Fruitcakes, fireworks and Santa in Port Gamble | Port Gamble Gazette

Winter weather might be frightful but Port Gamble’s annual Country Christmas Festival Dec. 8-9 is sure to prove delightful for holiday revelers of all ages.

Santa brings his workshop to the historic Walker-Ames mansion in the heart of Port Gamble and, for a $5 fee, children can participate in a holiday craft workshop and sit for a keepsake picture with Santa. The workshop is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Port Gamble Theater will debut its holiday production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a laugh-filled show that will entertain the entire family. Even with two shows on Saturday and one on Sunday, the event usually sells out. Plan to get your tickets early!

The 10th annual Port Gamble Holiday Fruitcake Contest, the largest fruitcake competition in the Pacific Northwest, is expanding to include a commercial division. Local bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants from all over Kitsap County have been invited to compete for the title of North Kitsap’s best fruitcake.

The fruitcake competition includes a public division open to anyone eager to show off their fruitcake baking skills. To participate, simply drop off your fruitcake entry at the Port Gamble events office (across from the Port Gamble water towers) between 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. Fruitcake judging begins at 1 p.m. Dec. 8.

As the winter sun begins to set, more than 100,000 lights begin to twinkle around the town. What better way to enjoy the sparkling holiday display than taking a leisurely ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Take care of your holiday shopping needs by browsing Port Gamble’s beautifully curated retail businesses that offer everything from handmade gifts to holiday home decor. And indulge in one (or all) of our local restaurants offering a delicious variety of treats, drinks and cuisine to satisfy any craving.

Keeping with tradition, Santa will light a beautifully decorated 30-foot Blue Spruce tree at 5 p.m. Saturday near the Port Gamble observation deck. Following the tree lighting, spectators will be treated to a spectacular holiday fireworks display against the backdrop of the beautiful Puget Sound.

During the fireworks display, those 21 and older can sip a cup of cheer, snack on holiday nibbles and enjoy the magic of the season from the warmth of the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion, at our special VIP event. The VIP event is free; sign up simply by posting “I’m A VIP” on Port Gamble’s Facebook page.

For information on the annual Port Gamble Country Christmas Festival, the Fruit Cake Contest or the VIP event, please contact the events office at (360) 297-8074 or via email at

— Shana Smith is general manager of Port Gamble. Contact her by email at


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