The city of Ridgefield will again be opening the doors to businesses and offer festive events at the annual Hometown Celebration Sat., Dec. 1. Area residents will kick off the month with a cavalcade of holiday events including a tree lighting ceremony, holiday music, Christmas carriage rides, and much more.
Among the many events scheduled for the Hometown Celebration include:
Holiday Fun Run
Open to all Washington and Oregon runners, organizers for the 10K Pioneer and 5K Fun Run & Walk are hoping to draw another large crowd to enjoy a romp through the beautiful rural roads of Ridgefield along the National Wildlife Refuge.
The annual Run not only offers a chance to work off any post-Thanksgiving paunch, but also serves as a fundraiser for the Neighborhood Food Bank Program. Donations of two cans of food are requested and will earn participants a $5 discount on registration for either race.
As in previous years, runners are also asked to donate old race day T-shirts to others in need along with shoes and coats, which will be given to the local homeless shelter.
Water will be provided during the race and hot cocoa and cookies will be available after the race. Awards will be given across 10-year age divisions to the top three finishers, and be on the lookout for a certain jolly ol’ elf again taking part in this year’s festivities.
Registration is open until Thurs., Nov. 29 at www.Active.com or download the registration form at www.ridgefield.com. Cost for the 5K Run and Walk is $15 with a donation of two cans of food ($20 without the donation). Registration for the 10K run is $20 with a donation provided ($25 without it).
To sign up on race day requires an additional $5 fee for either race.
Cookie Decoration and Craft Bazaar
For the second year, members and staff at the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene will welcome children and their families to their gymnasium for cookie and ornament decorating from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Organizer Georgianna Jones said last year’s event was well received, with La Center-based Sadie and Josie’s Bakery providing the cookies again this year.
Additionally, the church will join with South Ridge Elementary School staff to host a craft bazaar for all ages.
“It should be a lot of fun since all the crafts are provided by the students themselves,” Jones said.
Hot chocolate, apple cider and other refreshments will be provided for all participants and all ages are welcome to attend for free.
The Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene is located at 747 Pioneer St. For more information, contact the church, (360) 887-3576.
Free Horsedrawn Carriage Rides
Columbia Credit Union is once again sponsoring free horse-drawn carriage rides from noon-3 p.m. Battle Ground’s Daybreak Carriages will provide their team of Percheron horses and their blue covered wagon for the 15-minute ride throughout the town.
The carriage holds approximately 15 passengers and co-owner Pam Wolle is hoping the weather will cooperate this year.
“We didn’t have as many people take part last year as they did in the past in part because we had some stormy weather at the time,” Wolle said. “The good part of it was we’ve had a lot of families taking part year after year, so it’s fun to see the kids growing up and everything.”
Daybreak provides several kinds of carriages for a variety of events from weddings to anniversaries, proposals, business conferences, corporate parties, picnics, family reunions and more. Pick up and drop off points will be at both Zebrun’s at 320 Pioneer St. and the Ridgefield Community Center at 210 Main St.
More information about Daybreak Carriages can be found at their website, www.carriageride.biz.
The Arrival of Santa Claus
Making a pre-Christmas Eve run to Ridgefield to check on the good boys and girls, Santa Claus himself will pull his sleigh into the Sterling Bank at 228 Simon St., from noon-3 p.m.
Sponsored by both the bank and Carolee’s Assisted Living Center, children will have a chance to pass along their Christmas wishes and also get a photo with Santa for $5 each, or $4 with a donation of two cans of food.
Local photographers Lisa and Dan Kallem will be taking the photos again this year, with cookies and hot chocolate available as well.
Old Liberty Theater
The Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield will continue their traditional viewings of Search for Santa, a one-hour film by local director Doug Cheney, at 2 and 3 p.m.
The film documents the search for evidence of the existence of Santa Claus and is aimed at those who may find themselves feeling more like Scrooge during the holiday season.
Created in a documentary style, Search for Santa hopes to rekindle the reason to believe in not just Santa but also the entire spirit of Christmas as well.
“After making this film, I believed in Santa Claus,” Cheney said.
A graduate of Fort Vancouver High School, Cheney shot his first film at the age of eight and then graduated from Washington State University, earning a Communications degree.
All ages will be welcome to attend the film and donations of canned food will be accepted at the door. The Old Liberty Theater is located at 115 N. Main St., in Ridgefield.
Let There Be Light
As the sun sets on the Ridgefield Hometown Celebration, the town Christmas tree will be lit at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of Main and Pioneer. Members of the Church of the Nazarene Singing Christmas Tree will provide holiday music and Mayor Ron Onslow and city officials will be onhand to help welcome the season.
Refreshments will be provided both before and after the tree lighting ceremony.
Holiday deals and drawings
As part of the holiday occasion, many local businesses are taking part in the Hometown Celebration with deals and giveaways for patrons.
Blue Heron Massage and Organics, El Rancho Viejo, Pickled Heron Gallery, Ridgefield Floral and Rising Star Massage and Spa will all offer sales and drawings for free gifts. Metro Wine Bar & Bistro and Seventh Son Cellars will have tastings, specials and live music. The Pioneer St. Cafe will have free cider and cookies and a drawing for a free dinner for two and Vinnie’s Pizza will have face painting from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Other stores like The Mercantile, Sportsman Bar & Grill, Ridgefield Hardware, and Ridgefield Wellness & Nutrition will have drawings for free items as well.