Peninsula parties, plunges set to celebrate new year

Two dance parties, an online concert and three polar bear plunges are among the ways to ring in 2022 across the North Olympic Peninsula.

Starting it all: First Night, which in fact begins this afternoon in downtown Port Townsend.

Due to the weather, the organizer, the nonprofit Production Alliance, has condensed the event and added heaters, bright lighting and ambient music to Water Street between Madison and Monroe streets; the block will be pedestrian-only all evening.

Admission is free with donations welcome: a suggested $10 per person or $20 per family.

Here’s the schedule.

Cotton Building, 607 Water St., Port Townsend:

• Live music by Keeth Apgar of The Harmonica Pocket, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

• Lantern decorating, 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

Pope Marine Park plaza, Water and Madison streets

• Free Toshikoshi Soba soup served at 4:30 p.m.

• Lantern parade with the Unexpected Brass Band, 6:30 p.m.

• Jugglers and fire dancers, 7 p.m.

• Walter McQuillen’s tribal canoe and Thaddeus Jurczynski’s 6-foot-tall anchor on display all evening.

Jefferson Museum of Art & History, 540 Madison St.

• Scavenger hunt and new year’s resolution-in-a-bottle activity, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

• Museum stays open till 7 p.m., then closes for remodeling until March.

Above Water Street

• Short fireworks display, 8 p.m.

Music and dancing also happen tonight, online and off:

• Soul singer Grace Love of Port Townsend will give a livestreamed concert at 7:30 p.m.; admission is free with donations welcome. The hour-long show can be found on the Grace Love NYE Live page on Facebook:

• A dance party with a New Year’s Eve band featuring Matt Sircely, Jack Dwyer, George Radebaugh and Phina Pipia will fill the Palindrome at Eaglemount Winery, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road in Port Townsend, from 9 p.m.-midnight. Admission is a suggested $10 to $20; masks will be required on the indoor dance floor while there will be a campfire and ample space outdoors.

• An all-ages Sparkle Dance Party with DJ Pixel, aka Sarah Peller, will take place at Finnriver Farm & Cidery, 124 Center Road, Chimacum, from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. Cover charge is $5 and sequined attire is encouraged. The lighting of the giant North Olympic Salmon Coalition sculpture, “Fin,” is set for 8:30 p.m. Information:

Polar bear plunges

Those longing to start 2022 with a dip in a local body of water can choose their adventure from Saturday’s polar-bear plunges:

• From Hollywood Beach, at the north end of Lincoln Street in Port Angeles, 10 a.m.

• At Lake Pleasant Community Beach County Park, Beaver, 10 a.m.

• From the Mystery Bay dock across from the Nordland General Store, 7180 Flagler Road, Marrowstone Island, noon.

While the Nordland plunge isn’t being promoted as it was in past years, the tradition stands tall, with general store owner Tom Rose hosting it. His market, which has been closed since a fire damaged it in November 2020, is being rebuilt for an eventual reopening, Rose said this week.

The annual dip in Port Angeles is a fundraiser for Volunteer Hospice, which offers ideas on “how to make the dipping experience more comfortable and less shocking” at 360-452-1511.


Executive Editor Leah Leach contributed to this story.

Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

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