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Seaside Stories

Seaside Holiday Spirit

October 31, 2016 | by Nicole Bailey

Seaside holiday spirit is more than evident around town beginning in early November. Ushered in by lights and decorations going up, as well as the celebrations and events taking place, some families prepare for the holiday season by shopping in our myriad of independent shops. Others spend their holidays enjoying family togetherness and holiday traditions. Seaside welcomes all of them during the most festive season of the year.

Seaside Holiday Spirit Celebrated Through Events

Yuletide in Seaside is a 43-year tradition that dates to the early 1970s. First, enjoy Seaside’s Parade of Lights, held the Friday (November 25) after Thanksgiving at 7 p.m. along Holladay and Broadway streets in downtown Seaside. Like other parades, this one consists of several floats expressing their spirit. However, it is done not with roses or dahlias seen by light of day but rather with lights—lots and lots of lights—glowing in the night!

The parade is followed by a tree lighting ceremony with traditional carols and hot cider near the intersection of Broadway and Columbia. Seaside’s tree, placed in Pocket Park – just west of the Carousel Mall, refuses to be outdone by the parade. It is typically a large Douglas Fir covered with motion-sensing, musical, lighted orbs. Learn more here.

Yuletide in Seaside concludes with the Holiday Gift Fair at the Seaside Convention Center from November 25-27. Over Thanksgiving weekend, shoppers can choose unique and rare gifts from over 70 local vendors. Sellers specialize in handcrafted regional gifts. Fine art and crafted beverages are also available. Learn more here.

Also spreading good cheer is the annual Gingerbread Tea at Butterfield Cottage. Seaside’s very own historic Victorian, Butterfield Cottage at the Seaside Historical Museum is transformed for the holidays and becomes a Christmas jewel. Traditional Victorian decorations scent the air with spruce boughs and cinnamon. Tea, cider and gingerbread – accompanied by carols and live music – is served Saturdays until Christmas. Learn more here.

Seaside’s holiday spirit would not be complete without Santa. McMenamins Gearhart Hotel will host two opportunities for families to eat breakfast with Santa. Instead of waiting in line, enjoy a full hot breakfast until it’s your child’s turn for a photo.  Learn more here.

Seaside Holiday Spirit Shines with Independent Shopping

For independent holiday shopping, Seaside’s downtown speaks to the local and visiting shopper. With over 50 shops, locally owned and operated, nestled between restaurants and attractions, Seaside makes it easy to enjoy an independent shopping excursion. Find locally made candy, including salt water taffy from Phillips Candies – a Seaside staple for more than 100 years. Enjoy the Gilbert District, featuring art galleries like Fairweather House and Gallery that include exclusive work by regional artists. Once you’ve perused some art, make your way to Moxie Fair Trade Boutique and West of the Moon which carry the theme of independence and have hundreds of gifts for the socially conscious shopper.

Broadway Street runs five blocks from Highway 101 to the Pacific Ocean and each leg of the journey offers another unique and interesting find. The aforementioned historic Gilbert District, named for its builder Alexandre Gilbert, begins with the independent Beach Books and includes a variety of other downtown retail favorites. Journey further west along Broadway and you’ll find the Seaside Carousel Mall, where locally-owned stores encircle a replica of a classic carousel. The final block of Broadway features Northwest Winds Kites – where shoppers can find every kite imaginable, as well as Old Tyme Photos, specializing in lasting memories through historic looking family photos. And there is plenty more to experience. Learn more here.

Seaside is proud to offer such a variety of independent shopping choices to visitors. With its numerous districts and unique experiences, shopping can be just what visitors have come to expect from Seaside – a fun getaway. And during the holiday season, fun getaways and family togetherness are the best of what is offered with Seaside Holiday Spirit.

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