Hood River, Cascade Locks host holiday kickoff events

Hood River and Cascade Locks are kicking off the holiday season with community tree lighting events.

On Nov. 30, the Hood River Holiday Kick-Off starts at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Hood River. The festival begins with the city’s holiday parade, starting on Oak Street and threading through downtown. The lighting of the 30-foot Christmas tree by Mayor Arthur Babitz will immediately follow on State and Second streets. Free hot cocoa and cookies will be served, and participants may write a holiday wish and tie it to the tree.

Caroling on Oak and Second streets begins at 7:15, where professional singers will lead and everyone will be given a songbook. Afterwards, enjoy live music, food vendors, bouncy houses, children’s art and crafts, Santa, and merchants staying open late. Parking is free and the streets will be closed to vehicles.

In Cascade Locks, the 10th Annual Festival of Lights begins at 4:30 p.m. at the City Hall Gym. Participants will enjoy free cookies and warm beverages, pictures with Santa, ornament making and Christmas carols, and, of course, the lighting of the tree.

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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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