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Harbor Happenings: Lighted Car Parade, Santa’s Village

Posted on December 13th, 2022 By:

It’s looking – and sounding – a lot like the holidays, all over town.

Lighted Car Parade and Santa’s Village

Dozens of lighted cars — 65 at last count — will rendezvous for the third annual Lighted Car Parade on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Uptown Gig Harbor.

As is the tradition, Santa will lead the parade in his specially designed sleigh. A fire truck from Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One will also participate.

A car decorated for the Lighhted Car Parade.

There’s no charge to join the parade and all are welcome. Just decorate your car and show up at 4 p.m. at the MultiCare parking lot.

The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and proceeds along the waterfront, through Gig Harbor North, crosses to the west side of Highway 16 and continues back to Uptown. Cars will be on display after the parade and Santa, Frosty the Snowman and carolers will add to the festive spirit.

Santa’s Village will also appear like a flash at 4 p.m on Dec. 17, as more than 30 local shops and artisans create a night market in the MultiCare parking lot and the nearby parking garage. Visitors are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys, non-perishable food or diapers. All will be donated to F.I.S.H. Food Bank, Backpacks4Kids and similar organizations.

A trailer decorated for the Ligthed Car Parade.

Music fills the air

The Kopachuck Middle School band will make a joyful noise Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Uptown, starting around 4 p.m. Their performance begins at the Pavilion, then small ensembles of musicians will move to locations throughout the shopping center to continue their musical celebration.

The Peninsula Community Chorus will present “Sing We Now of Christmas,” on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Gig Harbor High School auditorium. The concert starts at 7 p.m., admission is free and there will be cookies and maybe a surprise visit from “that jolly old elf.” The chorus comprises community members of all ages who love to sing and welcomes new members. GHHS is located at 51001 Rosedale St.

Menorah lighting

On Sunday, Dec. 18, the flame on the menorah will be kindled in the Uptown Pavilion to mark the first night of Hanukah. Rabbi Geoff Fine from Tacoma’s Temple Beth El leads the service, starting at 5 p.m.

Rabbi Fine will bring his guitar and sheet music for a singalong, and there will be hot cider and donut holes for everyone.

Kayak club scavenger hunt

Four teams from the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team compete in a scavenger hunt downtown from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday Dec. 17. Each team will be decorated in a specific Christmas movie theme – “The Grinch,” “Elf,” “Charlie Brown” and “A Christmas Story.”

They will follow clues that take them to six waterfront locations, where they’ll find more clues and be required to accomplish some kind of task.

To make it more competitive, each team will lug a bucket of water, trying to not lose any water.

Winter Solstice

A Winter Solstice celebration is planned for Dec. 21 with Make Music Day at Uptown. Carolers will stroll through the area from noon to 4 p.m., and at the Pavilion there will be busking, child-size steel drums and pizza-box drums to play. Live music is scheduled at Fondi Pizza from noon to 5 p.m and at LeLe Restaurant in the evening.

A display from “It’s a Wonderful Life” is set up for picture takers in downtown Gig Harbor.

More Christmas fun

  • Santa and his elf make a stop at Fox Island Equestrian from 10-11 a.m Saturday, Dec. 17 . The venue is located at 977 Kamus Drive.
  • The city of Gig Harbor has set up holiday scenes that are perfect for photo ops at several locations along the waterfront. They include Ancich Park (“The Nutcracker”); Bogue Viewing Platform (“It’s a Wonderful Life”) and Skansie Park pavilion (Christmas sleigh complete with reindeer). 
  • Santa makes his rounds of Olalla on Saturday, Dec. 17, driving a golf cart from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you miss seeing him during his drive, you can meet him in person at Olalla Bay Landing (the old post office building by Al’s Store) afterward.
  • Santa’s personal mailbox is also set up at the Landing. Every kid who puts their letter to Santa in the bright red mailbox will get a personal response from Mrs. Claus.
  • This week’s flashback movies at the Galaxy Theatres Uptown feature “Scrooge” (noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (9:20 a.m., noon, 3 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18).

A Nutcracker-themed display at Ancich Park.