From sand to the sea, Santa all over the North Olympic Peninsula starting today

Santa is coming to town all over the North Olympic Peninsula this weekend and next.

Santa will be available at 6:30 p.m. today at The Landing mall’s Christmas tree lighting.

Santa will visit the Santa in Sand display on the lower level of the mall on Railroad Avenue to pose for photographs and listen to children’s wish lists, said Doc Reiss, one of the event organizers.

The Santa in Sand is a wintry display created by three sand-castle masters who have competed in the annual Windermere-sponsored Arts in Action held at City Pier each summer.

Charlie Beaulieu of Kingston, Damon Langlois of Victoria and Brent Terry of Bothell have turned 55 tons of sand into a winter wonderland — out of sand rather than snow.

“I have wanted to do something off-season with sand for a long time,” Reiss said.

Admission to Santa in Sand, which opened earlier this month, is one can of food per person. The food is donated to the Salvation Army in Port Angeles.

Santa in Sand is sponsored by Nor’wester Rotary Club, Westsound Bank, 7 Cedars Casino and others.

“We wanted to have something low-cost for families to do for the holidays,” Reiss said.

“Maybe you can’t go to the movies or go on a big trip, but you certainly can come down and enjoy the Santa in the Sand.”

Saturday in PA

In downtown Port Angeles, the twinkling Christmas lights on the community tree will be switched on by Santa on Saturday in a celebration that will begin at 4 p.m. at the Conrad Dyer Memorial Fountain, at First and Laurel streets.

Amanda Bacon, Northwest Women’s Chorale and Hamilton Elementary Winter Choir will perform first, entertaining crowds with their musical talents.

Santa will arrive via motorcycle this year to do the honors of turning on the 8,000-or-so lights on the downtown Christmas tree, said Barbara Frederick, executive director of the Port Angeles Downtown Association.

“He arrives a different way every year,” she said.

“One year he arrived by tribal canoe, another he came by helicopter, one time in a fire engine, a log truck, anything we can think of.”

Santa will arrive at about 5 p.m. and will stay to pose with visitors for photographs and hear Christmas wishes, Frederick said.

“All the entertainment will happen first because, once Santa is there, of course, that is all anyone wants,” she said.

Free cookies, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided by the downtown association and member restaurants.

Additional treats will also be served by the Rainbow Girls and other service clubs.

The Christmas Tree Lighting is sponsored by First Federal, with support from the city of Port Angeles.

For more information about downtown activities, visit www.portangelesdown town.com.

Sequim

Santa also will visit Sequim on Saturday, said Vickie Maples, Sequim Chamber of Commerce executive director.

Santa will ride into town at about 11:15 a.m., transported by the Timberland WagonEars who will use a mule-pulled wagon to carry him.

The Sequim Band will begin entertainment at 11 a.m. at the Bank of America Park at the corner of North Sequim Avenue and Washington Street, until Santa arrives.

Holiday lighting is in place already, but the official kickoff will be at 5 p.m. today, Maples said.

The event will include a light counting contest with a gift-certificate basket for the person whose guess comes closest to the number of lights.

Port Townsend will begin the holidays with refreshments, special sales, caroling and carriage rides on Saturday.

During the Merchants Holiday Open House, many stores will offer treats and longer shopping hours.

The Wild Rose Chorale will lead caroling from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Port Townsend Livery will offer horse-drawn carriage rides from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can also enter to win the Main Street Hometown Holiday sweepstakes with a chance to win more than $1,000 in Main Street Town Dollars gift cards, good at participating businesses.

For more information, phone Mari Mullen, executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program, at 360-385-7911, or e-mail director@ptmainstreet.org.

Next weekend

Holidays events continue next weekend, with Santa arriving in both Port Townsend and Forks.

In Port Townsend, Santa will arrive by horse-drawn carriage during the Port Townsend Main Street Program’s annual community tree lighting on Dec. 6.

The ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Haller Fountain at Washington and Taylor streets.

Carriage rides and caroling on the streets will commence before Santa begins visiting children between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the second floor of the historic Kuhn Building at Water and Polk streets.

The Hometown Holiday Sweepstakes winner will be announced after 5 p.m.

Participants must be present to win.

For more information, click on www.ptmainstreet.org.

Twinkle Parade

Also on Dec. 6, Forks will welcome Santa as the Twinkle Light Parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m., city events coordinator Pat Soderlind said.

The parade down Forks Avenue from Avenue A to Wood Street, which is sponsored by J.T.’s Sweet Stuffs, will feature any float or person decorated with lights, Soderlind said.

“That is when Santa Claus officially comes to town,” Soderlind said.

“He’ll arrive on one of the floats.

“And, of course, the city will also have a float in the parade, which will be called ‘Who Stole Christmas?’ and we’ll have the grinch on it along with all the little Whos from Whoville.”

Following the parade, all of the downtown stores will hold Moonlight Madness from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., which is a town-wide sale kicking off the holiday shopping season, Soderlind said.

The day before the Twinkle Light parade, on Dec. 5, the annual Cherish Our Children benefit will be at 5 p.m. at the A-Ka-Lat Center in La Push.

On the morning of Dec. 6, breakfast with Santa is offered from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Forks Congregational Church, 171 Campbell St.

That same weekend is the Soroptimist International of the Olympic Rain Forest’s annual Festival of Trees.

This holiday fundraiser includes beautifully decorated Christmas trees available for auction.

An open house will be on Dec. 6 and the live auction of trees will take place on Dec. 7.

Port Angeles merchants will hold their open house on Dec. 5 and 6, offering refreshments and music as well as sales.

From Dec. 6-11, Port Angeles firefighters and Santa will travel the streets of the city on a decorated fire engine handing out candy canes, as well as collecting cans of food for local food banks.

__________

Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

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