Christmas festivities, harbor walk lights up downtown Washington
Published 2:37 pm Thursday, November 24, 2016
A visit with Santa, voices lifted in holiday song, a stroll down a Washington waterfront lit with Christmas lights — Washington’s Hometown Holidays and the Harbor Walk of Lights herald in the holiday season next week.
Hometown Holidays officially kicks off with visits to Santa at the Santa Hut on West Main Street between Respess and Market streets. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month, Santa will be downtown to greet visitors and take notes for Christmas wish lists. Along with Santa, vendors will be selling handcrafted goods at a mini Farmer’s Market on West Main Street and carolers will entertain the shopping crowds, according to Washington Harbor District Alliance Director Harold Robinson.
Down along the waterfront, boats with be alight with Christmas decorations — part of a City of Washington competition that wins the best decorated boat a month of free dockage, and farther down the promenade, owner of the Moss Landing Harbor marina Terry Smithwick, has issued a similar challenge to boat owners docked there.
“We’re having the Hometown Holidays in conjunction with the Harbor Walk of Lights. It’s going to be something interesting that people will want to come down and see. We’re really trying to make (downtown) festive,” Robinson said.
On Dec. 3 at 10 a.m., Washington’s Christmas parade will thread through downtown: down Main Street from Stewart Parkway to Market Street. Scheduled to appear are high school bands, floats, fire trucks, antique motorcycles, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office color guard, local pageant winners, as well as city and county officials, with Santa Claus rounding out the parade, according to parade sponsors Washington Kiwanis Club.
According to Robinson, the events planned are not only about creating a festive, and nostalgic, atmosphere downtown, but hopefully will bring more business to downtown shops that experienced a setback due to Hurricane Matthew.
“We’ve got to do everything we can for our downtown merchants after that hurricane. A lot of them are struggling down there,” Robinson said. “We just want our merchants to finish out with a strong fourth quarter.”
To that effect, Robinson said several downtown merchants have offered support for the events and expected increased traffic: Bloom Women’s Apparel, Big Bargain Furniture, Down on Mainstreet, Ingall’s Printing, Moss Landing marina, Park Boat Company, Russell’s Men’s Shop and Sloan Insurance, while Brown Library has come on board with a new concept that allows parents to drop their children off at the library to play while parents get some shopping done downtown.
“We’re having two Saturdays in collaboration with Brown Library where mom and dad can drop their kids off and they can watch movies and color, and mom and dad can have a chance to go shopping,” Robinson said.
Offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, “Drop off the Kids & Shop” is open to ages newborn to 10 years old, Robinson said.
For more information about dates and times of downtown Christmas events, visit the Washington Tourism Development Authority website at visitwashingtonnc.com or visit WHDA’s Facebook page.