Willow Hundtoft hands ornaments to Tara Homeyer to help decorate the Christmas tree in downtown Port Townsend. The two were part of a handful of volunteers who braved the rain to help decorate the tree Tuesday. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Willow Hundtoft hands ornaments to Tara Homeyer to help decorate the Christmas tree in downtown Port Townsend. The two were part of a handful of volunteers who braved the rain to help decorate the tree Tuesday. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Bad weather can’t stop holiday tradition of tree decorating in Port Townsend

Bad weather can’t stop holiday tradition in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Volunteers braved the rain to decorate the city’s Christmas tree in preparation for the holiday season and a long list of holiday events scheduled for the coming days.

The tree decorating is scheduled every year for the last week in November, and this year the weather wasn’t exactly cooperative.

The volunteers weren’t deterred.

“We set this up in advance so we never know what the weather is going to be,” said Mari Mullen, executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program, which decorates the tree every year with the help of volunteers.

The five volunteers and two Main Street Program staff members hung ornaments, strung up lights and sang along to a Christmas playlist brought by volunteer Michael Rosser.

Rosser was celebrating his 10th year as a volunteer for the annual tree decorating, a tradition he started in memory of his mother.

“She loved Christmas and passed away on Christmas so it’s all in her honor,” Rosser said. “It’s also just a fun time no matter what the weather.”

Working next to Rosser was Grymm Dupp, of Port Townsend’s Twisted History ghost tours, who was volunteering for the first time.

“The community deserves this,” Dupp said. “The Main Street Program also gives so much to our community and our businesses that this is just a way to give back.”

Willow Hundhoft and Tara Homeyer, of Tara’s Turf, also helped place ornaments on the tree Tuesday, but Homeyer also helped by providing a garland around Haller Fountain on Monday.

The volunteers, music and the tree caught the eye of 6-year-old Evelyn Young who was visiting Port Townsend with her grandparents from Coupeville.

Rosser helped Evelyn place an ornament on the tree while Evelyn’s grandmother, Lauren Young, took photos.

“She saw the tree so we thought we’d come look,” Young said. “We love it here so we just came out to spend the day together in Port Townsend.”

The tree was placed by the Haller Fountain on Monday by the city’s parks department, and First Federal Bank helped supply some of the new decorations for this year’s tree.

“This is just part of our holiday celebrations,” Mullen said. “We look forward to this all year.”

The tree will light up for the first time Saturday for the annual tree lighting and visit from Santa, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the Haller Fountain.

Along with the tree lighting, Kiwanis will be collecting Toys for Tots donations Saturday in the Port Townsend visitor center parking lot on Sims Way.

________ 

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

Evelyn Young, 6, of Bremerton took a little time out of her visit to Port Townsend on Tuesday to place an ornament on the city Christmas tree. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Evelyn Young, 6, of Bremerton took a little time out of her visit to Port Townsend on Tuesday to place an ornament on the city Christmas tree. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Tara Homeyer helps decorate the Christmas tree in downtown Port Townsend on Tuesday. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Tara Homeyer helps decorate the Christmas tree in downtown Port Townsend on Tuesday. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

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