December 2, 2008 · 3:56 PM
Ho-ho-ho, or Hardy-har-har, Santa’s on his way to downtown Oak Harbor in a pirate ship to welcome in the holiday season Saturday, Dec. 6.
From 5 to 6 p.m., special guests will treat the Oak Harbor community to yuletide carols, sung by the An-O-Chords, drawing a crowd of folks dressed up like Eskimos. At 6 p.m. the tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer and Dock streets is planned to set tiny tots’ eyes all aglow.
Following the community tree lighting, the festivities will move to the Old Town Mall where Santa will pose for pictures and listen to the wish lists of kids from 1 to 92.
And parents can shop downtown from 10 a.m. ‘til 8 p.m. for gifts that will help to make the season bright.
The Harborside Merchants are adding a special touch to the celebration this year: A gingerbread man hunt, Jill Schacht, Harborside Merchant president said. The game will culminate with a $500 downtown shopping spree awarded to one lucky winner.
Participating downtown businesses - 35 in all - spent an evening in November at Paint Your World decorating ceramic gingerbread men. The holiday characters are finished now and will appear in the windows of downtown shops on Dec. 6. Look for the festive gingerbread men in the shop windows and pick up an entry form with game rules at any participating shop.
The fourth annual Holiday Stroll is a true community effort, Schacht said, adding that the evening wouldn’t be possible without Chuck and Gail Jaeger, who donated the tree, Jet City Rental’s help with the tree transportation, Krieg Construction’s donation of time and crew members to erect the tree and the U.S. Marines, who are providing decorating manpower.