West Seattle, Washington
After tonight’s first show at what you can formally call “West Seattle Lights presents the Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular,” that’s how the house looked with every light switched on. About 40 minutes early, the music-synched light show’s third season had kicked off – literally, with Seattle Sounders FC‘s Zach Scott kicking a goal instead of pulling a switch (followed by an appropriate, albeit non-Christmasy, song):
He signed autographs afterward:
But wait! Back to the lights. 60,000 of them this year – LEDs, which means not as much of an electricity drain as you might think. Jim Winder is again the mastermind, working on it for months before the actual lights start going up on the 3908 SW Charlestown home of his friends the Helmstetler Family. We stayed through the whole set tonight – enjoying songs both traditional and novelty, the latter including a Village People takeoff (“N-O-E-L” instead of “Y-M-C-A”) and this ’60s classic:
Full details about the show, the location, and more, are on its official website at westseattlelights.com. (This year they have a Facebook page and Twitter feed, too!) Bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank – the bin’s out front (as shown in our preview from last weekend) – and this weekend, they’re also collecting money for the Kingston Family ($ donations the rest of the season will go to the food bank and NW Parkinson’s Foundation) . Best place to watch the show is right across Charlestown in front of the water tower, but if you bring little ones, be sure to remind them to stay out of the street – it’s not blocked off for the show, and there can be a fair amount of traffic (as you’ll note in our clips). Here’s the schedule.
Just out of the WSB inbox, from a tipster who didn’t want their name used:
I spotted a car prowler about 9:45 pm tonight on 45th Ave SW near Alaska. He was trying to open every car via the car door handle. Male wearing a white/beige ball cap. Wearing black hoodie or sweater. I immediately called the police and they sent someone out to look for the suspect. Just wanted to let you know so people can be sure to lock their cars, especially on streets that have no street lights.
Also important … as police advise over and over again: Don’t leave anything in your car that might even remotely tempt a thief, not even something that hints there might be items of value (example: if you have GPS, don’t just bring it in for the night, take down the suction cups too).
It’s the only Christmas tree lot in West Seattle where the trees get blessed. A few hours after the Holy Rosary School Tree Lot opened for the season this afternoon, we were there as Father John Madigan (with an assist by young Sam Lee) presided over the annual Blessing of the Trees:
In addition to supporting the school, 15 percent of the tree lot’s proceeds go toward four beneficiaries this year: West Seattle Food Bank, the Salvation Army‘s Hickman House domestic-violence shelter, and West Seattle Helpline, as usual, plus the Ed Kingston Memorial Fund. This is the lot’s second year on school property next to the playground (41st/Dakota); you can see the hours, and the merchandise, here. (A full roster of West Seattle tree sellers is on the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info page.)
Early this Monday morning (November 28), you are invited to join the Admiral Neighborhood Association for an event at 47th/Admiral, the intersection where an inattentive driver hit and killed Tatsuo Nakata five years ago this month. We mentioned the plan in our coverage of ANA’s most recent meeting, and just confirmed with association president Katy Walum that the event is on. She says, “We are inviting all interested community members (young and old) to meet up at Alki Mail and Dispatch at 7am for a peaceful celebration of the memory of Tatsuo Nakata, and demonstration to our City’s leaders that we still have an all-too dangerous intersection in our neighborhood. We will have signs for folks to hold, light sticks and necklaces for the kids, and Don at Alki Mail has graciously offered to provide coffee and cocoa.” Read on for the official news release/announcement they are distributing:Read More
It’s been a quiet holiday weekend so far – hope it stays that way – but firefighters/police have been busy today responding to a few crashes. This is the latest one; Val sent the photo from 36th/Cloverdale (map). No word on the circumstances, but no aid/medic unit was dispatched, indicating no serious injuries.
5:04 PM UPDATE: Val says two private ambulances did respond.
(Photo courtesy WSCC)
You have eight more days to register for what just might be the craziest – definitely the gingerbread-iest – holiday event in West Seattle, the “Extreme Makeover Gingerbread Challenge,” 5 pm December 11th in the West Seattle Christian Church Activity Center (4400 42nd SW) – but you need to pre-register ASAP. The official announcement, in case you haven’t already seen this on the Holidays page:
Join what will undoubtedly be the largest gathering of questionable talent for an amazing holiday creative venture which, while certainly being memorable, will also be contributing to our effort to provide clean water to a village in El Salvador. The registration fee is only $20 per house which includes an assembled, but not yet decorated house, as well as a contribution to our well projects. There will be a general category as well as an open-class competition where the sky is the limit. Rules and registration form can be found at http://www.wsccwaterwells.org/events.html Deadline for registration: Sunday, December 4th, 6 pm.
The official poster/flyer can be seen here.
Since they’re not visible this morning, here’s another look at the pink-lit snow-sheathed Olympics from Friday morning – this one’s courtesy of JayDee. You don’t quite need a hummingbird’s energy to get to what’s going on today, but the pace is picking up. From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar and West Seattle Holidays page:
‘SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY’: Since “Black Friday” has become mostly a big-chain phenom, “Small Business Saturday” has been promoted as a counterpoint for independent locally owned businesses. Being one of those ourselves, we wholeheartedly encourage the notion of “Small Business Every Day!” (WSB is proud to be a co-founder of Authentically Local); some West Seattle businesses are offering or continuing special deals today; see the list on the Holidays page.
WEST SEATTLE BARTER FAIR: This year’s edition of the Sustainable West Seattle-organized event that began as a “money-free shopping spree,” Camp Long Lodge, 4-8 pm, details here
WEST SEATTLE’S LIVELIEST LIGHT SHOW DEBUTS: Tonight is the lighting ceremony for the Holmstetler Family Spectacular/West Seattle Lights, 7 pm, 3908 SW Charlestown, with special guest Zach Scott of the Seattle Sounders; they’re also fundraising the first weekend for the Kingston Family, and there’s an ongoing collection of food items for the West Seattle Food Bank (look for the barrel in front of the house). The official website has even more information (and video highlights from the past two years).
GROWING HAIR TO SAVE LIVES: The mustache-growing men of “Movember” (raising awareness and money to fight men’s cancers) are scheduled to be partying at Mission, 7 pm, and you’re invited.
HOLY ROSARY TREE LOT OPENS: Noon marks the official opening of the Holy Rosary Tree Lot, north of the school at 41st/Dakota, and it’s scheduled to be open till 9. Full details on its official website; information on all of West Seattle’s Christmas tree sites can be found on the Holidays page.
NIGHTLIFE: See a movie without leaving West Seattle! Here’s the Admiral Theater schedule … Steve and Kristi Nebel live at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), 6-8 pm … 3 bands live at Skylark (schedule here), 9 pm …
Santa’s not the only one with a workshop this time of year. In fact, the West Seattle Tool Library has four planned for the holiday season, teaching you skills that can result in homemade gifts:
Introduction to Holiday Canning
Nov. 29th, 7-9 PM
Learn how to preserve your harvest. We’ll cover all the basics of using a hot water bath canner. Each participant will get to take home a few jars of what we can in class.
Instructor: Christina Hahs
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Introduction to Backyard Booze
Dec. 6th, 7-9 PM
Learn to use fruit and simple ingredients to make homemade specialty liqueurs such as Fig Bourbon, Rumtopf, Cranberry Spice Vodka, or Pineapple Rum.
Instructor: Vanessa Primer
Introduction to Jewelry Making
Dec. 13th, 7-9 PM
Learn the basics of beading and wirework. Techniques learned include crafting clasps, wire wrapping and beading to begin creating a bracelet or necklace to complete at home.
Instructor: Jill Sundberg
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
Introduction to Soapmaking
Dec. 20th 7-9 PM
Homemade soaps make great gifts! Join us as we demonstrate the basics of traditional soap making using all-natural herbs and essential oils. These are tried and true, simple methods you will be able to use at home. If there’s enough time, this class will also cover the basics of making bath salts, scrubs, teas, and oils.
Instructor: Vanessa Primer
Cost: $20 plus $5 for materials
The West Seattle Tool Library and Community Workshop are in the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 4408 Delridge Way on the east side of the building. (Its regular hours are Thursdays: 6 pm till 9 pm; Saturdays: 9 am till 2 pm; Sundays: 1 pm till 5 pm.) For more information, contact Kate Kaemerle at 206.743.4468.
P.S. Speaking of handmade gifts – you’ll be able to trade for some at tonight’s Sustainable West Seattle Barter Fair, 4-8 pm at Camp Long Lodge. Read more about it here (and comment on the SWS site if you’re planning to participate!).