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Public gathers in Heritage Park as holiday lights turn on and Santa pays a visit

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Emery Clark, 5, visits with Santa at the Watts House in Scappoose. The Watts House hosted Santa Claus during a holiday lighting event and will host public tours each weekend throughout December. The deep roar of a fire engine triggered excitement in children Monday evening, Nov. 26, as they awaited the arrival of Santa Claus.

Children and families lined up outside the Watts House Pioneer Museum in Scappoose as firefighters delivered Santa on a fire engine. Santa's visit is part of an annual tradition that coincides with a public holiday lighting event in Heritage Park.

Old Saint Nick's arrival came just as lights strewn around the park by the Scappoose Community Club were turned on for the first time this year, ushering the start of the holiday season.

Inside the historical Watts House, children lined up to meet Santa, sharing their wishlists with him, posing for photos, and enjoying a candy cane on the way out.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Children line up at Heritage Park in Scappoose to meet Santa Claus. Santa was dropped off at the park in a Scappoose Fire District engine and stayed to visit with children at the Watts House Monday, Nov. 26.

Santa listened to requests for Lego toys, American Girl dolls, hover boards and the gift of unspecified "creative talents," as parents snapped cell phone photos and, in some cases, consoled crying children as they sat on Santa's lap.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Scappoose Community Club volunteers Amy McMullen and Sandra Brown Loos serve hot chocolate to visitors at the Scappoose Public Library during a Heritage Park lighting event Monday, Nov. 26.

The holiday lights will remain on in Heritage Park through the holidays and Santa Claus will return to the Watts House for a special visit on Dec. 15. Visits at that event are $10 each and reservations are required. Tours are free with a suggested donation.

Call 503-543-2234 for ticketed events or to schedule a tour. SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - The Bates family checks out holiday lights in Heritage Park. Pictured: Owen, 4, Mabel, 9 months and mom, Ashley Bates.

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