Residents in Hood River and White Salmon celebrated the holiday season last week with community tree lightings and other festivities Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4. In Hood River, downtown streets were closed to traffic and crowds gathered to enjoy a static parade, tree lighting and shopping, with most downtown retail stores open for business. Live jazz music was performed early in the evening, and parade entries were parked down the middle of Oak Street.

In White Salmon, shops stayed open late as crowds gathered at the Riverview Bank parking lot to watch the tree lighting — the first in-person community holiday celebration since the start of the pandemic. Volunteers from Community Partners of White Salmon-Bingen were hard at work this week decorating the tree in preparation. This special event was also attended by a very special guest, Santa Claus, who arrived by firetruck to wish the community well and help White Salmon Mayor Marla Keethler light the tree.