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  • City hosts dozens of events this month. By Anneli

Holidays in the Harbor

It’s December. The sun rises at 7:30am and sets just after 4pm. The temperatures remain below 50 degrees most days. Clouds, fog and rain have come to stay, and finding light can be a challenge, even during the holiday season. Thankfully, the City of Gig Harbor, Chamber of Commerce, Waterfront Alliance and PenMet Parks offer a wide variety of events to help residents and visitors alike feel the warmth of the holiday spirit. From baking cookies with Mrs. Claus and meeting Santa to taking in a lighted boat parade or hayride, the weekends this month are full of events. Read on to find out more.

The month’s festivities begin on December 7, the first Saturday of the month. Start the day at PenMet Parks’ 10th annual Breakfast With Santa from 9 to 11am at Goodman Middle School. There will be a pancake breakfast provided by the Gig Harbor Kiwanis, holiday music, arts and crafts, and the chance to write a letter to Santa. Tickets are required and cost $8 per person ages 2 and up. Register to attend online at

After breakfast, head to a Holiday Wreath-Making Workshop. From 1 to 4pm at Rosedale Hall, PenMet Parks will provide seasonal foliage, berries and dried accessories needed to create a one-of-a-kind holiday wreath. Snacks and drinks are provided. The cost for the class is $65, and interested residents can sign up through the PenMet Parks website.

The last Peninsula Marketplace Holiday Show of the year will also be held on Saturday. From 10am to 3pm at the Gig Harbor Farmers Market, more than 30 vendors will gather their goods for holiday shoppers to browse. There will also be live music.

The Central Kitsap Food Backpacks 4 Kids Program will also host a Holiday Craft Fair. The fourth annual event will feature more than 50 vendors at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds’ Van Zee Building from 10am to 4pm. Santa and his sleigh will be available for photos at Patrick Kelly State Farm from 10am to 3pm. Bring your own phone or camera.

After the sun sets, head to the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration at 5pm at Skansie Brothers Park. The event is free, and there will be live music, hot cider and cocoa, cookies—and a fire truck! The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance will also host an ugly sweater contest.

Finish the festive day off by listening to the Peninsula Community Chorus at its Christmas Concert. The free event begins at 7pm at Harbor Ridge Middle School. The Kopachuck Middle School Advanced Chorus will also make a musical appearance.

Festivities continue on Sunday, December 8, with a Santa Brunch at Table 47. From 9am to 2pm, enjoy a brunch buffet, photos with Santa, and 100 credits to spend in the game room. See the menu and make reservations at

There will be more opportunities to get a free photo with Santa at Tickled Pink. The man in the red suit will visit the downtown shop from 11am to 2pm.

Then, at 6:15pm, head to Skansie Brothers Park for the annual community caroling event Hark The Harbor. Then, on Friday, December 13, head downtown for the first day of Holiday Hayrides with Santa beginning at 4pm. The free event begins at Timberland Bank on Judson Street. While downtown, stop in for caroling at Tickled Pink happening from 4:30 to 7:30pm.

On Saturday, December 14, Holiday Hayrides and caroling happen again, and the historic Eddon Boatyard transforms into Santa’s BoatShop. From 10am to 4pm., children are invited to build and paint model boats. The cost is $15 for the first child and $10 per additional child in the same family. The boat building and painting process takes about an hour. Advance registration is recommended. Visit

Drop in to PenMet Parks’ Cookies With Mrs. Claus event at Sehmel Homestead Park for a mid-morning snack. From 10 to 11:30am, children will enjoy cookie decorating, a holiday craft, warm beverages and holiday music. Mrs. Claus will also read a story to the children. The fee is $7 per child.

The day ends with Gig Harbor Yacht Club’s annual Lighted Boat Parade from 5 to 8pm. Watch dozens of festive, illuminated boats cruise the harbor from Arabella’s Marina along the western bay to the City Dock.

The city’s holiday-themed events end on Thursday, December 21, with a festive edition of PenMet Parks’ Kids Night Out. Parents who need to finish up last-minute holiday shopping or prepping can drop their children off at Rosedale Hall at 5pm. There will be four hours of activities, including a movie night featuring “Elf” complete with dinner and popcorn. The event is open to children ages 5 to 12 and the cost is $35. Register at For more about any of these events, visit,, and

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