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Washington Coast Holidays Include Crab Pot Tree, Santa with Pirates, Music, Food

Published 11/30/22 at 3:39 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Washington Coast Holidays Include Crab Pot Tree, Santa with Pirates, Music, Food

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(Ilwaco, Washington) – Like the holidays on the Oregon coast, the southern Washington coast is all aglow in holiday colors, lights and cheer, from Ilwaco up through Westport. (Photo above: still from video of the Ilwaco Crab Pot Christmas, courtesy Port of Ilwaco)

Here, holiday events stay a little tucked under the radar, but there's a lot going on to fire up your holiday blaze. Right up the way from Astoria, the Washington coast has much to offer.

December 2. Ocean Park Tree Lighting. The first of the big to-do's happens in Ocean Park, with the Ocean Park Tree Lighting starting close to 5 p.m. While almost no details have been announced just yet, past events have included groups like the Beach Barons Car Club, Port of Peninsula, Village Club and local fireman making snow on the spot. You may not get a white Christmas on the Washington coast, but this little spot will get it on that early December date.

Washington Coast Holidays Include Crab Pot Tree, Santa with Pirates, Music, Food
Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Caroling has always been a big element, along with foodstuffs like hot chocolate and other treats. Santa generally begins his run not long before 5 p.m., lighting up one or two other trees along the way as he parades his way to the main event area, this time at 1501 Bay Ave, Ocean Park – next to Ocean Park Pharmacy. There, the tree gets fired up by ol' St. Nick and he begins a couple of hours of hearing kids' wishes.

The tree has reportedly been moved around for a few years because residents were hoping to find it a place that's more sheltered from the winds. Call the Ocean Park Chamber of Commerce at 360-665-4448 for details.

Photo courtesy Westport Chamber

December 3, Westport. Santa by the Sea is the big happenin' on this day in the hotspot of Westport, Washington. This shindig is put on by the Half Moon Bay Pirates – a local nonprofit assisting children.

Everyone gathers at the docks in Westport as Pirate Santa arrives (actually he isn't in pirate gear) to hand out presents to the kiddies. He shows up at 10:30 a.m. in a US Coast Guard vessel, making quite the dashing entrance.

Chili and hot cocoa will be available.

After that, local firemen transport Santa to the Destruction Island Lighthouse Lens Exhibit Hall on the grounds of the Westport Maritime Museum (2201 Westhaven Dr.) You'll be able to visit Santa in the lens building, and maybe learn something about a rather extraordinary lighthouse in Washington coast history.

Organizers say bring your cellphones to snap pics of your kid with the Man Himself. Meanwhile, next door at McCausland Hall there's a Christmas bazaar and bake sale. Contact the Half Moon Bay Pirates at 360-589-7108 for more.

Detail from this year's Crab Pot Christmas, courtesy Ilwaco Chamber

December 3. Crab Pot Christmas, Ilwaco. It's supposedly the world's largest Christmas tree made out of real crab pots, and it is truly a rather unique creation. You'll find it at the Port of Ilwaco, with the lighting happening at 5 p.m. sharp.

Various events and ceremonies happen live there and participating businesses. You can also stay in your car and tune your radio to 98.5 FM for the event which includes “crabby carols” and other pleasantries. Or listen to the live stream at which starts at 4 p.m. In the past, fireworks have accompanied the initial lighting moments.

December 4. Water Music Society's Christmas Concert. The holiday tunes get a good dose of soulfulness as the Water Music Society's Christmas Concert takes on jingles and carols, along with holiday treats and beverages, including wines.

It's held in Chinook, Washington, at the Chinook School Event Center with tickets $15, a social hour that starts at 2 p.m. and the gig gets underway at 3 p.m. It features the George Mitchell Quintet – Mitchell has been the keys player for Diana Ross. It also includes guest vocalist Marilyn Keller, Charlie Porter on trumpet, Dave Averre on drums, and Tim Gilson on bass.

Some of the proceeds go towards local school music programs. 810 Highway 101. Chinook, Washington. 360-244-3627. Get tickets at, or at the door.

December 11. Carols, Cookies, and Cocoa at Fort Columbia State Park. The place is a bit like Fort Stevens' more intact twin, and impressive military battlements are often in great condition.

Carols, Cookies, and Cocoa features entertainment by local talent, chatting with others and down yummy treats and refreshments. It's also a fundraiser for PAPA (Peninsula Association of Performing Artists). You'll find a raffle and silent auction. That group will put on some skits and other bits of fun.

It starts at 3 p.m. Fort Columbia State Park at Chinook Point. (360) 777-8221.

December 10 and 11. Grayland Community Hall Holiday Weekend Bazaar. Two days of holiday glitter and frivolity with a host of local, indie businesses you can support. Shop 'till you drop, and it's also a Christmas Party with a Gingerbread House Contest. Santa appears 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Grayland Community Hall. 2071 Cranberry Rd, Grayland, Washington. 360-743-0556.


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