Country Christmas: Hayrides, music and lots of lights in North Kitsap Dec. 10-11

Seamus Gallagher, 2, marvels at the lights with his dad, Joe, during the Port Gamble Country Christmas in 2010. Activities are planned Dec. 10-11 in Kingston and Port Gamble.  - File photo
Seamus Gallagher, 2, marvels at the lights with his dad, Joe, during the Port Gamble Country Christmas in 2010. Activities are planned Dec. 10-11 in Kingston and Port Gamble.
— image credit: File photo

KINGSTON — A simple flip of the switch Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. and thousands of lights will turn Kingston into a wonderland of holiday illumination, but the meticulous work of creating each lighted display began six months ago.

“We started in June,” said Kori Henry, executive director of the Port of Kingston. “Eight to 12 volunteers met once a month, then every Friday beginning in October, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.”

Inspired by the Bellevue Botanical Gardens’ holiday Garden d’Lights Festival, the Kingston LED light display — part of its Country Christmas Celebration — will include a waterfall with salmon leaping into the water, and some 1,000 plants.

“It’s going to be four times as big as it was last year,” said Linda Fyfe, executive director of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce. “Last year, 300 people came to see the lights. We’d like to reach the 500 mark.”

The event may do just that. Henry said summer boaters visiting Kingston watched the volunteers as they worked on the displays, were wowed by what they saw and vowed to return for the lighting ceremony.

It’s a highlight of a weekend of North Kitsap celebrations that include breakfast and story time with Santa and the missus, a fireworks show, hay rides, home tours, lighted boat parade and tree-lighting ceremonies.

Santa will arrive on a fire truck Dec. 10 and will flip the switch at 5 p.m. The Kingston High School Band and Kingston Middle School Choir will perform on the Mike Bookey Stage. Holiday refreshments will be served. There is no admission, but attendees are asked to place a donation of a non-perishable canned food item in one of the bins for ShareNet Food Bank.

Here’s a list of events.

DEC. 10
— Breakfast with Santa
, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Wolfe Elementary School. Cost: $4 per person or $15 for four people. Silent auction, basket raffle, photos with Santa.

— Vendor’s fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kingston Community Center, 11212 Highway 104 NE.

— Photos with Santa, noon to 4 p.m., Kingston Chamber of Commerce, 11201 Highway 104 NE.

— Music program, “Sing the Holidays,” 4:30 p.m., Port of Kingston. Bonfires, hot chocolate and cookies at the Mike Bookey Event Stage.

— Parade of Boats, 4:30 p.m., Port of Kingston. Kingston Cove Yacht Club members will parade their holiday-decorated boats on Apple Tree Cove.

— Santa arrives; lighting of Christmas tree, 5 p.m., Port of Kingston. Santa will light the Christmas tree and the Port of Kingston Display of Lights.

DEC. 10-11
10 a.m. Saturday to 3 p.m. Sunday. The Victorian village is adorned in thousands of lights.

— Hay rides both days.

— Santa’s Workshop at the Walker-Ames house, Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children can help Santa and his elves make bird feeders, gingerbread houses, stockings and tree ornaments, and get their photos taken with Santa. Admission is $5 per child per day and covers all activities.

— Tree-lighting ceremony Saturday at 5 p.m.

— Fireworks display over Gamble Bay Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

— VIP Party Saturday, 5:30-7 p.m., Hood Canal Vista Pavilion. For adults 21 and older. Rock around the Christmas tree to a DJ. No-host bar and hors d’oeuvres compliments of the Port Gamble General Store. Prizes will go to the best-dressed VIP attendee. To receive admission, find Port Gamble Weddings on Facebook and message, “I want to be a VIP.” The first 150 people who do so will receive free admission and a VIP badge.

— Port Gamble Theater’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. To buy tickets in advance, or for more performance times, visit

DEC. 13
6-7:30 p.m., North Kitsap Fire & Rescue headquarters, 26642 Miller Bay Road NE, Kingston. Santa will hear Christmas wishes at the fire station, then will head to Kingston Middle School at the end of the school band’s annual holiday concert at around 7:45 p.m. Firefighters will also offer tours of the fire engine, refreshments and holiday safety tips.

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