PORT TOWNSEND — As the winter solstice approaches, cultures across the globe will take a moment to celebrate the light within, said the minister of a church that will mark the season in Port Townsend this weekend.
The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, will be Dec. 21.
“As the days shorten, they celebrate the inner light, and so they light candles all over the world,” said Pam Douglas-Smith, Unity Church of Port Townsend minister, this week.
“It is a time of year that universally celebrates the light. It is symbolic of the spiritual presence of God all around the world and all of the world traditions at this time of year.”
In honor of worldwide customs, the church today, Saturday and Sunday will host its seventh annual Festival of Lights at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center, 3918 San Juan Ave.
The festival will be open from noon to 5 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The event is free and open to the public.
This gift, craft and cookie bazaar offers a warm holiday atmosphere where locally made gifts, crafts and cookies can be purchased for holiday giving, Douglas-Smith said.
Amid other unique items being offered for sale, attendees will find origami light string sets, luminarias, small hand‐crafted gift boxes, hand-crafted woodland creatures and hundreds of holiday cookies to buy for gifts or to take home.
Freshly baked cookies will be available in batches of a dozen or one at a time for those who want to enjoy them on the spot.
“It is just so exciting to see all of the wonderful things that are available,” each crafted by “interesting people with wonderful offerings all around Port Townsend and the Peninsula,” Douglas-Smith said.
A variety of homemade soups and hot beverages also will be available for purchase.
During the celebration, a silent auction will be set up to offer visitors an array of items to bid on for gift‐giving or for personal enjoyment such as an elegant gazebo beach picnic for up to 10 people, four months’ worth of local fudge, spa treatments, dozens of restaurant items from Port Townsend to Sequim, film festival tickets and an hour of tattooing.
Ten percent of sales from the silent auction will be given to the Port Townsend Winter Shelter, Douglas-Smith said.
Psychic readers also will be available today and Saturday, Douglas-Smith said.
“We are going to have a room where we have psychic readers do readings,” she said.
Readers present will include Douglas‐Smith, Jeanette Dames, Kathy Clegg, Jenny Jo Allen, Erin Lamb and Zylpha Elliot.
The readers’ schedules will be posted online at www.unitypt.org, and appointments can be made during the festival.
Call 360-385‐6519 for early reading reservations.