Downtown event will have Santa, singing

Santa Claus is comin’ to town— and hopefully this year, children won’t have to wait in long lines to see him.

Families will be able to receive tickets for time slots with Santa at this year’s Home for the Holidays, 4 p.m., Dec. 1 on Pioneer Way, said Matthew Williams, executive director of the Oak Harbor Main Street Association.

“Once you get your ticket, your time is safe,” Williams said.

There will be 10 visits with ol’ Kris Kringle every 20 minutes. Tickets will be available at a tent outside Harborside Village.

This frees up time to enjoy the variety of other festive activities happening downtown. From 4 to 4:25 p.m., Garage of Blessings Carolers will perform and students from Olympic View and Oak Harbor elementary schools will sing from 4:30 to 4:55 p.m.

Santa will make his appearance around 5 p.m. The sleigh and reindeer will be left back at the North Pole, and instead he’s opting to ride through downtown atop an Oak Harbor Fire Department engine. Shortly after the man in red’s arrival, the annual tree lighting will happen.

Haggen grocery will provide free hot chocolate, cider, cookies and “family-friendly giveaways,” Williams said. The grocery store will be handing out the goodies in the building next to Sweet Rice on Pioneer Way. Visitors can shop at participating stores to earn tickets for the Green Ticket giveaway competition— every $20 spent will earn a ticket that can be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 cash prize.

Downtown visitors can also vote on their favorite toy soldiers, which were “adopted” and decorated by individuals and businesses.

Santa will be available to meet and greet inside the mall until 7 p.m. If tickets run out, there will be a last call and anyone who didn’t get one will still get the chance to see him, Williams said.

More information can be found at oakharbormain street.com

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