From Elvis to Santa, Vikings to pets on parade, holiday celebrations abound on the Kitsap Peninsula this weekend with enough twinkling lights, live music and hot chocolate to fill every cup with good cheer. Here are the highlights:
Magic in Manette – There’s so much holiday fun packed into this charming Bremerton neighborhood, including a tree lighting, scavenger hunt and concert by the Navy Woodwinds Band. Plus the Doughnut Dame will be at Elixir Fixer and Saboteur Bakery has a pop-up pizzeria. Details.
Winterfest – Bremerton’s celebration is too much fun to contain to just one night. On Friday, there’s an art walk from 5-8 p.m. with special treats and activities throughout downtown, plus holiday shopping, dinner and drinks. Saturday is family time with carriage rides on Pacific Avenue from 5-8 p.m. and the tree lighting at 6 p.m. in front of the Puget Sound Navy Museum. Santa arrives around 5:30 p.m. with the Bremerton High School Marching Band and will be ready for pictures from 6-7 p.m. at Kitsap Credit Union. Ho, ho, ho! Decorated boats get free moorage at the Port of Bremerton. More info.
Jule Fest – The Poulsbo Vikings put on one of the most unusual seasonal events with this celebration of Scandinavian tradition beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the waterfront park. There’s folk singing and dancing in the pavilion, a bonfire and the traditional arrival of the Lucia Bride by sea. She wears a halo of candles to light the darkness. The Sons of Norway also host a Christmas Bazaar from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with fresh lefse and traditional crafts. Also in Poulsbo, there are free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Poulsbo every Saturday through Dec. 24. Jule Fest schedule.
Kingston Cove Christmas – Elvis and Santa team up to bring some rock and roll to the holidays in downtown Kingston. Danny Vernon does his best Elvis impersonation at 4:30 and the biggest holiday lighting display on the peninsula comes to life at 5. There’s also a lighted boat parade at 5:30. There are more family-friendly events throughout the day. Click here for a schedule.
Festival of Chimes & Lights – Port Orchard has a full day of fun planned, including photos with Santa at the Log Cabin Museum, free showings of the holiday classic, “Elf” at the Dragonfly Cinema, hayrides, a lighted boat contest from 5-7 p.m. and tree lighting and chimes at 5:20 p.m. Santa arrives on a fire truck at 5:35 p.m. with the South Kitsap High School Marching Band. Warm up with refreshments throughout the day, including chili in Marina Park at 5:30 p.m. Free moorage for decorated boats. Full schedule here.
Jingle Bell Run, Port Orchard – Grab your ugly Christmas sweater, tie jingle bells on your kicks and spread good cheer in support of The Arthritis Foundation at this long-running, holiday-themed race. Same-day registration is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the race begins at 1:30 p.m. Come early for the costume contest at 12:30 p.m. More info. at
Pooch & Purr Parade, Port Orchard – Furry friends need holiday cheer too! Dress yourself and your four-legged companions in seasonal finery and join the parade at 4 p.m. Same-day registration at 3:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Kitsap Humane Society and there are prizes for best costumes. Details.
Bainbridge Arts Tours – Christmas in the Country, Winter Studio Tour and Bainbridge Working Studios offer myriad opportunities to find unique gifts while exploring the rural beauty of Bainbridge. Meet the artists in their studios and tour specially decorated homes and farms. Stick around afterwards to sample the region’s fine restaurants and brewpubs.
For more information, including lodging, dining and more things to do, go to the Visit Kitsap Peninsula website.