Small town bursts with holiday spirit

KINGSTON — After being decked with boughs of holly and swags of evergreens last weekend, the Little City By the Sea is ready for the holiday season to begin, starting with the eighth annual Kingston Country Christmas Dec. 4.

“It’s a great chance to get some Christmas shopping done (with) some good savings,” said co-organizer Stephanie Stebbing. “It’s a great chance to come with the family and enjoy the ambiance of small town Christmas shopping and celebration.”

The town will be packed with events for young and old, including visits with Santa, horse carriage and tractor rides and the annual lighting of Kingston’s community Christmas tree.

• 8:30-11:30 a.m. — Residents can eat breakfast with Santa at Wolfle Elementary. Sixth graders will be serving up pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, juice and coffee for a $3.50 donation. Profits go toward the sixth grade’s spring camping trip to Camp Colman. There will also be a table of holiday rummage items for sale and door prizes. Kids can get their picture taken with Santa for $5.

• Participating merchants will be open all day, offering special holiday sales and discounts to shoppers. There will be brochures available at stores with a complete schedule of the weekend’s events.

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5 — Santa Claus will visit the Kingston Albertsons. The event will be hosted by the Kingston Junior High School Future Business Leaders of America. Residents can get their pictures taken with Santa for $5 or sit on his lap for free.

•11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Visitors can talk with local artists and visit their studios: Earth Dance Studio on the corner of West First Street and West Kingston Road; Liden Bode Studio at 10753 West Kingston Rd; and West First Street Gallery at 26095 West First St. Earth Dance and West First Street Gallery will be open Dec. 5 as well.

Artist Marilyn Bode of Liden Bode Studio will host Seattle artist Sue Lahti, who will be painting hand-blown eggs and taking custom orders from visitors.

“When she’s done that before, people just really love that,” Bode said of Lahti’s previous visits.

• Noon to 4 p.m. — The Kingston Community Center will turn into a child-like wonderland Saturday with several events available for kids.

The Kingston Kiwanis will be hosting its annual visit from Santa Claus and pictures with the jolly old elf will be free of charge.

The Sunrise School will have also craft activities for kids and a bake sale and Girl Scout Troop 2112 will be holding their own fund-raiser as well.

“We combined Santa with Sunrise School,” Stebbing said, noting she was trying to make the community center more kid-oriented this year because in the past, Santa photos have been the only holiday event there during the annual town celebration.

• Noon to 4 p.m. — To get around town easily, free horse-drawn carriages rides will be available, travelling between the Kingston Thriftway parking lot and the community center. Tickets are required for the carriage rides, but they are free and can be attained from participating merchants.

• Noon to 4 p.m. — Hayrides on antique tractors will also be offered during the day throughout town. Then from 4:30-7:30 p.m., tractors will give hayride tours of decorated homes within the downtown area.

• 4:30-5:30 p.m. — The Home Town Band will perform holiday favorites at Mike Wallace Memorial Park, next to the Port of Kingston.

“They are so good,” said co-organizer Karen Ross. “They are fun to listen to.”

• 4:30 p.m. — Residents can view decorated boats located in the Port of Kingston guest dock before the boaters take off at 6:15 p.m. on for their annual parade (weather permitting) to President Point and back.

• 5:30 p.m. — Santa arrives on a North Kitsap Fire & Rescue fire engine to light the Kingston Community Tree at Mike Wallace Memorial Park.

• 7 p.m. — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and a children’s choir will be at the Kingston Christian Church.

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