Whidbey Holiday Roundup
— Created December 1, 2021 by Kathy Reed
By Kathy Reed
As the song goes, it is the most wonderful time of the year to find all kinds of activities and events to celebrate the holiday season. After a lull last year due to COVID, many events are back in various forms and ready to welcome Whidbey families.
The Whidbey Island Lions Club, Toppins Frozen Yogurt and Blue Fox Drive-In are bringing the Christmas Village to the Blue Fox Drive-In for the next three weekends. The event starts Friday, and will run from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend and Dec. 10-12 and 17-19. This free event features holiday activities, a petting zoo, games, a visit with Santa and more.
“Come visit with Santa and his 4-H petting zoo featuring ‘Magic’ the Christmas Unicorn and receive a free gift from Santa, while supplies last,” said Carolyn O’Dell with the Whidbey Island Lions Club. “Free hot cocoa and hot cider will help keep you warm by the roaring fire, while the children play games and create and color letters for Santa. There will be homemade gifts, as well as other items to purchase for family and friends for the holidays.”
The pandemic forced the cancellation of the Christmas Village last year and O’Dell is hopeful the community will be ready to enjoy the fun once more.
“The Whidbey Island Lions Club is looking forward to reconnecting with the community in the spirit of the holiday season,” she said. “We hope that all will enjoy visiting Santa and the Christmas Village festivities and that we can give each and every child love and laughter, along with some holiday cheer for beautiful memories to share for years to come.”
Find more information at www.e-clubhouse/sites/whidbeyisland.
For those who feel like decking out their vehicles for the holidays, the perfect place to take those wheels is to downtown Oak Harbor Saturday for the Santa Cruise from 4 to 6 p.m. This is a two-part cruise. First, Santa will cruise into town on Wally the firetruck. Saint Nick will roll down Bayshore Drive to City Beach and back down Pioneer Way around 4 p.m. He will park between Dock Street and the Harborside Village mall. Then everyone is invited to cruise by in their decked-out cars and wave at Santa and some of his friends. Parents are welcome to park and bring their children for a quick visit and photo with Santa. There will be live music provided by members of the All Island Band and there could be some pirates spotted roaming the streets as well.
There is no official tree lighting for this event, but the lights will be turned on at 5 p.m., adding to the festive atmosphere. While not quite the same as previous years, organizers said they are happy to make plans for this year and beyond.
“I think it is great to be able to have in-person events,” said Margaret Livermore, interim executive director of the Oak Harbor Main Street Association. “We cannot wait until we are able to have our Holiday parade. In 2019 we were just growing it and had more participants than in previous years. It is our hope that we can go back to that format in 2022.
“We would love to have people come downtown and enjoy all of our events and support local businesses,” she continued, adding the Santa Cruise is her favorite part of this year’s event. “Families decorate their cars and cruise by over and over again. It is nice to see all the smiling faces.”
The OHMSA Snowflake Hunt also kicks off at the Santa Cruise and runs through Dec. 17.
“We will pass out Snowflake stamp cards at the Santa Cruise and then they can be picked up at Garry Oak Gallery after that,” Livermore explained. “Customers go in to participating stores and find the OHMSA snowflake. The merchant will put a sticker on their card.”
When hunters have 10 stickers, they can drop their cards into a box at Garry Oak Gallery to win a gift basket full of items from downtown merchants.
The OHMSA’s Green Ticket Cash Giveaway is going on through Dec. 17. Shoppers receive one ticket for every $20 they spend and are entered into a drawing to win $1,500 cash, $500 cash, or one of five $100 Main Street Gift Certificates to spend at one of the downtown businesses. The drawing for the green ticket giveaway and the Snowflake Hunt gift basket will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18; participants do not need to be present to win.
Downtown shoppers can also vote for their favorite Toy Soldier at oakharbormainstreet.org.
The annual Christmas Parade and Greening of Coupeville gets underway Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Coupeville Chamber of Commerce presents a fun and festive way to celebrate the season with family and friends, either as a participant in the parade or as a spectator. Word is there will be an extra special guest arriving at the end of the parade – look for his red suit and white beard. The traditional “greening” of Coupeville tree lighting will follow the parade. Organizers encourage participants to light up their float for a chance to win a prize. The parade will travel along 1st and N Main Streets, Front Street and Alexander Street to the library. Entry forms are available at the Coupeville Chamber. Visit coupevillechamber.com or call 360-678-5434 for details.
Shoppers will be rewarded in Coupeville as well, as the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association will hold its Red Ticket Drawing at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19. Earn one ticket for every $20 spent at participating merchants and be entered into the drawing to win a cash prize. (coupevillehistoricwaterfront.com)
Santa is a busy guy and this year is no exception! You can find the jolly old elf hanging out at the Clinton Community Hall Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. as he helps celebrate Holiday at the Hall. Families are encouraged to bring their cameras for some photo opportunities with Santa, who will be hanging out inside the hall. This free event will feature treat bags for kids and adults. Sip on a warm beverage and venture outside for the community’s tree lighting, expected to take place between 5:30-5:45 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
There will literally be chestnuts and open fires upon which to roast them at Admiralty Head Lighthouse’s Light up your Holidays event Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. This all-outdoor evening will include campfires to roast those chestnuts and marshmallows, plus children’s games, activities and Christmas carolers. This event is free to attend but a Discover Pass is required for parking.
You don’t have to leave your vehicle to enjoy the Real Story of Christmas, thanks to the Oak Harbor Christian School’s free drive through event from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
For the fourth year in a row, OHCS invites the Whidbey community to travel back in time and experience the story of Christ’s birth through a series of vignettes featuring live actors, live animals and music. A take-home craft for kids and the young-at-heart is available while supplies last. Oak Harbor Christian School is located at 675 East Whidbey Ave.
The Whidbey Allied Artists Art Show and Sale is going on Friday through Sunday at the Coupeville Recreation Hall, 901 NW Alexander Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. See the work of 15 local artists, from photography to glass and ceramics, watercolors to oils, woodwork and more. The holidays are a great time to share the gift of fine art by some of Whidbey’s best artists.