Shop Local to kick off return to holiday events in Port

Christmas parade, fireworks back on city’s calendar for Dec. 4

Santa will return to downtown Port Washington for Christmas events on Saturday, Dec. 4. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

Wisconsin Workforce Development Secretary Amy Pechacek will shop in downtown Port this Saturday as the holiday shopping season begins with Shop Local, a Small Business Saturday event.

The day will feature sales and specials in downtown shops, as well as swag bags filled with special items for the first customers in eight stores, Kristina Tadeo, executive director of Port Main Street Inc., said.

“Every store will have their own way to celebrate Small Business Saturday,” Tadeo said.

It’s the first in a series of events celebrating the holiday season in Port — events that haven’t been held for almost two years due to the pandemic. 

Those events include Christmas on the Corner, the city’s Christmas tree lighting, holiday parade and fireworks on Saturday, Dec. 4, and a Third Thursday event on Dec. 16.

In addition, merchants will be decorating the windows of their shops by this Saturday as part of a contest sponsored by Port Main Street Inc.

“I’m so excited that it’s all back,” Tadeo said. “I keep hearing from people that they’re excited we’re having this. It’s such a tradition for people, and there are so many things for people to do. It will be a fun kind of return to feeling normal.

“There’s something magical about celebrating as a community, gathering around the tree.”

Pechacek will be in Port on Small Business Saturday to visit shops that have received or applied for Main Street Bounce Back grants of as much as $10,000 for businesses starting up or expanding into vacant spaces, Tadeo said, and photos from her visit will be used in a statewide campaign.

A total of 260 swag bags decorated with a hand-drawn Christmas scene featuring the city’s iconic lighthouse and filled with items from downtown businesses will be offered to the first customers at One Wag, Pear and Simple, Zing, Moda Bella, Locally Inspired, Vines to Cellar, Halo Skin Care and Buxom Boudoir.

People shopping Saturday morning can bring their receipts to Sir James Pub, the Steerage, Fork and Tap, Schooner Pub and Beanie’s to receive a special deal, Tadeo said.

Christmas on the Corner will return to downtown from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, with activities for the whole family.

There will be live reindeer on East Main Street just west of Franklin Street, and Santa will visit with youngsters from 3 to 5:45 p.m. at Port Washington State Bank. 

A toy drive will be conducted by Family Promise at the Heart of the Harbor plaza.

If they’re too shy to talk to Santa — or they’re afraid he will forget their wish list by Christmas — youngsters can write letters to Santa at the Board Shack and Vines to Cellar and either leave them at the businesses or drop them off at the Port Post Office, which will have a magical mailbox in the lobby. Goodies will also be available there, Tadeo said.

There will be cookie decorating at Daily Baking and ornament decorating at Engine Room 102. Participants can make jingle bell bracelets at Lakeside Music and Naturals.

Locally Inspired will be giving away a limited number of specially made Port Washington cookie cutters.

Navigate Wellness will have a winter backdrop for families to take photos and a picture frame craft for children.

Java Dock will provide a warm-up zone with the Port Buccaneers football program offering hot drinks in an outdoor tent with heaters. Reindeer-themed games will be available, and the team will be holding a 50-50 raffle to raise money for a scoreboard.

Halo Skin Care will host a fancy hot cocoa bar, and storytimes will be held at the Frankie’s lot at 3:15, 4:15 and 5:15 p.m. Local celebrities will do the readings. 

Between the storytimes, Tadeo said, Shorewest will have a backdrop available at the lot for family photos.

In addition, Main Street will hold its popular Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt for youngsters. Children can pick up their entry forms and a list of the participating stores at the Main Street table near Sherper’s, then return them to the table when they’ve finished finding the elusive elf. The winner will receive a $25 Main Street gift certificate.

Tickets will also be sold at the Main Street table for gift raffles being held throughout downtown, Tadeo said. People can drop the tickets off at the stores with the featured gift they would like.

In addition to Christmas on the Corner, the Eghart House at 302 W. Grand Ave. will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. to provide a Victorian Christmas celebration and a Christkindlmarkt will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.

As Christmas on the Corner ends at 6 p.m., carolers from Port Washington High School will make their way north on Franklin Street to the city’s Christmas tree for the official lighting ceremony.

Immediately after the tree is lit, the city Christmas parade will kick off at the corner of Jackson and Franklin streets. It will make its way south on Franklin and turn west onto Grand Avenue, finishing up at Milwaukee Street.

About 10 minutes after the parade ends, fireworks will be shot off from Coal Dock Park.

“It’s the only fireworks show in Ozaukee County in December,” Tadeo said. “And a wonderful way to celebrate the season.”

In addition, Tadeo said, Port Main Street will celebrate the holidays with a shopping event and holiday music during its Third Thursday on Dec. 16. A downtown gift certificate hunt will be held at businesses, and the winner of the downtown window decorating contest will be announced.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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