Holiday festivals packed with fun

Published on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 by Jack Kintner

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Blaine opens the holiday season this year on the first weekend in December with some traditional touches and some new events.

New this year are a holiday art show at Loomis Hall sponsored by the Blaine Boys and Girls Club, a central downtown location for the annual Winterfest arts and crafts festival, a yard decorating contest and an open house at Dakota Creek Winery.

Back this year are the homemade arts and crafts bazaar at the community center, the annual tree lighting, concert, community carol sing and visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a chamber of commerce-sponsored free horse-drawn trolley that will work its way around town Saturday afternoon and the lighted boat parade put on each year by the Semiahmoo Yacht Club.

On Friday, December 4, the arts and crafts bazaar is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the community center, 763 G street. The library will host a book sale from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Holiday Art Show at Loomis Hall, an historic local building at 288 Martin street that has hosted everything from opera to basketball to public dances, runs Friday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Also on Friday night, the Winterfest Arts and Crafts show opens a three-weekend run with an artists’ reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the former Goff’s building at 674 Peace Portal Drive.

On Saturday the arts and crafts bazaar and the book sale continue for a second day with the same schedule. Winterfest opens its art show and sale Saturday at the old Goff’s store and continues the same 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. schedule for the first three weekends in December.

Dakota Creek Winery’s open house at 3575 Haynie Road, three miles east of Blaine, runs from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. At 2 p.m. the Blaine Conservatory puts on the Nutcracker Fantasy at North County Christ the King Church at Harbor View and Birch Bay-Lynden roads in Birch Bay.

At 3 p.m. the horse drawn trolley begins its three and a half hour run downtown, taking people to decorated stores and the community tree lighting set for dusk, 4:15 p.m. on the G street plaza.

Peace Portal Drive will be closed during these hours. There will be music provided by the Blaine Middle School band, and at 4:45 amid a blaze of light and sirens Santa and his wife, the long-suffering but ever-dutiful Mrs. Claus, arrive on the backs of some Blaine fire engines. Santa will be available for visits at the Winterfest Arts and Crafts show beginning at 5 p.m.

The evening ends with the traditional parade of lighted ships that can be seen best from the public pier at the west end of Marine Drive. Sponsored by the Semiahmoo Yacht Club, the parade will marshall just outside the harbor near the site of the old Blaine lighthouse and will then parade into the harbor and around before finally ending at the Blaine public visitor’s dock where they may be visited themselves by the public.