Magic moments like this between Dylan Krashan and Santa Claus in 2018 won’t happen this year at the downtown Sequim tree lighting event due to pandemic protocols coming into place. The tree lighting moves online to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s website and social media pages. Sequim Gazette file photo by Erin Hawkins

Magic moments like this between Dylan Krashan and Santa Claus in 2018 won’t happen this year at the downtown Sequim tree lighting event due to pandemic protocols coming into place. The tree lighting moves online to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s website and social media pages. Sequim Gazette file photo by Erin Hawkins

Downtown tree lighting goes virtual

Hometown Holiday events continue to promote shopping local during pandemic

As regulations go back into place statewide with COVID-19 case counts going up, business leaders encourage the Sequim community to think of how they can support local businesses this holiday season during the pandemic.

“This is absolutely a make or break time,” said Ginny Holladay, communications director for the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“Our message really is that our business community is what supports the rest of our community. It’s our time to support them.”

That mindset follows along with the Chamber’s annual Hometown Holidays and its surrounding events on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and holiday season.

A list of events with details can be found at the chamber’s website under www.sequimchamber.com/hometown2020.

Tree lighting

Because of health restrictions regarding social gatherings, the annual tree lighting has become a virtual event.

The website features a countdown clock to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, when people can view the tree begin to glow at the northeast corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street.

The event can also be viewed at www.facebook.com/sequimchamber.

Unlike previous years, Santa Claus and live music will not be featured due to state regulations.

Elk on a Shelf

Sequim businesses will continue to offer the Elk on a Shelf scavenger hunt from Nov. 27-Dec. 23, an event that sees customers seek out elk in participating locations for prizes.

Tentatively, about 20 businesses plan to participate across Sequim. See the chamber website for a full list.

Window display competition

Any Sequim business is invited to participate in the Window display competition. A suggested theme is “Christmas past, present and future” but organizers welcome any holiday theme.

Photos can be submitted to Holladay at info@sequimchamber.com through Dec. 1. Community members will then vote online through Dec. 23 for the top business to receive a one-year membership to the Chamber of Commerce.

Shop small

Holladay said Chamber staffers and business leaders retooled Hometown Holidays to continue supporting the small business community. Following the phrase “Shop Sequim strong,” she encourages people to “shop now, shop local and support businesses any way you can.”

That includes sharing posts on social media about the businesses and/or sharing encouraging messages to businesses.

“The chamber is always here to advocate and support and we’re stopping anything and everything to get our business community through these next weeks and months,” Holladay said.

For more information on the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce, 1192 E. Washington St., and the Hometown Holidays, visit www.sequimchamber.com/hometown2020 or call 360-683-6197.

Business leaders encourage people to shop before, during and after the holiday season because of the trying times due to the pandemic. Here Kathy Wiemann of Arvada, Colo., shops at a festive Decorate with Panache in 2019. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Business leaders encourage people to shop before, during and after the holiday season because of the trying times due to the pandemic. Here Kathy Wiemann of Arvada, Colo., shops at a festive Decorate with Panache in 2019. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

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