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Youngsters will have to miss Santa's visit to Scappoose this year, but the holiday lights will still be turned on.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - The iconic Watts House in Scappoose is awaiting holiday lightsThe historic Watts House in Scappoose is changing its traditional holiday offerings this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but don't worry: The plan is still to decorate the house with holiday lights.

According to Angela Hammond, president of Scappoose Community Club, events involving a public gathering will not be held this year.

"Traditionally, we, as the Community Club, go out and put up lights around the house, and around the gazebo," Hammond said. "We typically will have an event that kicks off the first Monday after Thanksgiving."

She continued, "We have a huge celebration, typically. Usually the high school choir comes out and they do carols and singing. Santa Claus comes and visits. He comes in on the fire truck. Then the kids can come in, see Santa and give him their wish list. We do that in the parlor room of the Watts House."

Also, during the holiday event, treats are provided for kids and adults. Hot cocoa and hot cider are enjoyed by the public.

However, this year, the traditional celebration won't happen as usual.

"We won't be having the outside festivities," Hammond said. "We are still putting up the Christmas lights. We will still be turning them on and they will remain on throughout the month of December. We typically will take them down after the first of the year."

It will be a season of adjustment for the Watts House.

"Due to not really being able to control the social distancing, we won't be able to do the treats or the actual festivities that we normally do," Hammond said. "Santa Claus won't be able to come visit, because the kids can't sit on his lap. So it has kind of put a little snafu into our normal plans this year."

Motorists can even view the lights on the house.

"The Watts House is actually seen from the highway," Hammond said. "So commuters will actually see the lights as they drive through the town in the evening. We typically have some up in the Heritage Park as well, so those are all seen visible from the highway. Everybody gets to enjoy them every evening when they're driving home."

The Watts House was built by J.G. Watts in 1902 and is maintained by the Scappoose Historical Society. It is located at 52432 S.E. First St.

Even with the pandemic, Hammond believes the public can still enjoy the Watts House during the holidays.

"I think it will be a fun tradition, and most importantly, we'll be able to still bring some of the Christmas spirit to the community," Hammond said.

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