Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus await the start of their trip down Bay Street to welcome visitors to the holiday season. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus await the start of their trip down Bay Street to welcome visitors to the holiday season. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Port Orchard ablaze in holiday color Saturday

PORT ORCHARD — Port Orchard’s Festival of Chimes and Lights made its 2017 debut Saturday, Dec. 2 on Bay Street, welcomed (as usual) by a steady rain and a bundled-up crowd of folks in the holiday spirit.

Earlier in the day, runners braved the weather to participate in the Jingle Bell Run. Later that afternoon, an all-dog contingent dressed to the nines took part in the annual Pooch and Purr costume contest and parade down Bay Street. For those wanting to get out of the rainy weather, the Port Orchard Library hosted a series of activities geared to children.

At City Hall’s Main Stage, area choirs sang an assortment of holiday tunes for event visitors. And at the Dance Gallery, people lined up outside to watch dancers perform from inside the building.

But the highlight, as always, was the lighting of the community Christmas tree at City Hall. Honorary tree lighter was Dick Vlist, who flipped the switch at 5:30 p.m., sending the outside grounds ablaze in colors. Shortly after, the South Kitsap High marching band led off with its array of holiday music, followed by an appearance from Santa Claus, atop a vintage red fire engine.

Honorary tree lighter Dick Vlist flipped the switch at 5:30 p.m., lighting Port Orchard’s Christmas tree. The tree was donated by the Saints Car Club. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Honorary tree lighter Dick Vlist flipped the switch at 5:30 p.m., lighting Port Orchard’s Christmas tree. The tree was donated by the Saints Car Club. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Honorary tree lighter Dick Vlist flipped the switch at 5:30 p.m., lighting Port Orchard’s Christmas tree. The tree was donated by the Saints Car Club. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Youthful ballet dancers perform inside a window-walled room at The Dance Gallery on Bay Street for a standing-room-only crowd of onlookers outside. The dancers were part of the Festival of Chimes and Lights list of events Dec. 2. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)

Youthful ballet dancers perform inside a window-walled room at The Dance Gallery on Bay Street for a standing-room-only crowd of onlookers outside. The dancers were part of the Festival of Chimes and Lights list of events Dec. 2. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)

Bob Smith | Independent
                                Dogs of all kinds festooned in holiday costumes took part in the Pooch and Purrs costume contest and parade Dec. 2 at the Festival of Chimes and Lights.

Bob Smith | Independent Dogs of all kinds festooned in holiday costumes took part in the Pooch and Purrs costume contest and parade Dec. 2 at the Festival of Chimes and Lights.

This sleek canine is one cool Christmas caroler during the Pooch and Purrs costume contest and parade Dec. 2. The dapper dog was in the process of losing his topper, but his owner adjusted the wayward Dickens top hat. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)

This sleek canine is one cool Christmas caroler during the Pooch and Purrs costume contest and parade Dec. 2. The dapper dog was in the process of losing his topper, but his owner adjusted the wayward Dickens top hat. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)

This sleek canine is one cool Christmas caroler during the Pooch and Purrs costume contest and parade Dec. 2. The dapper dog was in the process of losing his topper, but his owner adjusted the wayward Dickens top hat. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap News Group)

Folk music and traditional seasonal musical favorites were shared with visitors at the Port Orchard Library Dec. 2 as part of the Festival of Chimes and Lights. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Folk music and traditional seasonal musical favorites were shared with visitors at the Port Orchard Library Dec. 2 as part of the Festival of Chimes and Lights. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

South Kitsap High’s marching band starts its repertoire of holiday music Dec. 2 at the Festival of Chimes and Lights. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)
                                South Kitsap High’s marching band entertained the crowd with an array of holiday music. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

South Kitsap High’s marching band starts its repertoire of holiday music Dec. 2 at the Festival of Chimes and Lights. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News) South Kitsap High’s marching band entertained the crowd with an array of holiday music. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

South Kitsap High’s marching band starts its repertoire of holiday music Dec. 2 at the Festival of Chimes and Lights. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News) South Kitsap High’s marching band entertained the crowd with an array of holiday music. (Photo: Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

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