Downtown for the Holidays Celebration - Always the Sunday Following Thanksgiving

Olympia downtown kicked off the holiday season in style on Sunday, November 25 with a visit from Santa, the Jingle Bell Parade and a visit from Santa!  This endearing community tradition is made possible through the support of downtown businesses, sponsors, membership dues and volunteers.  Enjoy Olympia at its seasonal best!



All over downtown Olympia
Enjoy the Twinkle Fest Storefront decorating contest throughout the holiday season by visiting downtown shops. Vote for your favorite store-front display and enter to win prizes! Voting will be open Dec 3 - 31, 2018. Learn more

The Hotel Olympian | 116 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA 98501
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Visit Santa & Mrs. Claus Sponsored by Batdorf & Bronson
(Photos with Santa by Dinea de Photo | purchase optional)  | Jason Hogle, Instrumental Guitar Holiday Cheer

Illuminate Presents “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: Come watch as The Who’s down in Whoville Recall the Christmas that the Grinches heart was 3 sizes too small!

10:30 a.m. includes Apple Tree Productions children’s theater presents a preview of their December program.
12:00 p.m., & 1:30, 5:30 p.m.  

The New Ice Rink | Isthmus Park, 529 4th Ave W
12:00 p.m. Oly on Ice Grand Opening: live music, figure skating demonstrations, and more! Learn More

The Washington Center | 512 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Gingerbread houses and castles will be available for public viewing! View and vote ($1 per vote) on one-of-a-kind creations to benefit SideWalk’s mission to end homelessness in Thurston County.  
5:00 p.m. The Greatest Showman Sing-Along

Batdorf & Bronson | 516 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501
1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Alleluia! Handbell Ensemble plays well-known seasonal favorites. This is a family-friendly activity. Parents and kids are welcome to join us in singing and ringing. No experience required. 

Sylvester Park | 615 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. The Jingle Bell Parade may have a new start location this year, but always finishes at Sylvester Park. Parade emcee Ty Flint, Mixx 96.1 & Craig Holt, The Other Guys. 
4:00 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony, Sponsored by US Bank | Washington Middle School Bulldog Concert Choir 

The holiday tree, a Korean fir, was planted in Sylvester Park in April 2017 by Enterprise Services. The new fir serves as a permanent and sustainable holiday tree for the enjoyment of the community for many years to come. It also eliminates the need to find, transport and install a cut tree each year. It is a yearly tradition for Enterprise Services to adorn the holiday tree prior to the tree lighting.


Parade of Lighted Ships - Saturday December 1, 2018

The Olympia Yacht Club’s Annual Parade of Lighted Ships scheduled for Saturday, December 1 includes several activities that enhance this long-standing Olympia tradition. While the Parade of Lighted Ships gets underway promptly at 6:00 p.m., spectators are urged to arrive early at Olympia’s Port Plaza Park to ensure they have the opportunity to see all the decorated boats as they sail by. Starting at 5:15 p.m., Santa & Mrs. Claus are making an appearance at Port Plaza Park and local Carolers from the Capital High School Chamber Choir will sing at 5:30 p.m.

Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters will help keep everyone warm with complimentary hot cocoa. For best viewing, it’s recommended that you get to the Port Plaza Park, 701 NW Columbia St. and dock area before 6:00 p.m.

The Olympia Yacht Club Parade of Lighted Ships has been a popular Olympia event as long as anyone can remember; its origins go back to at least the 1960’s.

Check the OYC website at for more information.