Shop locally and enjoy holiday events

December 4, 2013 

Black Friday has come and gone. I hope you were able to do what it is you love on that day, be it shop ’til you drop to find a good deal, or snuggling up by the fire to enjoy a good meal with your family.

Maybe it was a combination of both. Mine was filled with more of the latter.

I’m not a loyal Black Friday shopper, but I am a local shopper. Last Saturday was Small Business Saturday. Why not carry through the end of the year? There is no better option.

Shopping locally supports your community. Our shops, whether they’re large or small, corporate or locally owned, provide jobs and much-needed tax revenue that filters back through the community for police, fire, roads, parks and much more. When you shop online, those dollars provide zero support for your community.

Although shopping online might seem easy, you miss the wonderful interaction with those in our community whose job it is to serve. Please consider that and step away from your computer this season.

There are many new shops in and around Gig Harbor, so go visit with our merchants.

I also try to support the performing arts each holiday season. Paradise Theatre continues its showing of “The Wizard of Oz” through Dec. 15, and there will be a special holiday Dinner Theatre at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 that features memorable songs like “Merry Old Land of Oz,” “If I Only Had a Brain,” “Over the Rainbow” and “Munchkin Land.”

New this year is The Gig Spot, a venue that features live music from local bands and musicians, located at the old Encore Theater building, 6615 38th Ave.

Another new music venue is The IIT Factor on Wollochet Drive. The performance studio offers a 16-week course for children called “Glee Stars.” And while the location isn’t offering a holiday performance this year, I hope it will in the coming years like its sister location in Port Orchard.

Many musical groups that have been community pillars for years remain. For example, the Peninsula Civic Orchestra will host its Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Peninsula High School auditorium.

The annual tree lighting event will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at Skansie Brothers Park. Live entertainment will be provided by Spectrum Choral Academy, which consists of school-aged children between 5-18. The Tacoma Rainiers’ mascot, Rhubarb, will join us, and Santa and Gig Harbor Mayor Chuck Hunter also will be on hand to flip the switch on the holiday tree.

One annual event not to be missed is Tidefest, which can provide wonderful and unique gift-buying options. For nearly 30 years, Gig Harbor High School’s annual event has brought in artists and high-quality artisans from throughout the Northwest. The festival raises money for the school’s activities and athletics programs, including the speech and debate team and the school newspaper. Admission is $5.

Throughout the next few weeks of the Gateway, refer to the holiday events calendar in the main section of the paper. It will provide a list of activities throughout Gig Harbor this season.

And, as always, is loaded with information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Enjoy this holiday season and everything Gig Harbor has to offer.

Karen Scott is the marketing director for the City of Gig Harbor. She can be reached by email at

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