Santa Claus greets Rosie Jackson as she arrives for a photo Saturday at Port McNeill's Guide/Scout Hall.

Santa Claus greets Rosie Jackson as she arrives for a photo Saturday at Port McNeill's Guide/Scout Hall.

McNeill feels the spirit

Santa Claus made his way to Port McNeill Saturday as the town kicked off the holiday season.

PORT McNEILL—One week after launching his North Island tour at Port Hardy’s tree-lighting ceremony, Santa Claus made his way to Port McNeill Saturday as the town kicked off the holiday season with a day full of activities.

It kicked off with the annual Christmas Showcase of Arts and Crafts, the single largest Christmas craft fair on the North Island. Booths spanned the gymnasium, hallway and classrooms of the Old School, filled the Community Hall and spilled over to the Guide/Scout Hall, where Santa posed for photos taken by the Port McNeill Pathfinders.

After residents had a chance to catch their breath, Santa was back downtown, courtesy of a lift from the volunteer fire department, to count down the lighting of the town Christmas tree at Pioneer Mall.

The tree-lighting was taken over this year by the Gate House Community Society, which got donations from several local merchants and continued the evening with a Christmas concert at the nearby Gate House Theatre.

With free popcorn in hand, revelers — and Santa — enjoyed the sounds of the Wild Heart Music Choir. Here are a few images from the day …