As we approach the start of the school year (shriek!), you may be thinking of scheduling out activities for the upcoming school year and into fall and winter. Maybe you have thought about the possibility of volunteering during the upcoming months, but have not known were to look for options. If you have kids that are grown and gone, are a student looking for extracurricular activities, or a business owner looking for networking opportunities, volunteering may be the thing for you. Or maybe you simply like to meet new people. Gig Harbor abounds with options for volunteering.
Listed on our city visitor website, at www.gigharborguide.com, you will find a list of service groups that are often in need of volunteers. Also listed on the site are volunteer opportunities. If this is something that interests you, check it out to learn about the different options available. Here at the city, we value our volunteers. We would not function as we do without the help of our valued citizen volunteers. From our volunteer explorers in the police department to the volunteer gardeners that manage the community gardens, and everyone in between, we appreciate you!
New this month is the Skansie Visitor Center volunteer option. Due in large part to our valuable volunteers, the visitor center opened on July 30th. The Visitor Information Center at the Skansie House will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 10-4 pm during our busy summer months and is a partnership between the City of Gig Harbor and tenant Harbor WildWatch. In helping to get the Skansie House to come alive, we have much appreciation to hand out. Rosedale Gardens, Harbor Greens and a team of harbor gardeners donated the flowers and plants for the house. A local gardening team that is a satellite group of the Northwest Perennial Alliance, consisting of Barbara Rodgers, Pam Mullinax and Nancy Davenport, have graciously offered to maintain the flower pots surrounding the house throughout the year. In addition, we would like to thank Mandy Silver for her numerous contributions, Jersey Mikes for a great lunch on opening day, Waters Edge Gallery for beautiful art work that lines the walls, and Heritage Distilling for some very cool décor. Many volunteers have already eagerly signed up to man the Visitor Information Center and greet visitors with a smile and great enthusiasm about all Gig Harbor has to offer. These folks are a tremendous asset to our community.
The Visitor Information Center at Skansie is still in need of volunteers for August, September and later into the year. A Saturday afternoon shift and various other shifts are still open. Interested parties should email Nancy Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether it be a regular shift, or an occasional fill in, you are guaranteed to learn something new about our fabulous town and meet wonderful people along the way!Read more → Comments (5)
Did you know that Father’s Day was founded in Washington State? Yes, it is true, sort of. The notion to recognize dear old Dad sprang from the mind of a young woman in Eastern Washington, but the idea took many twists and turns during the twentieth century. Way back on July 19, 1910, the Governor of the State of Washington, influenced by Spokane resident, Sonora Smart Dodd, proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” After hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day in 1909, Dodd thought fathers should have similar treatment. She worked tirelessly to bring this idea to the fore front; however, it took over six decades for the day to become a nationwide holiday in the United States. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating it the third Sunday in June. That day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. This came nearly sixty years after the establishment of Mother’s Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. The spring date for Dad’s day was chosen because Dodd initially suggested June 5th, her father's birthday. However, local pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and so the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. There you have it, in a nut shell.
Aside from the long wait, we have been ‘officially’ honoring fathers all across America for the last forty-two years. Maybe you will choose to do something extra special for Dad after hearing of this long journey. Whatever the reason, Gig Harbor holds a special place for Dads and provides special and unique offerings too.
On June 15th, Gig Harbor presents endless opportunities to show him your love, and has something for every kind of Dad;
•If Dad is a fisherman at heart, head to the Gig Harbor Fly Shop where one can learn to fly fish, go on guided tours, or fill his tackle box with the latest fishing accessories.
•If Dad would prefer to spend his Father's day putting around, then buy him a round of golf at one of our beautiful golf courses: Madrona Links, Horseshoe Lake or Canterwood Golf and Country Club.
•Maybe Dad has always wanted to take up sailing. In that case, send him back to school at the Gig Harbor Sailing Club and School where he could earn his US Sailing Certification.
•If the Father in your life is competitive, rent him a kayak or paddleboard at Lee's SUP or Gig Harbor Rent-a-Boat and challenge him to race around the harbor.
•If your Dad would rather spend his Father's Day taking it easy and relaxing on the water instead, check out Destiny Harbor Tours, Eagle Eye Charters and Rent-a-Boat and Charters for a memorable Father's Day treat.
•Galaxy Theater, located in Uptown Gig Harbor, is the home to a beautiful, state-of-the-art ten screen movie complex. With this many options in entertainment, you will certainly find something Dad will enjoy.
•Paradise Theatre. If live theater is more up Dad’s alley, visit Paradise Theatre, located on Burnham Drive, and plan to be entertained and amused. Shrek the Musical is on the calendar beginning June 20th. The Drowsy Chaperone will arrive in August – now how perfect would that be for dear ol’ Dad!
•If just getting out of the house and spending time with your father is more to your liking, head to the Cushman Trail. The paved, non-motorized trail for pedestrian and bike use is approximately five miles. And best – it is free.
•Finally, does Dad appreciate the finer spirits in life? If so, take Dad to Heritage Distilling Company and purchase a cask filled with his favorite libation.
Whatever his fancy, Gig Harbor has it all for that special dad in your life. For more fun ideas on things to do with Dad, visit www.gigharborguide.com. But most important, enjoy your recognition Dad! It was a long time coming!Read more → Comments (10)
My family and I just returned from a ten day road trip down Interstate 5 and up the California and Oregon coast along Highway 101. I can’t count the number of small towns we passed through. One right after another. Some more quaint and charming than others, but one constant was we spent money in all of them. When I returned to my office, and flipped the calendar over to May I was reminded of National Travel & Tourism Week, May 3rd - 10th. This week in May recognizes us, the traveler, and thanks us for stimulating the economy. The US Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry in the United States and they are the promoter of National Travel & Tourism Week. Travel is an industry that generates over $2 trillion in economic output across the country. The mission of the US Travel Association is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States.
This year’s theme for Travel & Tourism Week is ‘The Travel Effect’. Because I just traveled close to 1500 miles, I think of the travel effect as all the dollars that I spent supporting small business along the way. When I hear travel effect I think of the power of travel and how travel supports America and all those small towns. It is one of America’s largest service exports, employers, and retail sales industries. But what the ‘travel effect’ is actually referring to, in this case, is what the travel and tourism research studies show to be the positive effects on relationships, health, education, meetings and more, that should inspire us to get out there and travel. More reason to do so! This news should inspire our local retailers to welcome these travelers as they spread their good vibes and green bucks across town. There are two sides to the travel coin – the personal satisfaction, and the backbone it provides our US economy.Read more → Comments (11)
Think back to 2004. The NASA rover touched down on Mars and signaled Earth. The price of oil hit $40 a barrel. Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of United States, died at 93.
In Gig Harbor, Mayor Gretchen Wilbert entered her 12th year in office. And Eddon Boat Park was acquired through a voter-approved bond.
As part of the acquisition, the historic boat building was identified for restoration so its traditional and culturally significant use could be preserved.Read more → Comments (9)
About this time of year we all start yearning to be outside. The sun begins to show its face. The temperatures push above fifty degrees. And the water beckons for activity. Just so happens that on April 5th and 6th, Gig Harbor will welcome back the Paddlers Cup for its third annual event featuring competitive paddle racing for kayaks, canoes, outrigger canoes, HPKs (high-performance kayak) and SUPs (stand up paddleboards), benefiting the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Club.
The outstanding Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Club is the host for this event, and is also the 2012 and 2013 USA canoe & kayak championship winning team, a significant accomplishment for this team of local young men and women! The team is coached by Alan Anderson and he says, “The Gig Harbor Canoe Kayak Racing Team train in a unique environment from most of the clubs in the nation. This is a flat-water sport, however our athletes train in a dynamic body of water. The Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup allows us to share our magnificent training venue and host a race inviting other local sprint clubs from the Northwest and Canada to enjoy our beautiful area and participate in a fun race. It is also our way to incorporate a number of other human powered crafts and expose them to Gig Harbor as well.”
The Paddlers Cup will feature races in the harbor that range from novice to expert, while a complete expo of watercraft sports will be on shore. Demonstrations, clinics and workshops will be held throughout the two-day event. “We think the Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup is an opportunity for our community to come down and see some future Olympians while they are still in their development stages,” Anderson continued.
You don’t have to be on a team to participate! Online registration is now open: the cost for adult athletes (18 and over) is $30 per person and youth athletes (17 and under) is $20 per person. Come be a part of this event and take advantage of the beautiful and unique setting that Gig Harbor provides as host to this event. Learn more and register at www.gigharborpaddlerscup.com.
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Did anybody see the promotion for the 2015 US OPEN during the NFC Playoff game last weekend? The national media attention was focused right here in our very own back yard. Video of the beautiful Chambers Bay Golf Course flashed across the screen with commentary by the big guys, the national sports commentators. I’m certain we will see more of that on February 2nd during the Super Bowl and throughout the upcoming year. Watch for it! It is super exciting to see our region shine. We will undoubtedly get visitors who are in town for the US Open traveling over to Gig Harbor. Watch for exciting news coming soon about the 2015 US Open.
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I do that, as do many others. Whether we keep them is another story!
But January also offers us a fresh start, a new and clean calendar. Each year, as January approaches, I take some time to look at my calendar and mark out dates for some good ol’ fashioned fun.
I seem to always find time for that task. I pick out events and activities, and I mark my calendar well in advance to give me something to look forward to.
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Black Friday has come and gone. I hope your day was filled with whatever it is you like to you – be it ‘shop till you drop’ to find a good deal, or be it ‘snuggling up by the fire’ and enjoying a good meal with family. Or maybe it was a combination of both.
Mine was filled with more of the latter. I am not a loyal Black Friday shopper. But what I am, is a local shopper. The last Saturday was Shop Local Saturday. Why not carry through the end of the year? This year there is no better option than to shop local in and around Gig Harbor.
I encourage you to remember that shopping local supports your community. Our shops, whether large or small, corporate or locally owned, provide jobs and much needed tax revenue that filters back through your community for police, fire, roads, parks and much more. When you shop on-line those dollars provide zero support for your local community. In addition, although shopping on line might seem easy, you are missing the wonderful interaction with those in our community whose job it is to serve. Please consider this and step away from your computer this season. There are many new shops in and around Gig Harbor. Go in and visit with our local merchants.
Another thing I try to remember each holiday season is to get out there to support and enjoy our local performing arts programs around Gig Harbor. Paradise Theatre continues its showing of Wizard of Oz through December 15th with a special Holiday Dinner Theatre on the 14th at 6:00pm featuring memorable songs like "Merry Old Land of Oz", If I Only Had a Brain", "Over the Rainbow", and "Munchkinland".
New this year is The Gig Spot – a venue featuring live music from local bands and musicians. The Gig Spot is located in the old Encore Theater building at 6615 38th Ave. Another new music venue is The IIT Factor located on Wollochet Drive. This music performance studio offers a 16 week long course for young children called, “Glee Stars”. And while the location in Gig Harbor is not offering a holiday performance this year (I imagine because it is so new), I’m hopeful it will in the coming years like its sister location in Port Orchard. In addition to those two new venues, many musical groups that have been community pillars for years remain – for example the Peninsula Civic Orchestra is hosting a Christmas Concert on December 14th at 7pm at the Peninsula High School Auditorium.
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The new museum exhibit really hits home for me. Maybe it is because I was running around on the streets of Gig Harbor during the 80’s as a teenager. Or maybe it is simply because I am a proud product of the 80’s (seems like yesterday doesn’t it?). Either way, the exhibit currently on display at the Harbor History Museum is well worth a visit. The exhibit is called “1987: A Day in the Life of Gig Harbor” and though the photography exhibit alone is a must see and provides a charming look back to the beloved 80’s era – the neat thing is the larger picture and community event it ties into.
Let me tell you about it. A short time ago, time capsules were placed in the Gig Harbor lighthouse on the sand spit, at the head of the Gig Harbor bay as it was being constructed and placed. I’m sure you are familiar with the lighthouse and its welcoming presence to all who enter by water. Fast forward 25 years later, on April 26th, 2014, the time capsules will be delivered to their rightful owners and opened. It will mark the 25th anniversary of when the capsules were first placed in the lighthouse celebrating Gig Harbor's history. In preparation of the events scheduled for next April, the museum has created this special exhibit "1987: A Day in the Life of Gig Harbor." The exhibit showcases a variety of photographs taken in 1987, at the time a fundraiser for the construction of this lighthouse. These images will show a Gig Harbor that has changed... but also what hasn't changed.Read more → Comments (44)