West Seattle, Washington
That’s how tonight’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting ended – with the countdown and the switch-on. That’s how it ends pretty much every year. But the celebration preceding it is not always the same-old, same-old. This year brought a first-time emcee who lit up the stage more brightly than the tree – self-described “7-foot-4 drag queen” Dolly Madison:
Dolly debuted with a show-stopping lip-synch of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which you’ll see in our next clip, after a short introduction by West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift, followed by the Endolyne Children’s Choir and featured speaker Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby:
You can help WS Baby assist local families by being part of this holiday season’s JOY campaign. Meanwhile, the tree-lighting celebration featured even more music – the West Seattle High School Marching Band took the stage at the start:
The WSHS musicians also performed a lively streetcorner set as the crowd dispersed. Also featured, cast members from “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the current production at ArtsWest:
Aside from a few waves of light rain, the weather was reasonable (anyone remember the sub-freezing chill in 2013?), and the hundreds of tree-lighting-goers were still enthused by the time local entrepreneur Jack Menashe and his grandchildren ceremonially lit the tree around 5:30. That’s at the end of this next clip, which begins with jazzy duo Sundae + Mr. Goessl, and includes more of Dolly too:
Also new this year, along with emcee Dolly – who performs weekly at OutWest Bar – was a Night Market featuring local vendors in the street next to Junction Plaza Park (here’s our report on that). More photos to come. Meantime, this is just the start of Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB), with a long lineup of events you can see here (and in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide).
Four reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
STOLEN PICKUP TRUCK: Above, that’s Paul‘s pickup, “from the alley behind my house in the Sunrise Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, presumably in the early hours of 12/1. It’s a Red/Burgundy 2005 Toyota Tundra V8 4wd, WA plate# C73302C. SPD Incident report #16-432136.” If you see it, call 911.
BICYCLE FOUND: G – whose recently reported stolen truck was recovered – contacted us today about this bicycle:
G explains, “There was a car prowler arrested on our street last night; we found this bike on street dumped in the bushes. 7100 Block 47 Ave. SW.”
YARD THEFT: From Andrew: “Our yard was burgled overnight. We live just off Lander, as it goes down the street from Admiral to the beach. They took a BBQ propane tank and a cooler full of beer, in case anyone encountered any drunk kids that smell like steaks. Reported to police.”
“WHITE-GLOVE CAR PROWL”: And from Matt:
I just noticed this morning that somebody clearly went through my Jetta near 36th and Andover. No scratches anywhere or signs of forced entry, so I’m guessing I accidentally left the car unlocked or the intruder was a magician. The few things of value (registration, gloves, first aid kit) were left, with only loose change missing. Rather decent as far as these car prowls seem to go, but disconcerting no less. I’m in the process of filing my report with the police, and figured neighbors might want to know. I don’t drive all that often, so unfortunately all I know is that it happened sometime in the past week.
P.S. No West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting this month – we talked with president Richard Miller at an unrelated meeting two nights ago, and he is planning for the next one, January 17th (7 pm, Southwest Precinct).
4:07 PM: It’s on! The West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Night Market is happening on one closed-to-traffic block of SW Alaska – between 42nd and California – until 8 pm; the “live” traffic-cam image above shows the vendors’ tents. This is meant to enhance the fun of the Junction Tree Lighting (4:45 pm-5:30 pm in Junction Plaza Park, above right). See the vendor list, and the lighting-ceremony lineup, here. More to come!
4:25 PM: Santa’s here too, by the way:
Merchants/vendors include David Groves of Seattle Logo Pro (whose shop is in Morgan Junction):
We’ll be checking with WSJA to see if they plan to do this again next year.
That’s Shandon Graybeal, proprietor of Alair (“Latin for ‘happy’,” she explains), which opened today at 3280 California SW (part of the ex-Curves space). It’s been just under two months since we reported on her plan for a “neighborhood gift shop“; late last night, she sent word the shop would open today. We took a quick look around and noted an eclectic lineup of merchandise – she calls it “girly” but we noted some things that you could give anyone – mugs, for example. Stop in and see for yourself; she’s open until 7 tonight – 10 am-7 pm will be her hours Tuesdays-Saturdays for starters, 11 am-6 pm on Sunday, closed Mondays, re-evaluating depending on how things go.
The National Weather Service is still staying relatively low-key about the possibility of snow heading our way. The current alert level is “Special Weather Statement” – read it here. Topline: Late Sunday night, early Monday, Monday night are possibilities … but that could change. The NWS updates its “forecast discussions” four times a day, so the next potentially revised outlook will be at mid-afternoon.
Haven’t had breakfast/brunch yet? Still time to get to the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s 70th annual holiday-season Pancake Breakfast, on until 11 am in The Junction. The flapjacks are flying as fast as the volunteer chefs can cook them up:
It’s happening at the Masonic Center (40th SW/SW Edmunds), festively decorated for the occasion, with Scout Troop 284, Key Club, and Venture Crew 760 members volunteering…
Also – US Marines are accepting new unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots, and Santa Claus standing by for photo ops:
$10/door, kids under 10 eat free (with a paid adult), and breakfast includes juice and Husky Deli ham. (WSB is among the event’s co-sponsors.)
Long before dawn, Christmas arrived early for almost 100 local kids, thanks to about 200 volunteer Santas turning the annual Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Shopping Spree from plan to reality:
Cheers and high-fives as the first kids, from Arbor Heights Elem, arrive for Rotary Shopping Spree pic.twitter.com/XZITUuAXwF
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2016
First to arrive, kids from Arbor Heights Elementary, a few minutes before 7 am. The Rotarians had just finished a rousing briefing for volunteers before the first bus pulled up at Southcenter, where the Shopping Spree had to move starting in 2014, after the SODO Sears shut down.
Kids from five schools are participating this year – along with AHES, they are from Highland Park, Sanislo, and West Seattle Elementaries, and Louisa Boren STEM K-8. Each one is paired with a volunteer to share breakfast – this year, at BJ’s Restaurant – before the “spree,” which focuses on practical items like coats and shoes.
As the first group settled down to breakfast, the second arrived, from WSES, also to raucous cheers:
Second group, from West Seattle Elementary. Spree moved to Southcenter in 2014 after SODO Sears shut down. pic.twitter.com/JQz7BbuRPl
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2016
They were followed by Sanislo, STEM, and Highland Park, the last group to be greeted, as the sky just outside the mall entrance brightened to gray. Volunteers and students got to know each other as they paired off and headed to breakfast. “What grade are you in?” was the icebreaker question heard time and again.
Following breakfast, shopping time.
Here’s Arbor Heights principal Christy Collins helping supervise:
And just as that got going, we had a Santa Claus sighting:
Santa arrives at West Seattle Rotary Shopping Spree. pic.twitter.com/aqBULBk5w0
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 3, 2016
A chat and pic with St. Nick is part of the plan too:
West Seattle Rotary raises money for this each year through a variety of events including a benefit breakfast featuring a guest speaker (this year, weather analyst Cliff Mass). And the volunteer help, from within the club ranks as well as other groups around the region, is priceless. The groups/businesses participating today included:
The Shopping Spree continues on into the morning, with Santa visits and more, and memories that will last a long time – for the adults as well as the kids who are going home with much-needed gifts.
(Photo by Mark Ahlness, from the WSB Flickr group)
This is definitely one of those early-bird days! The fun starts early and lasts until late. First, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
PANCAKE BREAKFAST: 7-11 am, get your Saturday going with a hearty breakfast and a good time! Pancakes, Santa photos, and more at the West Seattle Kiwanis Club‘s annual Pancake Breakfast at the Masonic Center in The Junction – details here. (40th SW/SW Edmunds)
‘CAMPOUT FOR A CAUSE’ FOOD DRIVE: Continuing all day at the Hotwire Online Coffeehouse courtyard – details in our story from Friday night. Stop by with nonperishable food for the West Seattle Food Bank! (4410 California SW)
CAPERS times and dates are on our list.
OPEN HOUSE @ WYATT’S: Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) open house @ Westwood Village, 10 am-6 pm. “20 percent off your entire purchase at the event. Come for holiday cheer and desserts!” (2600 SW Barton)
FAUNTLEROY BAZAAR: Holiday Bazaar at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 10 am-5 pm: “Come support the Historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse as well as more than a dozen local businesses and individuals. There will be face painting and other kid-friendly activities.” (9131 California SW)
CSWS BAZAAR: Holiday Bazaar at Community School of West Seattle, 11 am-4 pm, “features handmade gifts, treats, and toys from local artists and craftspeople.” (9450 22nd SW)
HOT CHOCOLATE SATURDAY: Open House at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, 11 am-4 pm: “We will be playing holiday music all day. Enjoy hot chocolate or tea while sitting around our beautifully decorated tree. Still shopping? We have lots of choices under $25 & $15. Artist Katrina Lane is featured in the Art Gallery. Enjoy a walk along the Duwamish River …” (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
ARBOR HEIGHTS BAZAAR: Arbor Heights Elementary is hosting a Winter Artisan Bazaar, 2 to 6 pm: “This will be a family-oriented community event, sure to have something for every member of the family.” (3701 SW 104th)
HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS TREE LIGHTING AND NIGHT MARKET: This is the big night in The Junction! Everyone’s invited to the West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting (4:45-5:30 pm) and Night Market (4-8 pm) at Junction Plaza Park. One block of SW Alaska will be closed between 42nd SW and California SW for the festivities. See the full lineup for both events in our preview. (42nd SW/SW Alaska)
IMPROV CELEBRATION: St. Johnʼs ‘Taproot Theater’ “Improv In a Pear Tree” Holiday Celebration at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. “Please join us 4 pm to 7 pm in the Parish Hall. It will be a joy-full and fun evening, featuring the hilarious Taproot Theater, buffet hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, sodas, plus the quilt raffle and a silent auction. $30/adults; $25 for seniors 70+. Raffle tickets for the beautiful quilt made by Johnnie Comeau are being sold for $1 each or 6 for $5.” (3050 California SW)
12 BARS OF CHRISTMAS Junction/Admiral pub crawl, starting at 4 pm at Elliott Bay Brewing Company and concluding at Parliament Tavern at 12:30 am – full details in our calendar listing. 21+. Here’s the lineup as of Saturday afternoon:
Stop 1: Elliott Bay Brewery Co. at 4pm
Stop 2: Beer Junction at 4:30pm
Stop 3: Puerto Vallarta at 5pm
Stop 4: Talarico’s at 5:30pm
Stop 5: Poggie Tavern 6:30pm
Stop 6: Pecado Bueno at 7:30pm
Stop 7: Maharaja at 8:00pm
Stop 8: West 5 at 9:00pm
Stop 9: Shadowland at 9:30pm
Stop 10: Prost at 10:30pm
Stop 11: Vidiot at 11:30pm
Stop 12: Parliament Tavern at 12:30am
Buy a wristband as you join the crawl – $ raised goes to local nonprofits.
Now, the non-holiday highlights for today/tonight, from our year-round WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
NEW FOOD TRUCK: El Capulin Oaxaqueño is opening this weekend behind Red Cup Espresso: “The truck is a Oaxacan-style taco truck selling tamales Oaxaqueño, tacos, and breakfast burritos. We will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 4.” (4451 California SW)
WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: 9 am-5 pm, the Seattle Jam wheelchair-basketball tournament is in action for the first of two days at the West Seattle High School Gym. (3000 California SW)
PRESCHOOL CLOSING SALE: 9 am-4 pm, “lots of beautiful wood toys. Magnatiles. Art supplies. Puzzles. All in excellent condition.” Church basement; enter via 47th SW. (4620 SW Graham)
EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-11:30 am. Looking for a school for student(s) going into 6th, 7th, or 8th grade next year? Come visit Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) this morning! Details in our calendar listing. (10015 28th SW)
MEET BUTCH VIG: From Easy Street Records – this is happening at noon: “‘The Smart Studios Story’ is screening in Seattle at the Grand Illusion! In celebration, Smart Studios producer and Garbage drummer Butch Vig is in town for the events and will be at Easy Street for a meet and greet / Q&A on December 3rd at noon. Butch will be joined by Sub Pop’s Jonathan Poneman and the film’s director, Wendy Schneider. The Smart Studios Story is touring the country in support of the recent release of the film on DVD. Event is free and all-ages!” (California/Alaska)
ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE: Belli Capelli Salon is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an Open House, 3:30 pm-6:30 pm: “We couldn’t have done it without you. Please stop by.” (3902 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: Doors open 6:30, screenings start at 7. Double feature – “Consumerism & the Limits to Imagination” plus “The Story of Stuff.” Meet your neighbors; have meaningful discussions. At Neighborhood House’s High Point Center; more info here. (6400 Sylvan Way)
AUTHOR/EDITOR EVENT: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), a doubleheader about publishing: Author Anna Redsand reads from “To Drink From the Silver Cup: From Faith Through Exile and Beyond,” and then will be joined by Ann Przyzycki, editor of literary journal Isthmus, to talk about the challenges and practicalities of publishing. (5612 California SW)
EVEN MORE … on our full calendar page!