Vashon merchants hold equinox celebration

Vashon merchants will light up the Village Green and welcome Islanders to an equinox celebration heralding the arrival of spring on Friday evening.

They’ll provide cookies, coffee, live entertainment and an artfully lit park, all in an effort to let Islanders know they’re grateful for shoppers’ patronage.

The businesspeople and shop owners want to thank Vashon residents for supporting them through the lean months of winter, said Bettie Edwards, owner of The Little House.

“The merchants appreciate you,” she said. “We’re almost over the hump, and it’s time to celebrate fun, celebrate light.”

More than 25 merchants will provide coffee and about 1,000 homebaked cookies for a community celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Village Green, featuring live music by Marilyn Kay & Company. The group is a “very fun, very interactive bluegrass” band, said Nancy Katica, co-owner of Vashon Bookshop.

Artwork by Chautauqua students and festive luminarias will brighten the Green.

While many Vashon businesses had slow months during the winter, Edwards said she’s thankful residents shopped on the Island as much as possible.

“I think everybody made a really diligent effort,” she said.

“The winter months can be tough on all of us, and this is a way of celebrating getting through the dark season and heading into the light of spring,” said Jenni Wilke, co-owner of Books by the Way.

Edwards said she’s looking forward to a chance to give back to the Island community.

“We all need a feel-good time,” Edwards said. “It’s time to say thank-you and enjoy each other’s company.”

“It’s about people coming together over cookies and coffee beneath a twilight sky,” said Mary Kay Rauma, sales director at the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. “The days are getting longer, the blossoms are bursting, bulbs are popping — there is a lot to celebrate. The relationship between the community and merchants is a symbiotic one, and this event is intended to honor that.”

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