There is much to be thankful for downtown this time of year. Now some may be a little surprised at that statement, or they might say, “there goes Shelly again with her Pollyanna attitude.” But truly, Sumner really is full of blessings everyone can take advantage of during the holiday season. And the best part is they’re usually free.
Take for instance the merchant open houses, Norman Rockwell Living Art and The Four Tunes barbershop quartet we had downtown at our Hometown Holiday Celebration on Nov. 15. Yep, all free and a lot of fun. Now if you wanted to spend money in our downtown stores and restaurants (and many of you did) that’s the beauty of our Main Street because it’s full of quaint shops and eateries that welcome visitors.
Next up is the annual Bridge Lighting and Fireworks event which is always a fun way to celebrate the Friday after Thanksgiving. Even if you are one of those early bird shoppers that hit department stores before 6 a.m., downtown Sumner offers a free and fun Friday evening on Main Street for the whole family. I love to stand in the middle of the bridge as the lights are turned on and the fireworks start at 5 p.m. I also love the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse and their commitment to fun in our community. Most everyone knows they sponsor the Bridge Lighting and Fireworks, but from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., they also offer free photos with Santa and free carriage rides to visitors and shoppers at the Old Cannery.
But wait! That’s not all. If you’re not too tired, there is a processional immediately following the fireworks led by the mayor which travels down Main Street to Windmill Gardens where another of my favorite Sumner businesses will host an open house for visitors who wait for the Garden Lighting celebration they host.
And guess what? The whole night’s festivities are free.
Then jump ahead to Dec. 6, and you’ll see that downtown will once again host the annual Santa Parade at 2:30 p.m. It starts at Sunset Stadium and travels west to Heritage Park. This is a great parade full of kids, bands, floats, and lots of other units all festively dressed for the holidays. Plus you’re sure to see the city’s antique fire truck again with the mayor and council members riding in the back. It’s become a Sumner parade tradition. And after the parade, don’t miss the annual tree lighting at the Ryan House hosted by the Sumner Historical Society.
Yep, that’s free, too.
And finally, our last organized downtown event is the Christmas Stroll on Dec. 13 which is a lot like our Hometown Holiday Celebration with local talent performing throughout the day. And you guessed it. It’s free, too.
So if you want to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate with others in the community, bring your family downtown. Even Santa thinks it’s fun to spend some time in Sumner.