The tree at Haller Fountain in Port Townsend was officially lit Saturday. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

The tree at Haller Fountain in Port Townsend was officially lit Saturday. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

Hundreds gather for tree lighting, Santa visit in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Port Townsend as the holiday season is underway.

Hundreds filled Washington Street for the eagerly anticipated annual tree lighting at Haller Fountain on Saturday. Neither the rain nor chilly conditions could keep away the crowd or Santa Claus himself, who attended the festivities via the Kiwanis Choo Choo Train.

In the days leading up to the tree lighting, storefronts around downtown had put up Christmas decorations, musicians had been playing holiday music on the sidewalks and a local group of singers went around to various businesses and street corners to spread a little holiday cheer.

But it never seems to officially be the holiday season until the tree at Haller Fountain is lit up for all to see.

In the days leading up to the tree lighting, volunteers braved inclement weather to make sure it was decorated and ready to go for the big night.

Tree lit

Once Mayor Deborah Stinson and Santa Claus gave the green light, the tree illuminated Haller Fountain, complete with a big star on top, eliciting applause.

Wild Rose Chorale, who sang a couple of holiday numbers a cappella, had the crowd warm before Stinson welcomed those in attendance.

Noting the uniqueness of Port Townsend’s celebration — it’s an evening where a good portion of the community attends and many linger downtown to patronize the local businesses, which stay open past normal operating hours — Stinson highlighted the reciprocal support residents and business owners have for one another as a reason why the city is such a special place.

“We are so fortunate to be living in a small town like this,” Stinson said.

Once the tree was lit, the crowd quickly dispersed thanks to the many young residents who dashed off to meet Santa Claus with parents chasing after them.

Santa Claus returned to his vehicle so he could ride to his final destination at the Pope Marine Building where the children got the chance to tell him what they want for Christmas.

Before long, the line had stretched back almost to the sidewalk along Water Street.

The youngsters patiently waited their turn in hopes that their wishes will come true in just 22 days.

Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson welcomes the crowd Saturday with Santa Claus in the background. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend Mayor Deborah Stinson welcomes the crowd Saturday with Santa Claus in the background. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

Wild Rose Chorale members sing Christmas carols on the streets of Port Townsend. The singers are, from left, Leslie Lewis, Doug Rodgers, Lynn Nowak, Orion Pendley, Al Thompson, JES Schumacher, Charles Helman and Marj Iuro. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

Wild Rose Chorale members sing Christmas carols on the streets of Port Townsend. The singers are, from left, Leslie Lewis, Doug Rodgers, Lynn Nowak, Orion Pendley, Al Thompson, JES Schumacher, Charles Helman and Marj Iuro. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

Owen Thetford, 6, meets with Santa Claus on Saturday in Port Townsend. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

Owen Thetford, 6, meets with Santa Claus on Saturday in Port Townsend. (Mark Krulish/for Peninsula Daily News)

More in Life

A GROWING CONCERN: Master the art of watering

MY DEAR, DEAR friend Edna asked me to do an article on… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Hurry there on foot! Get healed!

MARK 6:30-34, 53-56 is the Gospel Reading for this Sunday, and one… Continue reading

The Rev. Larry Schellink will present “Abundance: A Spiritual Reality” at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Schellink is the guest speaker at Unity in the Olympics, 2917 E. Myrtle Ave.
Weekend program scheduled for Unity in the Olympics

The Rev. Larry Schellink will present “Abundance: A Spiritual… Continue reading

Bode scheduled for OUUF weekend program in PA

The Rev. Bruce Bode will present “Separation and Connection:… Continue reading

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith.
Unity in Port Townsend planning for Sunday services

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith will present “Move at the… Continue reading

During the PSHA game show at the Crosby arena in Agnew last weekend, Duncan Parks, 18, and Ed ran a blazingly fast “A” division time of 8.45 in the Keyrace. (Karen Griffiths/for Peninsula Daily News)
HORSEPLAY: Olympic Peninsula equestrians beat the heat

ARE YOU FEELING beat by the heat? It’s sure had me feeling… Continue reading

Scribble Bots STEAM event for tweens at NOLS locations

Kids in grades 4–7 will build robots that scribble… Continue reading

Emma Weller
Former Port Angeles Roughrider graduates from Harvard

Port Angeles High School alumna Emma Weller recently graduated… Continue reading

Dan Peacock, on left, receives the 2024 Community Service Award from Lora Brabant, president of the Clallam County School Retirees Association.
Peacock receives retirees’ community service award

Dan Peacock has received the 2024 Community Service Award… Continue reading

The DAISY Foundation has recognized Thomas Batey with its DAISY award.
Thomas Batey recognized

The DAISY Foundation has recognized Thomas Batey with its DAISY award. Batey… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Gardening fun in the summer sun

SUMMER HAS OFFICIALLY begun, school is out, for a couple weeks the… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Living honorably is a marathon, not a sprint

THE OPENING CEREMONY of the Paris Olympics is a week away. The… Continue reading