The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love this town. I love everything about it. The past month has shown me what a really amazing place it is, and I am so proud that I get to be a part of it. And thankful that I live where I live.

The first thing I discovered, back in November, is Arts Alive! … a 3-day event celebrating everything from fine art to fiber art, and from jewelry to woodworking and sculpture. There is art – and there are artists – all over this tiny little town. And then there are art lovers who have come to La Conner from every corner of the Northwest – and beyond. I had the great fortune to be on the other side of this event as a volunteer, and got to talk to not only artists like Maggie Wilder from Gallery CygnusAnn Schreivogl and Eve McCauley, but to people who had come to La Conner because they know and love La Conner as a true ‘arts community’.

Sunflower Pie by Ann Schreivogl

I can barely draw a decent stick-figure – which makes me doubly appreciative of the talented artists who were in attendance. I just kept saying “Oh wow.” over and over again. If you love art, then this is an event worthy of your time.  Put it on your calendar right now – it’s the first full weekend of November in 2012.

Then just this past weekend I got to attend my first-ever La Conner community tree-lighting party in Gilkey Square. What a hoot! I had an absolute blast. There were carolers, kids and dog everywhere (how can you not love a toddler in her holiday finest, or dogs kept warm by their festive jackets), generations of families and groups of people who had come to La Conner to experience small-town holiday spirit.

Eating the decorations is the best part!

We also had tables of beautifully decorated cookies (thanks, Culinary Arts students!), cocoa, and Santa who arrived in a fire truck. And a tree that is nothing short of fabulous. I think my favorite part was when Santa asked the kids in the crowd to come get a handful of fairy dust from his bag and to toss it into the air in order to turn the tree-lights on. I tell you – when those lights shined back in those kids’ eyes, it was nothing short of magical.

Next weekend, I’m going to the annual Boat Parade, which I cannot wait for. I’ve seen pictures of this, but it’s hard for me to imagine big boats and little boats, all decked out in holiday lights from bow to stern and from mast to halyard, casting a glow on the channel. My friend Kate told me she’s picked out a perfect vantage point and is bringing a picnic of wine, bread and cheese. I think that’s a fabulous idea – but I’m going one step further and tuck into one of my favorite restaurants after the parade for a bite of dinner and something warm to drink.

Oh, and then I’m going to the Community Christmas Concert on December 11 in Maple Hall. I hear it’s all local talent – and that we have a lot of very talented musicians in town. How cool is that.

Hand-felted bag / Step Outside

And in between all this fun, I’ve been gift-shopping locally this year (big-box stores are OFF my list…) and have found the most amazing gifts for my family and friends. I can’t wait for them to open their packages and say something like “Oh, cool … where did you find this?” And I get to say, “La Conner, of course.”

Did I say I love this town? Good. Because I really do.

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