Annual tree-lighting ceremony in Forest Grove draws a big crowd despite soggy weather

Nearly 150 people braved a chilly, wet Friday evening to take part in the annual tree lighting ceremony outside the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce. Master of Ceremonies Lyle Spiesschaert and City Councilor Tom Johnston thanked the crowd, which was treated to a carol from the Neil Armstrong Middle School choir before the giant star atop the towering Douglas fir along Pacific Avenue was switched on.

The kid-heavy crowd then headed into the Forest Grove Senior and Community Center for more songs, hot cider and cookies and the chance to visit with Santa Claus. This year there was a new twist to the tradition as the Dairy Creek Community Food Web invited the whole gang to its "Fourth Friday Community Soup Supper" and served up hearty vegetarian soup made from local produce.

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