West Seattle, Washington
The first of the 8 nights of Hanukkah is next Saturday – but the first of several public Hanukkah events in West Seattle is a lot sooner … hours away. At 4 pm Sunday (December 2nd), the Seattle Jewish Chorale will be at the 7141 California SW home of the Westside Unitarian Universalists (co-sponsoring along with Kol HaNeshamah) with “an interactive, family-friendly concert featuring both familiar and unusual holiday songs in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and Ladino, with styles ranging from folk to jazz to ‘Jewish gospel’.”Hanukkah treats will be on sale at the reception afterward. Reception to follow, with Hanukkah goodies for sale. Tickets will be available at the door – prices and other details are on the concert’s Facebook event page. P.S. Other West Seattle Hanukkah events are in the WSB Holiday Guide – please let us know if we’re missing any!
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB, added late Saturday night)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:50 PM: The holiday songs are pouring from the speaker, the crowd is starting to gather, and the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Christmas Tree Lighting is coming up at the top of the hour. If you’re not already here, get down to Junction Plaza Park at 42nd and Alaska – the actual lighting is expected around 5:40 or so, but it can always run ahead of schedule, so the sooner you’re here, the better. Here’s the lineup as announced earlier in the week by the Junction Association.
5:49 PM: The tree is lit! as of a few minutes ago. (Added video – two kids from the crowd joined the Hi-Yu Junior Court to officially push the button.) The Junction Association estimated the crowd at about 500 – and the rain held off!
LATE SATURDAY NIGHT: Adding photos by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams and video by WSB editor Tracy Record. The Junction Association’s welcome was delivered by Doug Baldwin:
Here’s video, as Doug introduced longtime emcee Marty Riemer:
From ArtsWest in The Junction, stars of the holiday-season production “The Winter Wonderettes” wowed the crowd with brassy renditions of Christmas classics:
Video, including their introduction by AW leader Line Sandsmark:
More entertaining holiday songs were presented by West Seattle’s own Endolyne Children’s Choir:
Here’s video of their performance, including a few words by director Amy Stagno Bokanev:
Check out their concert schedule online. In addition to holiday music, the spirit of the season was discussed briefly by West Seattle Christian Church Pastor Dan Jacobs and by WestSide Baby executive director Nancy Woodland, who were followed in this clip by a few more words from emcee Marty:
Meantime, the crowd enjoyed refreshments:
Hi-Yu Junior Court royalty including Queen Madison Stanley-Jones assisted with program distribution as well as (as seen in our video above) the lighting:
But the star remained .. the tree.
ORIGINAL SATURDAY AFTERNOON REPORT: We’ve heard from multiple sources that Morgan Junction-based Alki Tours has given quite a gift today … Their “Snow Train” trip to Leavenworth was canceled by a slide – as noted on Facebook – leaving them with boxed meals for passengers they wouldn’t be serving. So, they filled cars with the food and took it to feed homeless people, including the campers at Nickelsville.
ADDED SUNDAY: A photo montage is now atop this story; thanks to Jayme for replying to our request, made in the comment section, which is also where you’ll find more on how it unfolded, including this note from “Bsmomma”:
I was one of the saddened workers that got the call at 5:10am that the train was cancelled. :( Working on the train is the source for Christmas money for a lot of people. BUT instead of bumming out all day about it, we jumped on the phones to inform passengers (who were all awesome about it btw!) And then hung around for the food to be ready to go. My sister and I chatted with so many grateful people around Seattle. A huge Thank You to Alki Tours for making that possible. And another big Thanks to the people at Gretchen’s for getting it all ready for us! I am a true believer in Everything happens for a reason. Happy Holidays Everyone!!!
P.S. If you’re looking for non-surprise holiday giving opportunities, we’re continuing to add to the list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
Thanks to Alice Kuder for sharing the photo from the first of this season’s “Santa Paws” events – happening till 3 pm at Prudential NW, Suite 600 at Jefferson Square (4700 42nd SW). From the invite in the WSB West Seattle Holidays Guide: “Bring your dog, cat, friend, or family for a complimentary photo with Santa! Or, just drop by to say hello, and enjoy some coffee and holiday treats.” You don’t have to bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank and/or Toys for Tots (which takes new, unwrapped toys), but they’re welcome!
Evi Feltus from Swedish Medical Center says she and another West Seattleite working on this event would love to see community members there, since the hospital serves kids from all over the area: “Holidays at the Hospital” is happening tomorrow (Sunday), 1-4 pm, fun and free. Here’s the online invite:
We hope you can join us for a winter wonderland celebration for Swedish Pediatric patients, families, & friends!
This is a fun, festive holiday celebration for the community that will feature:
Photos with Santa, Carolers, Teddy Bear Clinic, Cookie decorating, Face painting, Holiday activities and crafts tables Plus, we’ll have a super special guest from the Seattle Sounders, Roger Levesque!
We’ll also be collecting toys for children up to age 18 as well as donations for art supplies and games. Donated items will be given to children at the hospital receiving care and treatment.
This is at Swedish on First Hill downtown, 1101 Madison.
That’s the Junction Plaza Park Christmas Tree – photographed Friday afternoon, just about ready for tonight’s gala Hometown Holidays lighting ceremony at 5 pm (see you there)! That’s one of many events from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide (and our regular calendar) in this morning’s list of highlights:
WEST SEATTLE KIWANIS COMMUNITY PANCAKE BREAKFAST: As mentioned earlier this morning, it’s happening right now! Pancakes, juice, Husky Deli ham, photos with Santa, and more, till 11 am at the Masonic Hall, 40th and Edmunds. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots if you can (and note that West Seattle Hi-Yu is selling their blown-glass ornaments, too).
THE COVE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 9:30-11 am today, come check out this West Seattle preschool (WSB sponsor) – details here.
WESTSIDE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10 am-noon today, you are invited to drop by Westside School (WSB sponsor), an independent elementary/middle school, at 7740 34th SW – last open house during this admission season. Official invitation with details here!
HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS: 3rd annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show. 10 am-4 pm at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation Social Hall, 7141 California SW. “You’ll find original and one-of-a-kind gifts: felted hats; knits; jewelry; watercolor paintings; designer bags and accessories; greeting cards and stocking stuffers; edible holiday goodies; glass art; Shibori fiber art; and more. Enjoy free refreshments. Cash and checks only.”
DRUM, DANCE, AND SING: 11 am at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW), for kids and parents – details here.
AVALON GLASSWORKS OPEN HOUSE: Holiday Open House at Avalon Glassworks (2914 SW Avalon Way), noon-4 pm. Details on the Facebook event page. Buy a beautiful glass apple to benefit White Center Food Bank!
‘SANTA PAWS’: Noon-3 pm, 4700 42nd Ave SW, Suite 600, Jefferson Square Shopping Center: Bring your dog, cat, friend, or family for a complimentary photo with Santa! Or, just drop by to say hello, and enjoy some coffee and holiday treats. Hosted again this year by Prudential Northwest Realty and West Seattle Food Bank. Accepting donations for the Food Bank & Toys for Tots, but no contribution is required. Appointments recommended but not necessary – 206-932-4500.
SNAP NEIGHBORHOOD-PREPAREDNESS MEETING: 1 pm at Hiawatha Community Center.
(“Ex-Westwood Santa” – photo courtesy Lisa Myers of CAPERS)
‘EX-WESTWOOD SANTA’ AT CAPERS: That’s where the Santa some knew as “Ex-Westwood Santa” (from 2010 and previous years) can be found. From CAPERS‘ Lisa Myers – It’s a fundraiser for the West Seattle Food Bank. Cash and canned food will be collected to share with our neighbors in need. 2-6 pm today (for other dates, and other Santas, see the Holiday Guide).
JUNCTION TRIVIA CRAWL: Starts at 3 pm today, but you have to sign up! Get the info here.
ART UNDER $100: South Park’s big annual event, 3:30 pm-9 pm, full details here
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT FLEURT: 4-7 pm at Fleurt (4536 California SW). Proprietor Sam says, “We will be offering light snacks, a raffle, and door prizes. We would like our guests to bring along a food item for donation to the West Seattle Food Bank.”
HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS TREE LIGHTING IN THE JUNCTION: West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Christmas Tree Lighting, 5 pm. Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska). Here’s the lineup, as published on WSB earlier this week, including live entertainment.
‘ROCKY HORROR’ AT THE ADMIRAL: Midnight tonight (like the first Saturday of most months) at Admiral Theater, it’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” with shadow cast and all.
Thanks to the WSB’er who shared the photo; after a night of pounding rain, a mudslide behind a building in the 1300 block of Alki Avenue SW is reported to have damaged three vehicles, pushing them into each other. We’ll be checking to find out more; the National Weather Service‘s newest forecast says showery, breezy weather will continue today. Any weather trouble where you are? Let us know – thanks!
The first students have crossed the bridge and arrived at Sears SODO for the biggest event the Rotary Club of West Seattle organizes every year, the Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. They’re coming here from five elementary schools in West Seattle – 96 kids [updated number], greeted by a corps of volunteers more than double that size:
A little breezy this morning! Inside, volunteers of all ages – from high-school students to retirees – have already been busy in the pre-dawn hours, getting ready:
The tasks range from assembling bags for the kids – who are from Arbor Heights, Highland Park, Sanislo, Schmitz Park, and West Seattle Elementaries – to keeping track of the volunteers:
They’re not just West Seattle Rotarians, but also Panhellenic sorority and fraternity members, as well as the aforementioned students, including University of Washington Rotaract members and Mercer Island High School Interact members. They’ve all just heard the morning’s order of events from West Seattle Rotary president Andy Horner:
He noted this has been growing since 1972, when the West Seattle Rotary held the first shopping spree … for nine students. With him in that photo, at left, is Martha Sidlo, who organized this year’s shopping spree. Next up – volunteers are paired with kids, for breakfast, followed by shopping – $100 gift cards, to be used to purchase essentials (with a 10 percent discount) – Santa photos, and lunch.
ADDED 8:14 AM: Before shopping, there’s the waiting …
Then the smiling (with Rotarian Josh Sutton):
The coat-choosing (with Rotarian Dr. Susanne Gee):
And inside Sears, the shopping (that’s Anissa the Elf, offering a greeting)
ADDED 11:48 AM: Santa listened to many wishes, and posed for many photos, but this scene said it all:
To make this happen, it takes many donors and sponsors – they had big thanks, for example, for their baked-goods donors The Essential Baking Company and Macrina Bakery, as well as for SODO Kitchen, the venue in the Sears/Starbucks building where everyone gathered – and you can donate too: A link to the Shopping Spree fund is on the Rotary home page.
P.S. Some extra info from WS Rotary president Andy: 256 was the final volunteer count – 35 Rotarians, 221 non-Rotarians. Four drivers from First Student transported the kids – Chuck, Robert, David, Jim. The schools each had coordinators – including Arbor Heights principal Christy Collins, Pam Rago from Highland Park, Nina Bowman from Sanislo, Jennifer Toth from Highland Park, and Tracie Thompson from West Seattle Elementary.
(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB, added 8:41 am: Brian Riggs, right, making pancakes)
ORIGINAL 7 AM REPORT: Don’t cook breakfast this morning – let the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle cook it for you! Their annual Community Pancake Breakfast is set to start right about now – 7 am till 11 am, at the Masonic Hall in The Junction (40th and Edmunds, plenty of parking). You’ll see Santa Claus there, as well as dozens of volunteers, and even West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Junior Court royalty. In addition to the low, nonprofit-benefiting admission price ($7 adults, $3 kids, if you don’t already have an advance ticket), they’re also collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. More photos later!
ADDED 3:33 PM: The pancake breakfast drew a crowd – all morning long:
That’s Hi-Yu Junior Court Princess Emily Galvin talking with breakfasters about buying one of the Hi-Yu benefit blown-glass ornaments. As always, local Boy Scouts volunteered to help serve:
In a more serious moment, the Scouts gathered onstage for a big “thank you”:
Back to the pancakes:
5-year-old Everett Burdett particularly enjoyed his:
This morning also was a time to give:
Marine Cpl. Justin L. Knox, there for Toys for Tots, shook the hand of Andrew Archide, one of the breakfast attendees who brought a toy to donate. Speaking of toys … we haven’t yet mentioned the most famous toy giver of all:
Santa, of course, held court onstage – where, in our photo, he was joined by Karl de Jong from West Seattle Kiwanis, while the Hi-Yu Junior Court spoke. Kiwanis of Industrial Seattle was on hand too – Angelika Tam showed off a wreath:
This was the 66th annual Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast; its history is in this preview from last month.
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Another holiday-season-opening tradition in West Seattle last night – the annual Husky Deli open house in The Junction. Purple-and-gold-shirted elves assisted all around the store, with Husky proprietor Jack Miller himself at centerstage:
Other West Seattle treats were showcased – here are Gretchen and Noah serving up cake from nearby Bakery Nouveau:
And Peter Bos of Northwest Wine Academy poured samples of the wines (including rose, riesling and merlot) made by his students at South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor).
Spotted sharing the season’s spirit – Mr. and Mrs. Claus, aka Paul Carr and Libby Carr from the forthcoming premiere run of “Santa’s First Magical Ride, The Musical“:
Their show plays at West Seattle’s Youngstown Cultural Arts Center starting next Friday (December 7th) and continuing Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays.