West Seattle holidays: 1st of this year’s 2 Christmas Ship nights

December 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm | In Holidays, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

The sun had just set when the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship and its accompanying vessels arrived at Lowman Beach tonight, first of two stops on its first of two nights visiting West Seattle this season. Seattle Parks set up a hospitality tent as always, as well as a bonfire, while, from onboard, The Dickens Carolers spent about 20 minutes serenading hundreds lining the shore. After Lowman, the Christmas Ship sailed on to Alki. If you missed tonight’s stops, you have another chance on Monday, December 16th, when the Christmas Ship will bring the Pacific Sound Chorus to Elliott Bay just off the shores of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) and vicinity (Seacrest Park) 9:15-9:35 pm. Its full schedule of stops around Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and Lake Union is here.

10 Comments

  1. Thank you for mentioning Seattle Parks & Recreation as producing the shore side of the Christmas Ship event. Both Recreation and Grounds staff put in a lot of work creating this event (in the past the Department handled everything: ship, choir, ship fuel,shore program, marketing, etc.) Argosy doesn’t even recognize the staff involvement and it is SO nice to receive some recognition for providing community events. Thanks.

    Comment by MAO — 8:23 pm December 7, 2013 #

  2. Saw the Argosy Christmas ships at Lowman Beach. It was nice, the carolers were good but what is the point of a bonfire with yellow caution tape blocking it off for 50 feet? Might as well show the old yule log video on a big screen. Are we that irresponsible or litigious that the parks dept has to put a “virtual’ bonfire on display – waste of time, money and wood. And frustrating ‘cause it was damn cold out there.

    Comment by Jonel — 9:10 pm December 7, 2013 #

  3. What a gorgeous night for it! I’m so glad there was a post on here about Venus/Jupiter, I kept an eye out for them when I was out and about last night and they were pretty amazing!

    Comment by Shannon — 9:20 am December 8, 2013 #

  4. Well said Jonel. Our family along with many friends quit going years ago when the fire guards started telling us we had to get back from the fire as we would get burned, followed a few seasons later with the caution tape thing. Growing up at Alki everyone always looked forward to the Christmas Ship coming and meeting up with friends. Standing around the fire staying warm with a hot toddy having a good time, not the same today. Christmas Ship is great, fun to watch and hear thanks. We just have our own fire now.

    Comment by wetone — 11:35 am December 8, 2013 #

  5. Thank you Seattle Parks and Rec for being at Lowman. Our family appreciates it!!

    Comment by Rose la Rose — 10:35 pm December 8, 2013 #

  6. Why was this event so early this year? Usually the Christmas Boats arrive after sunset. It was so light out you couldn’t see the Christmas lights on the boats.

    Comment by Out for a walk — 11:32 pm December 8, 2013 #

  7. Argosy switched the schedule around big time this year. Not sure why. Worst of all in my subjective view was that there was really no way you could attend the entirety of either stop AND the 5 pm Junction tree lighting. Maybe the two organizations can coordinate next year. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the 9:15 pm December 16th Salty’s/Seacrest stop …

    Comment by WSB — 12:33 am December 9, 2013 #

  8. We enjoyed the ships at Alki. Argosy improved the sound system on the boat, so it wasn’t as tinny. I don’t understand why there wasn’t a bonfire on the beach, though. It was in the 20′s.

    Comment by bob — 9:53 am December 9, 2013 #

  9. Thanks to all for your support of the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival! The schedule itself varies each year, and this year was no exception. The schedule is discussed in January and completed and published by the first week of March. (This year our stops at Lowman and Alki were just 12 minutes earlier than 2012. In 2012 the date was Saturday the 7th, this year it was Saturday the 8th.)

    Please be assured that we thank the Seattle Parks and Rec. publically each night that we are at a Seattle parks location over the PA system. All of the Seattle bonfires are coordinated through the Seattle Dept. of Parks and Rec. and we are so happy for their support, as well as the support of all the other communities that we visit.

    The Christmas Ship Festival had its beginnings in 1941 when Chet Gibson, a dedicated local boater, led a parade of boats (without lights) during a World War II blackout. Eight years later Paul Brown, from the office of the Superintendent of Parks took over the tradition and officially named the parade the “Seattle Civic Christmas Ship”. Mr. Brown felt that Seattle’s proud maritime history should be suitably commemorated. From that time until 1993 the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation coordinated and sponsored this traditional week-long seagoing celebration. Beginning in 1984, Argosy Cruises (then Seattle Harbor Tours) donated the lead ship, the Spirit of Seattle, for the parade. In 1994 Argosy, took over the Christmas Ship and, with the support of corporate sponsors, helped to propel the festival to a nearly month-long program.

    In 2013 Argosy is making 56 different waterfront stops during 23 total nights all over Puget Sound. In addition to West Seattle we try to include as many Puget Sound waterfront locations as possible, including Edmonds, Tacoma, Poulsbo, Des Moines as well as various Eastside locations including Kirkland, Bothell, Renton, Mercer Island and more.

    Today the Christmas Ship Festival also helps local charities in the area. A portion of all ticket sales for the goes to benefit The Times Fund For The Needy, an annual program that raises money for several charitable organizations and social service providers helping children and families in the Puget Sound area. Since 1996, nearly $500,000 has been raised for the fund.

    Comment by Maureen Black, Argosy Cruises — 11:09 am December 10, 2013 #

  10. My family and friends love to walk down to Lowman Beach to see the Christmas Ships. This year was no different. Thank you Argosy for making this a tradition!

    This year I was blown away by the ridiculous decision to block off the fire pit with yellow caution police tape. From our pictures you can’t tell if we were at the Christmas Ships or a crime scene. It was 20 degrees and 200 souls are out there freezing there butts off while there is this giant fire that no one can get close to except the two city park employees.

    A great example of the kind of moronic bureaucratic policies that have been coming from Seattle leadership these days. Right up there with building 60 multi residential unit building with zero parking.

    Please if you think as a people we are mentally capable enough to not stand too close to a fire then pick up the phone and let the Seattle Parks & Rec leadership know that we appreciate their concern for our safety and well being but there is a point where safety persuasions defeat the purpose.

    Comment by Brian — 1:24 pm December 18, 2013 #

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