It’s no surprise that Anacortes gets a little jollier each December. After all, Burl Ives, known for his classic songs for the holidays, retired in this seaside hamlet. Each year, businesses embellish their windows with tinsel and ornaments, Santa lights the town’s gigantic Christmas tree, and Washington Park campsites are strewn with festive lights, merry activities and songs at the annual Winter Wonderland Walk.
This event takes place on December 11 and 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. thanks to the City of Anacortes Parks and Recreation, plus various groups and volunteers whose spirit of giving shines bright. “It’s not always about business,” said Leonard Johnson, owner of American Dream Reality, “we like to give something back to the kids and community.” Their campsite will be all about fun for kids. They can sing karaoke, snack on goodies and admire their small house decorated to the nines. This goodwill and merriment will continue as you wander from site to site.
At the Fidalgo Island Rotary site, the Grinch’s lair will be brighter and bigger and full of decorations. He, along with folks from Whoville, will be ready to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Anacortes Candle Company will be extending the Fidalgo Island Rotary site with their all-natural creations. The booth will display Anacortes themed candles, like Cranberry Lake, Mt. Erie Fir and Sasquatch Cinnamon, and focus on sharing information about Shelter Box, who provides emergency shelter and supplies to those in need.
At the Anacortes Arts Festival campsite, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a handful of elves will be taking some time away from Santa’s workshop. It’s a great opportunity to tell Santa how good you’ve been all year and what special present you’d like for Christmas.
Auxiliary Patrol volunteers decorate a police car at the Anacortes Police Department campsite. They, along with a couple of police officers, will be handing out goodies and glow sticks. Approximately 80 people volunteer for the Auxiliary Patrol and it’s because of them that Anacortes events run so smoothly.
This is the first year Cub Scout Pack 4084 will be participating. Along with decorations, they’ll have goodies and a donation area for those in need. Also, it provides cub scouts a means to give back. “It will be a fun event for the Scouts,” said Pack Leader Ryan Miller, “and they can do it as part of their service project.”
Groups like Boys and Girls Club are still in the process of getting their cheer on, but attendees can expect to sample the popular reindeer poop donuts by the Anacortes High School Robotics Club, and gather around a campfire with the recycled fire pits from Pacific Rim of Fire. It’s truly a night for everyone to join in the joys of the holidays. Remember – it’s in the woods, so dress warmly, and be ready for community celebration Anacortes style.
written November 2015 by Lara Dunning