West Seattle, Washington
That’s the view from the stage in the Farmers’ Market parking lot a couple hours ago, as your WSB co-publishers joined an eclectic crew of performers and guest tree-lighters for what turned out to be a double tree lighting (maybe not such a surprise if you saw the lights being tested last night) – the little “official” Junction tree, and the big tree right on the 44th/Alaska corner. Hope you enjoyed it; having sat through too many long events featuring endless speeches, we managed to make it through what was envisioned as an hour-long program in about 40 minutes. Of course, the nailbiting part is ahead of time, when you wonder whether anyone will show up – here’s the view from the refreshment-tent-to-be around 4:30:
Even around 5 till 5, almost no one was there, but we all chanted the mantra: No one in Seattle EVER shows up early for ANYTHING. And sure enough, before long, hundreds were on hand. Our pix are all from the stage/backstage view, but one group that provided a particularly festive view from any angle – the “Plaid Tidings” guys from ArtsWest‘s holiday show:
OK, now as for the actual tree-lighting – everyone was watching the small “official” tree, but instead, the big tree on the corner lit up – followed shortly afterward by the little one — Junior Member of the Team got both:
We’ll add some more video later – the Endolyne Children’s Choir did a great job too, as well as the plaid guys. Meantime, The Junction (WSB sponsor) is a hot place to be tomorrow, too – the first Hometown Holidays Sunday brings Santa photos at Cupcake Royale, noon-4 pm, along with mule-carriage rides and special in-store events (more here). SUNDAY NIGHT P.S.: Nice photo gallery by the fab M&M at Incremental Updates (one of the 100 West Seattle-based blogs whose automated feeds power our Blogs page) – get past the first couple showing us, and there are lovely shots of lots of nice folks having a great time. See it here.
We didn’t make it to this morning’s district-organized “community workshop” on the school-closure plan — same format as the one we covered Thursday night — but a report is up on the P-I site. It mentions Arbor Heights Elementary parent Gerard Denommee getting applause for suggesting taking the issue to state lawmakers and fighting for better public-school funding, rather than continuing to pit neighborhood against neighborhood to fight for shares of a shrinking pie. The Arbor Heights PTSA Yahoo! group also has an account of the meeting, and a more vivid description of the ovation received by Denommee, as well as a mention of Cooper Elementary parents’ presence (as they’d planned at the meeting we covered last night). Next meetings: Tuesday night, the School Board is scheduled to get new data and discuss the next phase of recommendations at a board workshop starting at 4 pm at district HQ; that same night, a district-organized meeting is planned at Arbor Heights, 6 pm. In the meantime, feedback can be sent to the school district any time at email@example.com. (All WSB coverage of this round of school-closure proposals is archived here.)
Just a couple of clips to add to the coverage we published this morning of this morning’s Rotary Club of West Seattle Christmas Shopping Spree – with Rotary volunteers joining 90 West Seattle kids at Sears in Sodo this morning for breakfast, lunch, shopping, and holiday cheer — above, you see the arrival; next, it’s some Christmas caroling with Rotarian Irene Stewart once the shopping was done:
Find out more about the Rotary Club at its website, westseattlerotary.org.
Last reminder, join us in The Junction — Farmers’ Market parking lot at 44th/Alaska — from 5 till about 6 pm tonight, for the West Seattle Junction Tree Lighting event … including music from Endolyne Children’s Choir, a sampler of “Plaid Tidings” from ArtsWest, singalongs with the band Hazelwood Motel, and lots more – see you there!
They’ve got their own tab in the “navigation” bar below the sunset header on every WSB page – just click there any time and you’ll find them – as well as in the Freebies, Deals, Sales section of the WSB Forums – but we also wanted to give it a shoutout here: As an extra incentive to “Shop Local” this holiday season, 12 WSB sponsors have put together special coupon offers (even a discount on your Christmas tree!). We expect to have more to share soon too, but for starters, these are available right now for you to print out and use. Click here to get them (a 3-page printable, clippable PDF). Thanks for supporting West Seattle businesses, especially the WSB sponsors who make it possible for you to find West Seattle news, information, and discussion here 24/7! (We’ll be handing out the coupons at tonight’s tree lighting too, so look for a copy there.)
Made it over to Highland Park Elementary (10th and Trenton; here’s a map) to check out the holiday bazaar – lots on sale, plus kids’ activities too – a chance to “fish”:
The Highland Park Elementary bazaar continues till 3. Under way till 4 pm, it’s the Southwest Community Center bazaar (on Thistle a few blocks east of 35th; here’s a map); another reminder, all the rest of what’s happening today/tonight, and tomorrow, is in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup!
Sorry to report that we had the wrong information on our calendar – the Art Under $100 sale in South Park is actually TONIGHT, 4 pm-10 pm, not during the day. From the announcement:
South Park artists will knock your socks off with original, edgy works not seen at a typical holiday sale. What’s more, everything is affordable, with nothing priced over $100. The event will showcase a diverse array of art including painting, sculpture, neon, jewelry, clothing, photography, glass, letterpress, and more. Local musicians Mark Johnson (Amateur Radio Operator) and Kevin Suggs (Evangeline, Amateur Radio Operator, KEXP) will sculpt an ever-changing atmospheric sound-scape throughout the event. Sip wine, feast on appetizers, and actually enjoy holiday shopping. A mysterious masked bugle boy will blow his horn every half hour to announce art raffles donated by the participating artists. Raffle tickets will be available for $2 each or 3 for $5
While out covering the early-morning events (see preceding reports), we just had to stop by the Junction Christmas tree – which is decked with lights and awaiting tonight’s lighting. The event starts at 5 pm in the Farmers’ Market parking lot – we’ll be introducing performances from the ArtsWest “Plaid Tidings” cast, West Seattle’s own Endolyne Children’s Choir, and the band Hazelwood Motel, as well as drawing the first winners in The Junction’s $5,000 Holiday Giveaway (WSB sponsor). As for the weather – what a difference from last year, when the tree was lit amid sleet, snow, and slush (WSB coverage here)! P.S. If the weather has you considering a car wash today – get over to West Seattle High School for a fundraising car wash in the parking lot, 10 am-2 pm, full details in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup.
Also up early and volunteering their time early this morning: The Rotary Club of West Seattle. This is the day for their annual Christmas Shopping Spree at Sears in Sodo – when Rotarians team with local kids to share breakfast and lunch, shop for clothing and shoes, take photos with Santa, and more. The kids will go home with the items they’ve chosen and tried on – items they desperately need this time of year, including coats and socks:
… but there’s holiday fun later this morning too, and we’ll have pictures of that later. Rotary volunteers were there just after 6 am; the kids arrived around 7. West Seattle Rotarians have been doing this since 1972, and this year, they’re shopping with 90 kids from six West Seattle elementary schools (more background is on the Rotary Club’s website, where you can also find out more about the group, which meets Tuesdays most weeks – meeting info is in the left sidebar on the club’s home page).
With bright red chef hats and bright yellow Kiwanis Club T-shirts, chefs are turning out the pancakes and ham fast as they can, as the Community Pancake Breakfast continues till 11 this morning at the Masonic Hall (on 40th SW between Alaska and Edmunds, lots of parking). Local Scouts are helping serve; decorations abound; Christmas music is playing – here’s a short video clip surveying the scene:
West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival‘s fundraising blown-glass ornaments are on sale too – dress up your tree while helping Hi-Yu fund its next float (as reported here last week, the theme, just chosen, is “Hi-Yu 75 Years: How Sweet It Is”):
Gift baskets are being raffled, too. All in all, the mood is festive and bright, and it’s a warm way to kick off a day of holidaying – shopping, tree-buying, whatever. $6 adults, $3 kids, proceeds go to the charitable work the Kiwanians do. Nice folks too, and we thank them for greeting us cheerily so early in the morning!
Most mornings, we can just write one roundup that highlights several notable events happening in the ensuing 12 hours or so. Today – so much going on (as listed in our current West Seattle Weekend Lineup), we’re just starting with the morning highlights:
PANCAKES, SANTA, ROYALTY, MORE: 7 am-11 am, Masonic Hall (4736 40th SW – here’s a map), the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s long-awaited Community Pancake Breakfast – a great deal ($6 adults/$3 kids) for good food, and it goes to benefit Kiwanis charitable work – bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots too. Along with breakfast, you can get Santa pix plus meet West Seattle Hi-Yu royalty (and another chance to buy those beautiful glass ornaments they’re selling).
SAFETY: The weather’s been so calm lately, you may have forgotten about the potential treachery of fall/winter rain. Don’t let that keep you away from the city’s landslide-awareness workshop – free! – 10 am-noon at South Seattle Community College (as previewed here last month).
GOLF: As announced back in October, today’s the day for the West Seattle version of the Parks Department open house to update the city’s Golf Master Plan and hear from local course users. Drop by the West Seattle Golf Course between 10:30 am and noon.
HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY HOLIDAY BAZAAR: This isn’t just a chance for holiday shopping, but also an opportunity for family fun – 10 am-3 pm, you’ll find carnival games, raffles, craft items and more at Highland Park Elementary.
More later on what’s ahead tonight – though we have to mention, of course, the top of the ticket is the West Seattle Tree Lighting, with musical and theatrical entertainment as well as a holiday singalong and the first drawings in The Junction’s $5,000 Holiday Giveaway (entered yet?). 5 pm, Farmers’ Market parking lot, we’re helping emcee and we hope to see you there! (Dozens more events are listed here.)