East County welcomes the holiday season virtually
Despite not being able to host formal, in-person events, the holiday spirit has taken hold across East Multnomah County.
All of the local cities — Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview and Wood Village — shared virtual tree lightings with live festivities and videos showcasing holiday wishes from the communities.
In Gresham for the 29th annual tree lighting event, things were moved online. Usually hundreds of community members visit downtown to shop, get a photo with Santa Claus, and listen to live music during the Spirit of Christmas gathering.
But with the pandemic and safety concerns, the city decided to capture that feeling with a video starring Santa, elected leaders and their families, and volunteers with SnowCap Community Charities, which is in the midst of its annual Fill-a-Bag Fundraiser.
In Troutdale, a virtual celebration with live caroling, concludedb with the lighting of a 40-foot grand fir from Gresham's Shriver Farms — the largest tree the city has ever displayed. It took four city staffers to get the tree into the stand, and there are 17 strands of lights decorating the tree.
Fairview wanted to spread the same magic of the holiday season with its virtual tree lighting. Elected leaders and community members shared holiday messages and there was a reading from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"
Wood Village's 10th annual tree lighting was digital as well, with festive music and artwork by community members sharing messages of holiday cheer.
The best time to visit the local Christmas trees in person is at sunset, 4:30 p.m. or later.
The Christmas trees are located at:
Gresham Arts Plaza, 401 N.E. Second St.
Mayors Square, corner of East Historic Columbia River Highway and Southeast Dora Avenue
Fairview Community Park, 21600 N.E. Park Lane
Wood Village Town Center, Northeast Glisan Street and Northeast 223rd Avenue
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