Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles Parks Department employee Eli Hammel strings lights on the community Christmas tree at the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain in downtown Port Angeles on Tuesday. Nearly 12,000 lights will adorn the finished tree, which will be lit during a ceremony on Saturday night on Laurel Street across from the fountain plaza.                                Port Angeles Parks Department employee Eli Hammel strings lights on the community Christmas tree at the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain in downtown Port Angeles on Tuesday. Nearly 12,000 lights will adorn the finished tree, which will be lit during a ceremony Saturday night on Laurel Street across from the fountain plaza. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Port Angeles Parks Department employee Eli Hammel strings lights on the community Christmas tree at the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain in downtown Port Angeles on Tuesday. Nearly 12,000 lights will adorn the finished tree, which will be lit during a ceremony on Saturday night on Laurel Street across from the fountain plaza. Port Angeles Parks Department employee Eli Hammel strings lights on the community Christmas tree at the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain in downtown Port Angeles on Tuesday. Nearly 12,000 lights will adorn the finished tree, which will be lit during a ceremony Saturday night on Laurel Street across from the fountain plaza. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Tree-lightings, special events herald start of holiday shopping season

It’s a weekend to make memories.

Santa will come to town Saturday in both Port Angeles and Sequim, arriving just in time for the lighting of community holiday trees.

In Port Townsend, the Look Here First campaign will kick off today and merchants plan open houses for Small Business Saturday, when residents are urged to shop for the holidays in their own hometowns.

Port Angeles

In Port Angeles, the Hometown Holiday Main Show will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Laurel and First streets. Singer Amanda Bacon will perform as Santa arrives to hear children’s wishes for Christmas.

The community tree will be lit at 5 p.m.

The holiday tree lighting on Small Business Saturday will cap an afternoon of downtown events offered by merchants, and the Port Angeles Downtown Association will offer several activities, working with the Festival of Trees Committee.

After the Festival of Trees Family Days, when members of the public can view decorated trees at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the downtown association will present the third annual Snowball Drop.

During the drop, pingpong balls labeled with merchant prizes and discounts from all over Port Angeles will fall from a rooftop for a scramble.

It will be held in the sunken parking lot on Front Street between Laurel and Oak next door to Station 51 with the assistance of Port Angeles Fire Department volunteers.

Today, an “after-hours” evening of music at several downtown restaurants and bars will begin at 9:30 p.m. — following the Festival of Trees Gala at the Vern Burton Community Center, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

Music is planned at Bada Northwest, Barhop Brewing, Bar N9NE, Bella Italia, H2O Waterfront Bistro, The Metta Room, Next Door Gastropub, Strait Slice Pizza, Station 51 and Wine on the Waterfront.

Several merchants will offer specials today, during what is considered nationally to be the biggest shopping day of the year, as well as Saturday.

Sequim

At Sequim’s Home Town Holidays, the Sequim City Band will perform beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Place at the corner of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue awaiting the arrival of Santa on a horse-drawn carriage or a tractor at 2 p.m.

He will pose for photos — visitors are urged to bring their cameras — during performances of the Sequim High School Jazz Band at 2:15 p.m., Jonathan Simonson at 3 p.m., Joyful Noise Music Center students at 3:30 p.m. and the high school’s “Softball Singers” at 4 p.m.

An unidentified special guest will appear at 4:20 p.m., followed by the Olympic Peninsula Men’s Chorus at 4:30 p.m., leading up to the tree lighting at 5 p.m.

At 5:15 p.m., the winner of the $100 prize in the Guess the Lights contest — the person whose count came closest to the number of lights on the tree — will be announced.

Then the Sequim Museum Tractor Cruze & Shine will begin.

Dressed up in holiday lights, the tractors will move from the QFC parking lot at 990 E. Washington St. to the Mariner Cafe in the J.C. Penney parking lot at 609 W. Washington St.

Also Saturday, many businesses will offer specials for Small Business Saturday.

In conjunction with the shopping season, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce presents Elk on a Shelf, a scavenger hunt for children 5 to 15 years old that begins Saturday and will continue through Dec. 23.

The hunt evokes Sequim’s iconic elk herd.

Twenty Sequim businesses will provide game cards, which also will be available at the tree-lighting ceremony and at the chamber of commerce visitor center at 1192 E. Washington St.

Children and their parents will look for elk figurines in stores.

When one is found, a square on the card will be stamped. A card with 15 of the 20 possible stamps can be entered into a drawing for an age-appropriate prize.

Winners will be drawn at random and announced Dec. 27.

Port Townsend

The Port Townsend Main Street Program announces “Let the shopping begin” with the kickoff of its Look Here First campaign, followed by a merchant holiday open house Saturday.

Wild Rose Chorale carolers will wander the uptown and downtown streets from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Many shops will stay open later than 7 p.m. and offer special treats.

Photos by Captain-Crystal Stout 39’ Grand Fir. Sunk 4’ into ground. Tree donated by landowner Barb Hanna who also works for City of Sequim Bekevar Logging & Trucking donated cutting and transporting the tree. Owner Daniel Goettling, Accurate Angle, Sequim, donated the use of the crane. Patrick Walker, Walker Inc., Gig Harbor, donated the bucket lift and lights Local volunteers have spent three weeks putting lights up in downtown Sequim organized by Emily Westcott and Captain-Crystal Stout                                A 39-foot grand fir is sunk 4 feet into the ground in downtown Sequim. (Crystal Stout)

Photos by Captain-Crystal Stout 39’ Grand Fir. Sunk 4’ into ground. Tree donated by landowner Barb Hanna who also works for City of Sequim Bekevar Logging & Trucking donated cutting and transporting the tree. Owner Daniel Goettling, Accurate Angle, Sequim, donated the use of the crane. Patrick Walker, Walker Inc., Gig Harbor, donated the bucket lift and lights Local volunteers have spent three weeks putting lights up in downtown Sequim organized by Emily Westcott and Captain-Crystal Stout A 39-foot grand fir is sunk 4 feet into the ground in downtown Sequim. (Crystal Stout)

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