Multnomah Village sees surge of frigid but festive revelers turn out on the night of December 7.

Crowds filled the plaza in front of Village Beads and joined in singing Christmas carols while awaiting the lighting of the tree.  Capitol Highway vehicular traffic was reduced to a slow crawl between 6:30PM and 7PM.
Cold early-December temperatures and winds that made it feel even colder didn't keep hundreds from gathering in Multnomah Village for the annual Holiday Gala.

 Christine Lassiter (left) of Allstate coordinated the holiday Gala for the Multnomah Village Business Association.   She is seen here with Barb Cantonwine and Michael Carroll of Healthy Pets NW.  "We are here because we do anything we can to support Multnomah Village," Carroll said.

Every year the Multnomah Village Business Association volunteers make sure there's a reson for the season on the first Friday of December.

This year's tree grew up on Sauvie Island.A donated 15-ft Noble Fir was brought in from Sauvie Island for the tradition lighting of the tree, which took place at exactly 6:45PM.

PHOTOS BY BILL GALLAGHER -  Barry, right, and Dan, left, two Belgian draft horses from Sweet Home, pose for photos with bundled-up  Holiday Gala attendees in front of the Multnomah Arts Center.  It was 38 degrees as Barry (18) and Dan (13) pulled one of two lighted carriages that provided rides for 25 people at a time for three hours.
Two horse-drawn wagons with room for two dozen passengers made a continuous loop of Multnomah Village. Rides were free and lines were long outside the Multnomah Arts Center.

 Larry Chafin, also of Sweet Home, says he's been bringing his horses and carriage to Multnomah Village "for the last eight or nine years" and enjoys the Holiday Gala.  "Two weeks ago we were in Lake Oswego for the tree lighting.  We go all over this time of year," said Chafin.  For most of the evening there was a line of 75 to 100 adults and children waiting to ride his carriage
First Friday is the monthly showcase of businesses along Capitol Highway so crowds had two reasons to visit.

 Members of Boy Scout Troop 229, which meets  at West Portland United Methodist, set up shop in front of Neighborhood House on Capitol Highway.  Dylan Platt, center, says the wreath sale is their main fund raiser each year.  The Boy Scouts sold wreaths until 10PM.
Village Beads provided the electrical power for the tree's lights.

 An ambulatory Santa made his way along Capitol Highway before the tree lighting.  Ernie Hunter, who walked over from Hillsdale to get a picture taken with  Santa, says he never misses the Multnomah Village tree lighting.

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