Santa’s arrival, tree lighting highlight busy Saturday
Along with Mrs. Claus, the jolly couple will cruise into Narragansett Bay’s East Passage aboard their little red lobster boat before docking at Conanicut Marine at 1 p.m. All harbor vessels are invited to join in the welcoming flotilla.
From there, the North Pole residents will take the short stroll up Narragansett Avenue to the Ship’s Store and Chandlery, where they will ask children for their wish lists and take pictures with the youngsters. Photos will be available after Dec. 7 at the ship’s store and are free of charge. Along with photos with Santa, the ship’s store will offer hayrides, cider and cookies from 1 to 3 p.m. The horse-drawn carriage will leave the store every 15 minutes for a loop around the village. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Wintersong will sing carols along Narragansett Avenue.
While the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus is often the highlight of the island’s holiday festivities among children, is it far from the only celebration. As always, Jamestown’s three churches will hold their annual Christmas fairs on Saturday. St. Mark, St. Matthew’s and Central Baptist will begin celebrating the season at 9 a.m., each with their own variety of baked goods, auctions, raffles, arts and crafts. The festivals will each offer lunch, and are expected to wind down between 1 and 2 p.m.
Aside from the churches, many of the downtown businesses are expected to participate in the holiday stroll sponsored by the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce. For the holiday shopper, bargains are being offered by some of the shops.
The Ship’s Store & Chandlery is giving 20 percent off clothing and shoes, while anyone who makes a $50 purchase at Jamestown Wine & Spirits will receive a bottle opener. Jamestown Designs – which always gift wraps for free – is offering a $10 gift certificate or a free shell ornament to anyone who spends $50. Purple Door will have a 20 percent sale on all finished jewelry, and the Secret Garden is inviting the public to visit its sale table in the potting shed.
Cathryn Jamieson Salon will give away a custom Aveda perfume with every $50 purchase, and a $20 gift certificate with every $100 purchase. Meanwhile, Ocean Essence Spa will have specials on gift certificates and products, and Jamestown Hardware will showcase its large assortment of holiday lights so residents can bring the Christmas spirit back to their homes.
While the island businesses understand the need to offer bargains in this economic climate, they also understand the need to offer ways to warm up in the winter’s frigid climate. Many shops will offer free cider, hot chocolate and coffee to go along with complimentary pastries. Among them will be Lila Delman Real Estate, Baker’s Pharmacy, Island Realty and Grapes & Gourmet. Not only will Island Animal have cider and cookies for humans, but it will also have doggie treats for any four-legged friends that plan on tagging along for the holiday stroll. A gift basket will also be raffled off.
Although donuts, cookies and muffins make for a nice treat, Saturday’s agenda is chock-full enough for any islander to work up an appetite. The Island Scoop is offering a new menu, while Chopmist Charlie’s, Narragansett Café, Jamestown Fish and Slice of Heaven will all be open for lunch. A gift certificate from an island restaurant can make a great stocking stuffer.
There will also be a holiday craft fair sponsored by the Conanicut Island Arts Association at Melrose Avenue School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Jamestown Arts Center will showcase its annual small works sale from 1 to 5 p.m. The library will hold its holiday book sale with free gift wrapping from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Finally, the Christmas festivities wrap up with the annual tree lighting at East Ferry at 5:30 p.m. The Jamestown Women’s Club will offer refreshments. As always, holiday music will be provided by the Jamestown Community Band. Also performing will be students from Lawn Avenue School. Youngsters in the jazz ensemble, directed by Karyn Kauffman, and singers from the chorus, directed by Gilda Bullard, will perform during the ceremony, officially marking the start of the holiday season in Jamestown.