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Hillsboro's tree-lighting ceremony is Saturday, Dec. 1. Other local events will follow.

STAFF FILE PHOTO - Hillsboro's Holly Days event returns to downtown on Saturday, Dec. 1.'Tis the season across western Washington County.

The holiday season is upon us and sevearl tree lightings and holiday events are planned over the next week.

Below, find the dates and times for tree lightings across the county.

Hillsboro Holly Days

Hillsboro Holly Days, a beloved community tradition, returns to downtown Hillsboro from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

Hillsboro Holly Days features more than 40 booths, along with all-ages activities and delightful performances. The center of festivities is Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza at 150 E. Main St.

The main event is at 5:30 p.m., when Mayor Steve Callaway and a "surprise guest" will light up Hillsboro's holiday tree.

The festival is traditionally held on the first Saturday of December, which this year falls on the first day of the month. It is presented by the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership in conjunction with the City of Hillsboro and the Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market.

Light Up Hillsboro

     On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Chabad Jewish Center of Hillsboro is putting on a Hanukkah celebration at Jerry Willey Plaza in the Orenco neighborhood, starting at 4:15 p.m. There will be a fire juggler, latkes and doughnuts, kids' activities, live music and more. The main spectacle, of course, will be the lighting of the "grand menorah."

There is no charge to attend Sunday's event. However, attendees are encouraged to RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Jerry Willey Plaza is located at 943 N.E. Orenco Station Loop.

Orenco

Also on Friday, the Orenco neighborhood of Hillsboro will have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, members of the community are invited to Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station for a Christmas tree-lighting. Along with the traditional lighting of the tree, there will be live music, food, kids' activities, contests and more.

Undeterred by the physical constraints of also having appearances in Cornelius and Gaston Friday night, Santa Claus will be visiting Orenco for this event, too.

The tree-lighting is put on by Evergreen Christian Center.

Cornelius

Both Cornelius and Gaston will see their holiday trees light up this Friday, Nov. 30.

In a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park starting at 6 p.m., the Cornelius holiday tree will dazzle. The tree-lighting ceremony will begin following the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a Cornelius Fire Department truck. At about 6:20 p.m., Mayor Jef Dalin will join Santa to light up the tree at the park, on the south side of Baseline Street in between 12th and 13th streets.

Event-goers will enjoy holiday songs performed by students from Cornelius Elementary School, Neil Armstrong Middle School and Forest Grove High School, including both English- and Spanish-language music. There will also be candy canes for children.

After the lighting of the tree, the festivities move up to Cornelius Elementary School, located at 200 N. 14th Ave. just about two blocks away. Refreshments will be served in the school cafeteria.

The event is free and family-friendly.

Gaston

Gaston holds its tree-lighting from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday as well.

All are invited to the fire station at 102 E. Main St., where the Gaston Rural Fire District will be hosting its annual tree-lighting and light show. Santa Claus will be paying the station a visit for the evening as well.

Of course, Gaston has a proud tradition when it comes to holiday trees. A Douglas fir grown near Gaston was donated by Stimson Lumber Co. to serve as the famed holiday tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland — the 17th season in which Stimson has provided the tree. The 70-foot fir tree arrived in Portland on Friday, Nov. 9, and it will be lit up at a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 23.

North Plains

Next week, North Plains will have its 14th annual Jingle Thru North Plains holiday parade.

Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, parade participants — including cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts — will line up at Jessie Mays Community Park, located at 30975 N.W. Hillcrest St. The real fun begins with the lighting of a holiday tree at the park at 6:15 p.m. Following that, Mayor Teri Lenahan will lead the parade out at 6:30 p.m. The parade will, indeed, jingle its way through North Plains for about 45 minutes before returning to Jessie Mays.

There will be caroling, refreshments and visits with Santa Claus in the Jessie Mays Community Center.

Awards will be given for the best decorated vehicle, as well as the best decorated homes and businesses. For the latter categories, entrants are asked to put up their lights by 6 p.m. this Sunday.

Jingle Thru North Plains is sponsored by the North Plains Public Library, the North Plains Events Association and Loch Lolly Christmas Forest.

Yamhill

The next day, on Friday, Dec. 7, Yamhill will have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at Yamhill City Hall, located at 205 S. Maple St. Refreshments will be served immediately after the ceremony. Santa Claus will make an appearance as well.

Mayor Paula Terp will lead a reading of the holiday classic "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" at the event, which will mark Yamhill's 10th annual tree-lighting.

This is Terp's final Christmas season as mayor. She did not run for re-election this year. Current City Councilor Yvette Potter will succeed her in 2019, having been elected to serve as a two-year term as mayor on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

By Mark Miller
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