony, he strolled through the crowd of youngsters passing out candy canes.

In Cascade Locks, he listened to the sometimes lengthy wish lists of children perched on his knee. A free photo of that visit was then fashioned by the child into a Christmas card for his/her parents.

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