Olympia Downtown for the Holidays

by Tom Simpson for OLY ARTS

Olympia always welcomes in the new holiday season in style with a joyous celebration full of music, lights and much more. “Downtown for the Holidays” is the annual festive event that welcomes family and friends to the Christmas and Holiday season. This year’s event, created by the Olympia Downtown Association and a variety of South Sound businesses, will include photos with Santa, a holiday parade, choral and instrumental concerts, a holiday tree lighting ceremony, and trolley and wagon rides.

“Downtown for the Holidays is a marvelous experience for families and friends,” said Todd Cutter, Executive Director of the Olympia Downtown Association. “We invite everyone to participate in our joyous welcome to the new holiday season and appreciate all that Olympia has to offer.”

The 2017 event will begin at 10 a.m. with photos with Santa at the Hotel Olympian Lobby. Sylvester Park will then feature an hourly Charlie Brown Christmas, as a preview of the Apple Tree Production opening at the Capitol Theater next week. Meanwhile, the Gingerbread Village will be presented by Sidewalk and will be available for viewing at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

“We love seeing children of all ages marvel at the artistic creations in the Gingerbread Village. It’s also very exciting to have Santa at Sylvester Park, right here in downtown Olympia!” said Jill Barnes, Executive Director of the Washington Center.

Trolley and wagon rides will commence at noon, and will continue throughout the day (the trolley and wagon both depart from the Washington Center). The afternoon will also be filled with music: among the entertainment acts will be a traditional Scottish pipe and drum band, a church bell choir, an instrumental guitarist and several varieties of vocal entertainment.

A holiday parade will fill the downtown core with laughter, music and festive paraders, beginning at 3 p.m. The “Downtown for the Holidays” will conclude with a tree-lighting ceremony at 4 p.m. at Sylvester Park, but there is more fun downtown later in the evening.

“To kick off the holiday season, the Center is hosting our annual sing-along musical — every voice can join in holiday song,” said Barnes. The Washington Center is hosting a 5 p.m. showing of the classic movie Annie, in a sing-along format, with host Lauren O’Neill. (Read more information about the Sing-along Annie.)



The Hotel Olympian
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Photos with Santa, Hotel Olympian Lobby

Sylvester Park
10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., & 2:00 p.m. Charlie Brown Christmas, performed by Illuminate; and Apple Tree Productions children’s theater presents a preview of their December program.
12:00 – 2:30 p.m. Free Trolley Rides

The Washington Center
12 – 3 p.m. Gingerbread Village
5 p.m. Sing-along Annie, with host Lauren O’Neill.

Batdorf and Bronson
11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m. Jason Hogle, Instrumental Guitar Holiday Cheer
olympia downtown holidays1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. First Christian Church Bell Chime Choir

Sylvester Park
3:00 p.m. Holiday parade begins near the Farmers Market and ends at Sylvester Park. See below to participate!
3:00 p.m. Edgewater Trio
4:00 p.m Tree Lighting Ceremony, Sylvester Park

All over downtown Olympia
Enjoy the Twinkle Fest lighting contest throughout the holiday season by visiting downtown shops. Vote for your favorite store-front display and enter to win prizes!


Olympia Downtown Association

Washington Center for the Performing Arts

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