Hanging o’ the greens

POULSBO — Though it may not have been snow falling from the skies Sunday morning, downtown Poulsbo got a dusting of holiday cheer.

From banners to garlands to white twinkle lights, downtown merchants are ready for the season to begin.

The Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association (HDPA) and community volunteers strung holiday decorations down Front Street and Jensen Way Nov. 14 in an annual tradition that goes back at least 40 years. They were assisted by representatives from Sprint, who helped hoist the garlands and lights high above the street by means of their cherry picker trucks.

About a dozen of the 30 local Sprint employees volunteered for the early morning venture. Sprint Public Affairs Manager Brad Camp called the turnout the largest yet and said it attested to how much the Sprint employees enjoy the HDPA project.

“It grows every year and this is pretty unprecedented,” Camp said. “The company’s been doing this for about 40 years so it’s our longest standing tradition.”

Though the volunteer Sprint crew boasts members who have been part of the gathering almost as long as it has existed, Camp noted that a number of new employees also put their names in for the project this year. Poulsbo resident Patrick Harper recently joined the Sprint team and said he thought helping out his new hometown sounded like a great idea.

“I’m having fun,” he commented. “I think it’s twofold. We get to provide back to the community and it’s team building for us, too.”

The annual decoration hanging, which usually occurs right before Thanksgiving, helps usher in the holidays for downtown merchants.

But HDPA president John Kuntz noted that he feels it’s really the holiday decorations that make the season to magical. He thanked the Sprint representatives for their volunteer efforts and said the project always reminds him of the value of living in a small community.

“An awesome, incredible job by Sprint. We could not have done it without them,” Kuntz commented. “It really kicks off our holiday season.”

Besides a festive look, downtown merchants also have a number of holiday events planned this year. Those include:

• Nov. 26 — Heritage House opens in the New Havne Veien walkway. Meet Father Christmas noon to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Dec. 23. Giving Tree for Fishline Christmas Toy Shop.

• Nov. 26 — Santa’s mailbox opens in front of Hearts and Homespun at the corner of Front and Jensen. Kids can drop off letters for Santa through Dec. 22 and all will receive a response.

• Nov. 26-Dec. 24 — HDPA merchants will be open until 8 p.m. Friday nights.

• Dec. 17 — 6 p.m. Yul Cup in Waterfront Park. Watch the Poulsbo Yacht Club’s lighted ships parade, enjoy hot cider and cookies and join the pine cone ceremony to reflect, make a resolution, a pledge, or a wish.

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