North and Central Whidbey are getting ready to welcome in the Christmas season with their traditional celebrations Dec. 4.
In Oak Harbor, the Santa Cruise will begin at 4 p.m. Oak Harbor Main Street Association Executive Director Maragaret Livermore said Santa will travel around town, down Bayshore Drive and up Pioneer Way, where he will park somewhere between Dock Street and the mall. There, participants can cruise by in their own decorated cars to wave to Santa and get a candy cane.
The Christmas tree lighting will take place at 5 p.m. The festivities will include a pirate ship and performances by the Whidbey All-Island Community Band and the Oak Harbor High School band.
The Oak Harbor Snowflake Hunt commences the same day at 10 a.m. Silver snowflakes will be hidden in businesses in downtown Oak Harbor. According to the Main Street Association website, participants can pick up a snowflake passport at Garry Oak Gallery. As they locate the hidden snowflakes downtown, they can collect stamps in their passport.
Once participants have located at least 10 snowflakes, they can return their passports to Garry Oak Gallery and enter to win a Holiday Gift Basket filled with items from downtown Oak Harbor businesses and a $100.00 Oak Harbor Main Street gift certificate. The snowflake hunt ends at 5 p.m. Dec. 17.
In Coupeville, the traditional Christmas parade is returning after a 2020 hiatus. The parade, which will feature an appearance from Santa, starts at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the corner of First Street and Main Street. The route runs down Main Street, along Front Street, then back up Alexander Street.
Businesses or nonprofit organizations interested in participating in the parade can contact the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce for an entry form.
The Coupeville Christmas tree will be lit around the beginning of the parade, though the town will not hold a formal lighting ceremony to discourage large crowds from gathering in the interest of public health.
The annual Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association Red Ticket Drawing offers a chance for shoppers to win a $1,500, a $500 or one of three $100 prizes. Participants receive a red ticket entry from participating merchants for each $20 purchase. The drawing will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19 on Facebook Live. People must be present to win.