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 (2)
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 (5)
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 (6)
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)