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 (0)
For most of us, the holidays are a time not only to be thankful for the people closest to us and the luxuries we are lucky enough to receive, but it is also a time to pay it forward to those less fortunate. With that, it is our pleasure to share with you a program called Holiday Helpers organized and sponsored by the Gig Harbor Police Department and the Jaycox Gig Harbor Police Benevolent Fund to provide under privileged children with what could quite possibly be the only chance they have to go Christmas shopping.
Holiday Helpers connects a member of the Gig Harbor Police Department, Washington State Patrol and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department with a local child to go Christmas shopping at our Target store. In addition to a fully-funded Christmas shopping spree-- the children are provided breakfast, a tour of the police department, lunch and a ride back to school in a police car.Read more → Comments (0)
And all through the Harbor the people were stirring with indoor events and activities to keep them warm and entertained on the shorter days and darker, stormy nights. Yes it is true, during the month of October we can have a stormy night now and then. But isn’t it fun to bundle up and watch a good movie. And boy do we have a selection to offer you. The Gig Harbor Film Fest falls during a perfect time of year, the 6th annual event comes back to Galaxy Theatre on October 18-20th. This is a real gem for our community, bringing together independent film makers and fans from all over. If you have never visited the festival, now is the time. Also in October, Worldvision will host the premier of Girl Rising, a documentary film featuring narration by close to a dozen celebrities. It is a compelling film and the exclusive screening will be at Galaxy Theatre on the 28th of October. More information on both of these events can be found at www.gigharborguide.com.Read more → Comments (1)
Written by Intern Natalie Swanson
Part of the charm of Gig Harbor comes from its unique shops that tourists and locals alike enjoy. When strolling downtown along the waterfront, you will find an assortment of these quaint shops and boutiques. Recently, there has been a new addition to these boutiques called Tickled Pink! It opened on June 28th and is located at 3026 Harborview Drive, between Spiros and the Tides tavern. Tickled Pink is truly as charming as they come! From hats and scarves, to adorable wall decor, they have it all! This boutique specializes in women’s fashion accessories and gifts. Gig Harbor’s Tickled Pink boutique is one of two. The original Tickled Pink boutique is located in Port Townsend and has been opened for over ten years. They have been able to expand their business by opening a store in downtown Gig Harbor. The owners of the store are Mike and Michele Henery, and the stores two managers are Heidi Canda and Karrie Polinski. All of which love the harbor!
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When I traveled to San Francisco earlier this year, I had the opportunity to ride up and down the hills of town on their world-famous trolley. We had a blast and saw the city from a whole new perspective that can only come by way of a cable car. Little did I know that within a short time, a classic trolley would be traveling our streets and we would all have the opportunity to do the same thing - right here in good ol’ Gig Harbor.
Since its inception on July 9th, over 18,000 people have ridden the Pierce Transit ‘Get Around Gig Harbor’ Trolley. Amazing! The trolley has been a way to connect the many neighborhoods of Gig Harbor. It brings people downtown who may not otherwise come to explore the more than twenty restaurants, six pet stores, along with the many independently-owned book stores, clothing stores, and art galleries. The trolley also takes riders to the bustling Westside to find groceries, fast food, the beautiful shops of Uptown, and the surrounding area.
A round trip from downtown to uptown appeals to both locals and visitors alike as it stops mid-way to visit the Harbor History Museum and the shops of the Finholm District. Riders may also disembark the trolley to enjoy the view from the beautiful Bogue Viewing Platform. Visitors to our hotels have expressed how much they enjoy the ability to explore our town without a car, just as you can in San Francisco, seeing everything we have to offer. Let’s keep it going!Read more → Comments (2)
Guest Article by Intern Natalie SwansonBack by popular demand, Forever Plaid is sure to wow people of all ages with its entertaining music and charming characters. The plot is sure to keep you entertained with the story of four, young, eager male singers in the 1950's that were killed in a car crash on their way to their first big concert. Miraculously, the four men were revived, allowing them to fulfill their dreams of performing on the big stage. By the end of the show, you will have fallen in love with the characters' entertaining personalities and unique quirks. It is truly a must see of the summer!
For many of us, the show is our entertainment for one night; for those involved in the cast, it is a part of their everyday lives for several months! There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Paradise Theatre. One of the original founders of Paradise Theatre, Director Jeff Richards, gave the inside scoop about what it's like being a part of the production along with his personal experience of being involved with the theatre.
Why did you choose the production Forever Plaid?
"We wanted to do something that would appeal to another part of our audience... Its four men with uptight harmonies singing music all from the late 50's and early 60's... It's about music and a time that people from that generation will really be able to identify with."
What do you like most about being involved in the theater?
"I have been involved in theater my whole life and was trained in the theater, so I can honestly say that I have as much satisfaction in hanging the lights as I have in being on the stage. It depends on the show, but as for forever plaid, it is directing it."
What are some things that you learn from being a part of a production such as Forever Plaid?
"One of the fun things about the theater is that you learn different aspects of life in every show, I have been in and directing shows for a long time and every show has something new and different about it. You learn a lot about history as well as different lifestyles and cultures. Forever Plaid represents the joy of that era. By that, I mean that when most of the time you think of this time period, you think about rock and roll and all the big names associated with it. But during that time, there was also a complete different culture. There was a little more innocence, not quite as cynical. There was no political commentary. It was all just music that made people feel good."
The performance will be held at Paradise Theatre, 9911 Burnham Drive, Gig Harbor. The show will be running the 2nd through the 18th of August, 2013 and will be performed Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3pm. Get a move on and purchase your tickets now before they sell out! You can purchase your tickets online at www.paradisetheatre.org or at the door!Read more → Comments (1)
Do you remember the classic 1987 John Hughes movie “Planes Trains and Automobiles” featuring Steve Martin and John Candy? It’s about a man and his struggles to travel home for Thanksgiving. It’s entertaining and definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. Looking at the events calendar www.gigharborguide.com around Gig Harbor this summer it’s no wonder this movie came to mind. Only thing is… we will have planes, trolleys and automobiles and NO problems getting around town. As you may have heard Gig Harbor has been chosen for the location of a demonstration trolley service by Pierce Transit and will begin on Tuesday, July 9th. The PT Trolley" Get Around Gig Harbor! will connect the historic downtown waterfront district to the Uptown shopping district and will offer trips every 30 minutes beginning at 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with extended service to 9:30 pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This demonstration project will conclude on September 28. I sure hope you can take advantage of this on routes you may normally drive" park and jump on to help with congestion. I can’t wait to jump on the trolley from the Civic Center for lunch downtown" or jump on to do grocery shopping near Uptown. The trolley service will really help for all the Summer Sounds fans - no more hassle finding a parking place" you can use the Park and Ride. A sneak peak of the Gig Harbor trolley will be available for touring at the July 2nd Summer Sounds concert at Skansie Brothers Park. The success of this demonstration project depends on use. Please use it, take advantage of it. I sure plan to.Read more → Comments (3)
Gig Harborites are very active, and we are lucky to have several options for places to work out – many people enjoy the beautiful YMCA, which is about to undergo an expansion.
But some people are looking for something a little different in a work out. Yoga studios, Jazzercize, personal trainers and boot camps are also popular around Gig Harbor. But one of Gig Harbor’s hidden secrets is Gateway Fitness located near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Gateway Fitness offers a very different experience than the YMCA. If you are looking for a club with all the equipment and classes, without lots of kids in the locker room or on the equipment, then Gateway Fitness might be for you. For those who live in the South end of Gig Harbor or in Fox Island, Artondale, Point Fosdick, Eastbay or Reid Road, you might find Gateway a perfect fit for you too.Read more → Comments (1)
Everywhere we go in Gig Harbor there seems to be new development of both commercial and residential. It’s easy to think we are paving paradise.
But look a little closer. We have awesome parks – not just the ones you see from your car or attend events and festivals at.
We have some amazing hidden gems waiting for discovery.
PenMet Park’s newest park is located across the street from the 122 acre McCormick Forest Park, next door to Fire District 5 on Bujacich Road. The site is being leased from the Peninsula School District and as is the newest addition to PenMet Parks variety of parks property around the area.
The parcel has had trails on it for a long time (and still does) but now also includes a fenced in off-leash dog park. Parking is available at the Fire District (look for the signs) and a porta-potty was being installed the day I was there.
Rotary has been a big helper in getting this project done. A little more work over the next few weeks to grade and seed the area that will be a meadow for Frisbee and doggie social time and then the park will be complete.
Dogs can be off leash inside the fenced area, and on leash on the trails. Walkers and runner are encouraged to continue to use the trails, which now connect the 100 acre Sehmel Homestead Park through the dog park to McCormick Forest Park – a total of 320 acres!Read more → Comments (1)