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Santa showing up all over South Kitsap

No one can accuse Santa Claus of neglecting South Kitsap this year, because even though he — along with plenty of helpers — spent most of Saturday morning picking out gifts with kids at Wal-Mart, he will be back again this weekend to deliver more holiday cheer on land and on sea.

While most of the elves shopping with Santa last weekend were police officers, deputies and cadets, this weekend the jolly, red-suited one will be escorted through several neighborhoods on a fire truck by South Kitsap Fire and Rescue.

From 6 to 9 p.m., residents who live in both the area of McCormick Woods and near California and Nebraska Avenues can expect a greeting — and a candy cane from St. Nick. On Saturday, he will be visiting residents of Manchester and Alaska Street, and be returning to McCormick Woods, starting at 5 p.m., until 9 p.m.

On Sunday, he will wrap up his visits on the fire truck with stops in Conifer Park from 5 to 8 p.m., and will make up any earlier visits he missed.

When he’s not on the fire truck, of course, Santa will be sailing along Sinclair Inlet to greet residents, young and old, who live at, or will be visiting, certain spots along the shore.

If you haven’t yet, you can still call Donna Printz, at 876-3781, and request that you, or someone in your party, receive a personalized holiday greeting.

Santa will begin his sailing at Southworth at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and is expected to reach Harper by 5:15 p.m., Manchester by 5:50 p.m., Orchard Point by 6 p.m., Point Glover by 6:20 p.m., Waterman Point by 6:30 p.m., Waterman Dock by 6:45 p.m., Annapolis by 7:20 p.m., and be at the Port Orchard Yacht Club at 8 p.m.

That night, his helpers will be members of the Port Orchard Yacht Club, who have been hosting Santa on his annual sailings for several years.

For those who would like to help Santa spread joy but don’t need to meet him in person, there are still plenty of ways to do just that.

South Kitsap Helpline hosts several giving trees in the area, each decorated with gift tags that represent a needy person — identified by age and gender only — that the food bank believes will otherwise go without presents.

This year the trees have been placed in: the Albertsons grocery store on Olney Avenue and the Fashion Bug clothing store in the same shopping center; Towne Square Port Orchard; the Family Pancake House on Bethel Avenue; Olympic Fitness on Mile Hill Drive; Peninsula Credit Union and the main lobby of the Kitsap County Courthouse.

Anyone wishing to purchase a gift can choose any tag, then return a new, unwrapped item to the tree about a week before Christmas, which will give volunteers enough time to wrap and distribute the presents.

Also this weekend, SK Helpline Director Jennifer Hardison said the food bank is collecting fresh produce to deliver to needy families for a special holiday treat.

Hardison said the bank is asking for donations of fresh apples, carrots, celery, onions, oranges, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tangerines and yams, and that they be dropped off either Friday, Dec. 16, or Saturday, Dec. 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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