Holiday events begin today across the Peninsula

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend business districts kick off the holiday season today and this weekend with lights, music, retailers’ open houses and appearances by Santa Claus.

The events open a festive holiday season across the North Olympic Peninsula that continues with even more appearances by Santa Claus along with festivities in Port Townsend, the rest of Jefferson County, Forks and Clallam Bay-Sekiu next week.

Christmas tree hunt?

Shopping for a Christmas tree, boughs or wreaths?

Check out the Lazy J Tree Farm, the Peninsula’s largest U-cut tree farm, 225 Gehrke Road in Agnew, between Port Angeles and Sequim.

(From U.S. Highway 101, turn at the Washington State Patrol office (62 Old Olympic Highway) and go east on Old Olympic Highway to Wild Currant, then go north to Gehrke.)

It’s open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; 360-457-5950.

Sequim

The Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s “Holiday Harmony” celebration kicks off in the downtown today and Saturday.

Today’s first event is the Bank of America Park Light Sculpture created by Andrew May, “Flower Peninsula USA” horticulturist and Peninsula Daily News gardening columnist.

The sculpture’s thousands of lights will be illuminated at 5 p.m. at the bank’s minipark, Washington Street and Sequim Avenue.

Spectators are encouraged to attend and guess the number of lights used in the sculpture.

The winner will receive a $250 Sequim Sun Bucks shopping spree sponsored by Team McAleer at RE/MAX Fifth Avenue.

On Saturday, Holiday Harmony officially begins at Bank of America Park with the arrival of Santa Claus at 1 p.m.

Music will be provided by the Sequim City Band.

Also on Saturday, the first annual Sequim Lavender Growers Association holiday bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sequim Prairie Grange, 290 Macleay Road.

In addition — and new this year — are decorations and activities at Sequim Village Plaza.

The decorations are sponsored by Clallam Co-op/True Value and were hung on Tuesday.

Port Angeles

The 13th annual Festival of Trees begins at 10 a.m. today with the first of two “Teddy Bear Teas” at the Vern Burton Community Center, Fourth and Peabody streets.

The festival runs through 4 p.m. Sunday. This year’s theme is “A Cowboy Christmas.”

The festival includes a second Teddy Bear Tea at 11:30 a.m. today; a holiday breakfast for seniors and the disabled from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday; and “family days” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Family events feature tree displays, musical entertainment and a children’s activity area.

Tonight is the festival’s showcase event.

It features an auction of Christmas trees at the Vern Burton during a gourmet buffet and gala from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Proceeds benefit Olympic Medical Center and the Exchange Club.

(See “Festival of Trees arrive” in Peninsula Spotlight, the weekly entertainment guide that is part of today’s Peninsula Daily News.)

Port Angeles’ downtown, already decorated and lighted for the holidays, completes the job when the community Christmas tree is lighted and Santa arrives on Saturday.

Events begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain at the intersection of First and Laurel streets.

Saturday’s festivities will include holiday music — and Santa Claus will parade along First Street in a classic fire truck, arriving at the fountain plaza just before the tree lighting.

In addition, tickets are being sold by downtown merchants for a drawing for $500 in Downtown Dollars.

Ticket sales support the Art on the Town sculpture program. The drawing is Dec. 31.

Port Townsend

Saturday is Merchants’ Holiday Open House in Port Townsend.

Many downtown shops will extend their hours until 7 p.m.

There will also be caroling in the streets and horse and carriage rides downtown from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Many merchants are also extend their hours until 7 p.m. from Monday, Dec. 15, through Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Raffle tickets are also available for the Home Town Holiday Sweepstakes, underway through Dec. 6.

The winner of $3,000 in Port Townsend Town Dollars will be announced after the community tree lighting next Saturday.

From Clallam to PT

Reservations are still being taken for Clallam County residents to help celebrate “Home Town Holidays” in Port Townsend as part of a special shopping trip on Wednesday.

A free Jefferson Transit bus will drive participants from the Sequim 5th Avenue Furniture parking lot, Fifth Avenue and Washington Street, leaving at 10 a.m. and returning to Sequim at 4 p.m.

Port Townsend Main Street retailers are providing complimentary shopping bags and prizes for visiting shoppers.

Reservations are required; phone 360-681-2390.

The free bus trip is sponsored by the Port Townsend Main Street Program, the city of Port Townsend Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, Jefferson Transit and Peninsula Daily News.

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