WORD ON THE STREET: Sumner’s downtown shines for the season

Main Streets really shine at night during the holiday season. Literally!

Downtowns across America start hanging lights and decorations to herald the festivities and downtown Sumner is no different.

Sunday, community volunteers congregated downtown to hang garland, attach bows and put up lights in the gazebo, while city staff has been busy putting up the holiday street banners. Add to that the lights hung by the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse on the bridge and street decorations on Valley Avenue and, by golly, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Sumner.

But downtown decorations aren’t the only things heralding the holiday season in Sumner. We’ve got events galore celebrating the festive season. Hometown Holidays with the Norman Rockwell “Living Art” kicked off the Christmas shopping season downtown on Nov. 14. Six of our storefront windows hosted vignettes designed to replicate a well-known Norman Rockwell painting, complete with live actors from Ascension Productions.

Next up is the wildly popular Bridge Lighting and Holiday Fireworks event at 5 p.m. Friday. More and more families are making the Bridge Lighting and Fireworks part of their season traditions and this year we are expecting more than 6,000 visitors.

Sumner is fortunate to have several local businesses who believe in supporting and hosting community events. This year the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse is once again sponsoring the Bridge Lighting and both Heritage Bank and the Old Cannery are sponsoring the cost of our popular fireworks show. Santa will also be present for the festivities, singing Christmas carols and riding in a fire truck as part of the processional down Main Street to Windmill Gardens where there will be another lighting ceremony for all to enjoy.

But wait, there’s more.

More than 10,000 visitors come to downtown Sumner to enjoy the Santa parade at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Lots of kids, bands, floats, cub scouts, dancers and more will be marching down Main Street to Christmas carols. Some will even mosey on over to Puyallup to participate in the two-city Santa Parade which starts there at 4:30 p.m.

We’re not done yet. This year, Sumner is attempting its first community dance event to be premiered during the Dec. 12 Christmas Stroll.

Our final dance practice was Sunday at Riverside Ford in the service garage. Again, here’s another example of a local business supporting a community event, though I have to admit they were a little surprised at the request to use their garage as a dance hall. But in true Sumner spirit, they chimed in with a “sure, we’d love it!” and so we extended the invitation to the community to bring their dancing shoes and join in the fun. And if someone happened to see a car or truck they wanted to buy while they were there, well that’s the whole fun idea! The dance performances will be at 4 and 5 p.m. at the Christmas Stroll, but the fun starts earlier in the day at noon with the Tannenbaum Tubas and Artists in Resonance a’cappella performances. You won’t want to miss this event and combine it with shopping for loved ones.

So if you’re wondering what you and your family can do this holiday season, here are several ideas of how to ring in the holidays downtown.

Whether you want to dance, see the lights and fireworks or wave to Santa in the parade, it’s fun to spend the holiday season in Sumner.