Laila Thomas, 2, reacts to the giant tree in downtown Oak Harbor being lit Saturday night by Santa and Mayor Bob Severns. Photos by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Laila Thomas, 2, reacts to the giant tree in downtown Oak Harbor being lit Saturday night by Santa and Mayor Bob Severns. Photos by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Downtown Oak Harbor lights up for the holiday season

The rain let up just in time for Santa’s arrival.

The Oak Harbor Main Street Association held its annual Home for the Holidays event Saturday evening, and dismal daytime weather didn’t seem to deter families from lining the streets to welcome in Kris Kringle. Musical performances by Oak Harbor Elementary students and Sean Brown’s Brass Studio preceded the big red man’s entrance upon an old fire truck.

He was greeted by cheers, high fives and hugs as he climbed off the engine to help Mayor Bob Severns light the downtown tree.

“It’s pretty cool,” resident Jake Thomas said.

Hs 2-year-old daughter Laila Thomas sat perched on his shoulders so she could see the bright tree. He had just recently moved to the island, so it was his first time witnessing the annual event. He said his family planned to go see Santa on a later date, but his daughter had different ideas as she and other children helped guide Saint Nick by the hand to his seat in Harborside Village Mall.

Families eagerly lined up in the center of the hallway to let Mr. Kringle know they’d been good this year and what they’d earned for their good behavior. He heard requests for Anna and Elsa dolls, Octonauts and Lego sets.

He also received some bewildered expressions and beard tugs from young ones who weren’t yet old enough to speak.

Some were a little wary of the man in the fuzzy red hat, but he and the evening’s events got a thumbs up from 5-year-old Parker Dyble.

Photos by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
                                Above, Addie Skvarla, left, and Grace Grant go over their wish lists this year with Santa on Saturday during Oak Harbor’s Home for the Holidays event.

Photos by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times Above, Addie Skvarla, left, and Grace Grant go over their wish lists this year with Santa on Saturday during Oak Harbor’s Home for the Holidays event.

Marc-Henri Lunz scrutinizes Santa’s beard, which was real, Saturday evening in Oak Harbor at the Main Street Association’s Home for the Holidays event.

Marc-Henri Lunz scrutinizes Santa’s beard, which was real, Saturday evening in Oak Harbor at the Main Street Association’s Home for the Holidays event.

Marc-Henri Lunz scrutinizes Santa’s beard, which was real, Saturday evening in Oak Harbor at the Main Street Association’s Home for the Holidays event.

Photo at right, Aiden Feliu, 7, carefully ponders what he wants to ask for from Santa Saturday evening. He wants a Lego set.

Photo at right, Aiden Feliu, 7, carefully ponders what he wants to ask for from Santa Saturday evening. He wants a Lego set.