West Seattle, Washington
Joined onstage by wife Linda Menashe and four of their 12 grandchildren, he praised West Seattleites for loyalty to their community, and Junction Association executive director Lora Radford for her hard work to strengthen the business district. The lighting event’s format was different this year – instead of packing entertainment and speeches into a half-hour or so preceding the lighting, this year the entertainment was spread across the two hours before the ceremony, which itself lasted just a few minutes, starting with Lora introducing Santa and the Menashes:
Junction Plaza Park was shoulder-to-shoulder for the countdown:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 2, 2018
In case you missed the performances, we recorded some highlights – here’s the School of Rock-West Seattle performers:
We featured The Not-Its in our earlier Night Market report; the entertainment slate opened with Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor). After the lighting, it was back to browsing the Night Market, maybe even saying hi to Santa. Lots more Hometown Holidays festivities to come – including Shop Late Thursdays – one of which includes the holiday-season West Seattle Art Walk on December 13th – and the Santa Bus on two Sundays, December 9th and 16th. It’s all in our WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, too.
After the SODO Sears closed almost five years ago, the Rotary moved the event to Southcenter, where buses brought about 100 students from five West Seattle schools starting just before 7 am – Highland Park, Arbor Heights, Sanislo, and West Seattle Elementaries, and Louisa Boren STEM K-8.
Each arriving group got an ovation from the nearly 200 Rotarians and other volunteers who started their Saturday pre-dawn to provide the kids a holiday event to remember.
First school arrival at West Seattle Rotary Shopping Spree – big cheers for Highland Park Elementary! pic.twitter.com/TXiTas1xpc
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 1, 2018
The kids get to shop for practical presents like coats and shoes:
They received fun gifts too – Rotarians donated small toys for goodie bags, for example. And a hearty breakfast is always part of the “spree”:
The West Seattle Rotary has been doing this for more than 45 years. Every year, volunteers from other organizations help make it happen, from student groups to community fraternities and sororities:
Lots of logistics involved – this year’s Rotary ringleader was Gary Potter of Potter Construction (WSB sponsor):
The Shopping Spree is one of several community projects every year for the club, which has lunch meetings every Tuesday and welcomes visitors.
Thanks to Jeff for the photo from a car fire in the 3200 block of Harbor Avenue SW this afternoon. It wasn’t an unusual callout – one engine, no investigator – but after seeing Jeff’s photo, we asked Seattle Fire spokesperson Kristin Tinsley about it. Here’s her reply: “Two adult females and a child were in the vehicle when they started having vehicle problems and pulled over. This was an engine fire. Due to the vehicle owners being on site, and no reason to suspect anything suspicious, fire investigators were not called to the scene. The road was shut down for approximately 25 minutes.” Jeff says he called 911 and SFD was there within two minutes.
(Sign shared by a WSB reader – printable PDF version is here)
Just a reminder in the midst of this busy weekend that, as announced earlier this week, you are invited to join Hate-Free Delridge and other community advocates in the heart of The Junction tomorrow to say “No to Anti-Semitism, in West Seattle and Everywhere.” Organizers wanted to do something to show that our community won’t stand for the hate shown in the anti-Semitic vandalism that someone painted outside homes in Sunrise Heights, as first reported here on Monday. The gathering is 11 am-1 pm Sunday at California/Alaska. Everyone is invited to participate; West Seattle synagogue Kol HaNeshamah says it will have members there too. The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, starts just a few hours later, at sundown.
A fabulously festive night is under way in The Junction – midway through the Hometown Holidays Night Market, biggest one ever, with dozens of vendors on SW Alaska between 42nd and California. Kids’ activities too, courtesy of Hope Lutheran Church‘s booth:
Look who’s also here:
You can shop for gifts and treats here as well as the nearby year-round Junction merchants:
And there’s music onstage in Junction Plaza Park leading up to the tree lighting at 6 pm – The Not-Its are just wrapping up.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) December 2, 2018
The Night Market’s on until 7. (We’ll have a separate report on the tree lighting later.)
While the wide view of the Menashe Family‘s brightly lit home at 5605 Beach Drive SW is iconic, we stopped on this year’s first official night Friday to notice some of the details:
There are reindeer … but there are also mice!
And a train:
As noted here earlier, the Menashe Family Lights were featured in an episode of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” on national TV this past Monday. If you missed it, the episode is available online right now to “verified” viewers, and should be available next week to all.
P.S. One more reminder that Jack and Linda Menashe are scheduled to join Santa in The Junction at 6 tonight, lighting the Hometown Holidays Christmas Tree.
12:42 PM: While that was the message displayed alongside Mike the inflatable orca outside the Alki Bathhouse, steps away, “Welcome the Orcas” attendees got to put it into action:
The orcas that we mentioned earlier were in sight in the distance. Indoors, you can learn about them – and kids’ activities include ornament-making and face-painting:
ADDED 2:07 PM: A few more scenes from our visit to the celebration. Above, Whale Trail founder/executive director Donna Sandstrom with orca-costumed volunteers. Below, one of the orca-photo signs from the mini-parade:
Inside the bathhouse, all-ages environmental education:
Another of the partner organizations, SR3:
The timing of the celebration is based on the fact that the Southern Resident orcas usually return to Puget Sound in fall to chase salmon runs – the food on which they rely. The endangered whales have been in a brighter spotlight this fall after a task force appointed by the governor – with Sandstrom among its members – released a report with recommendations on how to save them from going extinct.
Yet another stop on this busy Saturday – The Kenney (WSB sponsor) is welcoming visitors for a rummage sale, bake sale, and bazaar!
7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, until 3 pm.
10:42 AM: Thanks to Kersti Muul for the update – orcas are in the area again, headed northbound past the Fauntleroy ferry dock. (On their way to “Welcome the Orcas,” under way at Alki Bathhouse until 2 pm, apparently!) Let us know if you see them.
11:48 AM: Thanks for the updates in comments! Photo added above, from Kersti.
1:30 PM: Thanks to Monica Zaborac for the photos above and below this line, taken while looking toward Vashon.
No recent updates, and those viewing during “Welcome the Orcas“ were looking north from the Alki promenade, so we believe they’re out of view for now – please let us know if that changes!
All dressed up for a pic with “Santa Paws”! Thanks to Don for sending the photo. Pets – and/or people – are welcome to come get free pics at Windermere West Seattle in The Junction (4526 California SW) until 1 pm.
The Kiwanis Club of West Seattle invites you to join them for breakfast at the Masonic Center – the club’s 72nd annual Pancake Breakfast, on until 11 am.
You get not only food and drink (orange juice, coffee, etc.) but also a heaping helping of holiday spirit – Scouts and Key Club members are volunteering, Marines are collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots, and Santa Claus is there for holiday photos.
If you haven’t already bought your ticket, it’s $10 at the door for adults, and kids under 10 who are accompanying them get to have breakfast for free! You can also check out the fundraising raffle and bake sale. The center’s at 40th/Edmunds – entrance is off the parking lot. (WSB is among this event’s community co-sponsors.)
(Photo by Trileigh Tucker from Friday’s orca visit)
It’s a day to “Welcome the Orcas” and welcome the holidays! First, from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide:
ROTARY SHOPPING SPREE: Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s annual Children’s Shopping Spree, happening now at Sears Southcenter. Students from live local schools will get to shop, have breakfast, and meet Santa.
PANCAKES AND SANTA: Santa photos for kids up to age 10 are part of the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle‘s annual pancake breakfast, 7-11 am at Alki Masonic Center. Tickets are $10 at the door, kids under 10 eat free with paid adult. Buy advance tickets online. **Bring new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots!** (4736 40th SW)
BAZAAR AND BAKE SALE: 10 am-3 pm, holiday bazaar/bake sale/rummage sale at The Kenney (WSB sponsor). (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
GIFT WRAPPING: At Quail Park Memory Care Residences of West Seattle (WSB sponsor):
We LOVE the Junction! On Saturdays in December: (1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd), between 10 am and 4 pm, we’ll WRAP any gifts you purchase from Junction businesses! Bring your gifts down the hill, and enjoy some hot cider while we wrap your gifts! The service is on us, but if you’d like to leave a donation for the Alzheimer’s Association, we’ll have that opportunity available!
(4515 41st SW)
SANTA PAWS: At Windermere West Seattle, 10 am-1 pm: “Santa will be posing with your pets, kids, friends, for free photos by a professional photographer. Free, although donations to West Seattle Food Bank are accepted – canned, non-perishables.” (4526 California SW)
WEST SEATTLE ARTISTS’ STUDIO TOUR: This free holiday-season tour is in its second day, 10 am-5 pm, and multiple West Seattle studios are participating – map and info here.
SCHOOL BAZAAR: Noon-4 pm, holiday bazaar at Community School of West Seattle. (22nd/Roxbury)
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION NIGHT MARKET AND LIVE HOLIDAY MUSIC: Hometown Holidays Night Market in The Junction, 3-7 pm. Here’s the list of vendors. Here’s who’s performing – including The Not-Its at 4:30 pm! Santa pics from 4-7 pm, too. (SW Alaska between California and 42nd)
DECORATE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE: What will yours look like? Build it tonight, 6-8 pm, at West Seattle Christian Church. (42nd SW & SW Genesee)
And from our year-round West Seattle Event Calendar:
ADMIRAL ADOPT-A-STREET: 9 am-noon, join the Admiral Neighborhood Association in the quarterly cleanup – coffee, treats and more provided by Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), where you’ll meet up. Tools and bags provided. (41st/42nd/Admiral)
SEATTLE JAM: Two days of wheelchair basketball with teams from around the region, starting 9 am-3:30 pm today at the West Seattle High School gym. From the announcement: “The Seattle Sonics Division 1 and Division 3, Seattle Storm women, and the Seattle Jr Sonics will be playing multiple games over the weekend to qualify the NWBA National Championships. Joining us are teams from Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Canada, Spokane, and Tacoma.” (3000 California SW)
WELCOME THE ORCAS: The Southern Resident Killer Whales have returned to Puget Sound – with a spectacular sighting just yesterday – and today you can celebrate their return at Alki Bathhouse with a free event presented by The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters – 10 am-2 pm – see the schedule here – even an “orca parade.” (60th SW/Alki SW)
(added) WRESTLING TOURNAMENT: Thanks to Laura for sending word of this! ~30 schools’ wrestling teams are at Chief Sealth International High School for a tournament today, starting at 10 am and continuing into the evening. (2600 SW Thistle)
WORK PARTY: 10 am-2 pm at Thistle Street Greenspace, you’re invited to the Native Plant ID and Invasive Plant Removal Along Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail event. Details here. (Map here)
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: “Heather Booth – Changing the World” is this month’s movie. Doors open at Neighborhood House High Point at 6:30 pm; film and discussion at 7 pm. No admission, but donations welcome. More info here. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
The last 2 stories we covered Friday night before the power outage both involved Christmas lights. Now that the power has stabilized – on with the reports … and the lights:
Click the “play” button in the Instagram window and you’ll see the lighting of Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s big tree outside the church for the first time in five years. Here’s another view:
The parish and school have continued to host a “Light Up the Night” celebration each year, throwing the switch on lights around the grounds and singing Christmas carols, but it wasn’t quite the same. Emcee Brian Callanan thanked the OLG CYO for bringing back the tree lights, which are brighter than we ever remember. The celebration included caroling as always:
And food donations were collected in the sleigh in the lobby of the Walmesley Center:
The tree is on the southeast corner of 35th/Myrtle, near the highest elevation in Seattle city limits, so it’s considered to be Seattle’s highest-elevation Christmas tree.