Port Gamble is dreaming of a white Christmas

PORT GAMBLE — Shana Smith really wants snow for the holidays, especially to help add an old-fashioned twist to the town’s annual Christmas event this month.

With Santa Claus, hay rides, arts and crafts vendors and holiday decorations, Smith, the Port Gamble property manager, said she believes it can’t get any more down home.

The 6th Annual Port Gamble Country Christmas will take place 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and while the event doesn’t bring as many people to the town as other annual gatherings, Smith said she liked it because it’s unique.

“It’s a great country hometown event compared to the other events we do like the North Kitsap Arts & Crafts Festival with 45,000 people,” Smith said. “This draws in maybe 3,000 to 8,000 people over the weekend but it has a very hometown feel to it.”

Music and entertainment are new on the agenda this year, Smith said. From 1-3 p.m. Saturday, a cello concert will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The performer is asking for unwrapped gifts as a donation to give to Poulsbo’s Fishline Food Bank.

On Sunday, from noon-3 p.m. there will be a flute concert followed by a play performance at 5 p.m. by Taproot Theatre of Seattle called “Christmas Past.”

The Walker-Ames Mansion, the Masonic Lodge and House 7 will be open and filled with arts and craft vendors as well as open for tours. The Masons and Eastern Stars of the Masonic Lodge will also offer homemade pie and other snacks while visiting.

Festival-goers can also hop on the hay wagon in front of the lodge for a tour of the town, including seeing other historic buildings and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Next door, House 7 will be open to the public for the first time. The former private residence was called the New York House by locals in its heyday. It was first constructed in early 1860s and served the community as a hospital by 1881, Smith said. House 7 served as the town hospital and the home of the town physician until 1929, when it was turned into a private residence.

As for other events happening around town, Santa Claus will be taking requests in the Walker-Ames House from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. There will also be a tree lighting at 5 p.m. Saturday in front of the Port Gamble General Store.

Smith said she hopes visitors notice the new businesses that have settled in town as well as the holiday decorations.

“I think for the people who were at Country Christmas last year, they’ll see new businesses that are here,” she said. “It’s a chance for people to see the town decorated.”

While the event is perfect in her mind, Smith said she is still wishing for a dusting of snow to help add to the holiday spirit.

“It’s the time of year, it’s a darker a little earlier, the lights are on,” she said. “The only thing that could make it better is if we had snow.”

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