The Port Townsend Main Street Program: A few of our favorite things | Word on the Street

Mari F. Mullen
Posted 11/17/21

November is a month for expressing thanks. After living here for many years, I find that my love for Port Townsend seems to deepen each year. There is always something new around the corner to …

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The Port Townsend Main Street Program: A few of our favorite things | Word on the Street


November is a month for expressing thanks. After living here for many years, I find that my love for Port Townsend seems to deepen each year. There is always something new around the corner to appreciate. We are the envy of many small (and some bigger) towns, and there are a thousand reasons to love where we live.

These are a few of my favorite things which I’m thankful for:

For spectacular sunrises and sunsets in November, punctuated by rainbows;

For 100-plus street trees adorned with white lights and to Chris, who is on a first-name basis with each of those trees and takes care of the lights. The lighting program is made possible by a partnership with PT Main Street and city of Port Townsend lodging tax funding.

For living in a community that “gets it” and walks the talk, supporting its local merchants during a crucial time of year — the holidays;

For our hard-working and talented PT Main Street landscapers who keep downtown looking fine;

That we were able to buy high quality street furniture and offer 75 free flower baskets for merchants this summer thanks to city of Port Townsend Lodging Tax Advisory Committee;

For a caring and committed board that makes thoughtful and wise decisions to support the historic districts;

For the chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with amazing volunteers who love our community. One of our promotion committee team has served on this committee for nearly 20 years;

For the volunteers from Coldwell Banker and our Design Committee who painted the Tyler Street staircase last June — and it was hot;

For being a community connected by diverse and inspiring nonprofits;

For the farmers market, bringing joy through the seasons to Uptown;

That the Port Townsend Public Library adopted the annual gingerbread contest this year as part of our Main Street holiday promotion;

For the streateries — a fun way to dine even when it’s time to bundle up;

For the thousands of great gift ideas in our local stores;

For living in a town with so many artists across disciplines which gives PT depth and cultural richness;

For a 70 percent-plus vax rate in our county;

For the major grant from the First Federal Community Foundation and match donations from the Port of Port Townsend and Windermere Real Estate. This funding has allowed us to support the historic districts with year-round marketing during the pandemic;

That our landmark courthouse and historic post office buildings are still being used for their original purposes;

That we are home to Fort Worden State Park and an authentic lighthouse;

For being a desirable destination! It is fun to be able to show family and friends all the recent improvements in town (the Water Street renovations; new street, new sidewalks and underground power lines)

The extraordinary totem pole by the Northwest Maritime Center;

The unforgettable views at the new Adams Street Parklet which we helped create with support from the Port Townsend LTAC; 

The Port Townsend Vintage and Wine Plaza and the amazing Clapp Building Renovations;

That the Rose Theatre is back in business;

That the Admiralty Apartments Building is being saved; 

That the Hidden History Signage Project is complete after two years of hard work, thanks to a partnership between the Port Townsend Main Street Program, the Jefferson County Historical Society, Olympic Peninsula Steam and the city of Port Townsend. (See more at;

That Port Townsend was chosen to be a Creative District by the Washington State Arts Commission (;

That PT Main Street could host some summer fun with Concerts on the Dock and won “2021 Best Dance Venue”; 

For the CARES Act-funded festival tent coming soon to Tyler Street Plaza; watch for small events we are hosting there in November and December;  

For one of my favorite views in town, from the Bell Tower Plaza in Uptown;

For hearing the courthouse clock tower chime at noon, or sometimes at midnight when I feel like being a night owl;

For the barred owl that perches on the phone lines in Uptown;

For the blue heron that fishes nearly every day next to Union Wharf;

For the eagles that circle overhead downtown;

For the Haller Fountain;

For not one, but two mountain ranges visible from downtown;

For the ferry as it cruises by at night, lit up like a birthday cake;

For our Main Street members;

For the thank-you notes we receive for our work in the historic districts;

For a professional statewide Main Street network which offers resources, expertise and moral support in challenging times.

What are you thankful for?

This month, we hope you will take a few minutes to appreciate all there is to love about Port Townsend and how you can give back to our community in whatever ways you can — by volunteering, by donating to the food bank, by patronizing our local businesses, or by donating to a nonprofit on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 30 — there are so many ways to help. 

PT Main Street’s Giving Tuesday campaign is focused on Tyler Street Plaza lighting improvements so the space can be used on a more year-round basis. We are thankful to the generous people who have already donated to our campaign and we are making great progress toward our goal! See more at 

It’s been a trying year once again, and our entrepreneurs appreciate all their customer support, the patience that they show when the wait might be a little longer, and for wearing masks in a spirit of cooperativeness.

Thank you for contributing to our community’s prosperity and adding to our quality of life. We are thankful to be part of such a caring community. For more holiday happenings, visit and follow us on social media.

(Mari F. Mullen is the executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program.)