ARLINGTON — Downtown Arlington plays host to a handful of major events each year, but Hometown Holiday, a three-Saturday celebration, is City Councilwoman Debora Nelson’s favorite.
Santa comes to town Saturday in a parade and then rides through the streets on a fire truck collecting for the community food bank. The city’s Christmas tree is lighted. Music, food, horse-drawn wagon rides, a gingerbread house competition and more holiday activities are planned by the city recreation department, the Kiwanis Club, Downtown Arlington Business Association and various church groups.
This Saturday, Nelson, a photographer, plans to take pictures of people with Santa for a donation to the food bank. She plans to do the same Dec. 8.
“I love this time of year,” Nelson said.
Helping others is a theme Saturday. There’s a community blood drive sponsored by the Carbajal family at City Hall. The Arlington-based classic rock band, Strutz, and the Marysville-based band Superfekta plan to perform a benefit concert for the Arlington High School bands and choirs.
“We know how important music has been in our lives,” said Strutz drummer Toby Strotz. “Music gives young people a creative outlet and helps keep them with a good crowd.”
Here’s a rundown on the events Saturday:
• Victorian singers and music all day around town. Also Dec. 8 and 15.
• Blood drive, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., City Council chambers, 238 N. Olympic Ave.
• Debora Nelson’s Santa Photo Shoot to benefit Arlington Food Bank and Arlington Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, 101 S. Olympic, Co-op building. Cost is 10 cans of food or $15 to support the market. The event will be held again on Dec. 8.
• Chamber of Commerce Bake Sale, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., City Hall plaza.
• Homemade Holiday Winter Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 101 S. Olympic.
• Santa Parade, noon, down Olympic Avenue, with youth groups, canine clubs, a holiday train and fire trucks.
• Free wagon rides pulled by Mark Winterhalter’s draft horses, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., from City Hall. Also Dec. 8 and 15.
• Visit with Santa, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Legion Park, 114 N. Olympic. Donations to food bank accepted.
• Mayor Barbara Tolbert turns the Christmas tree lights on, 4 p.m., Legion Park, with caroling, holiday sweater contest and free treats planned.
• Superfekta and Strutz benefit concert for high school musicians, 7 p.m., Byrnes Performing Arts Center, 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd. Tickets available at Magic Shears in Arlington as well as at the door, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.
• The Toys for Tots Fun Run is Dec. 8. More information at www.arlingtonrunnersclub.org.
• Nutcracker Ballet, Dec. 7 and 8. More information at www.olympicballet.com.