Islanders ring in the New Year

Vashon celebrated the dawn of 2024 in style.

Islanders celebrated the dawn of 2024 in style, with 500 of them showing up to dance the night away and ring in midnight on New Year’s Eve at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The dance party at Open Space was headlined by Bowie/Rex & His Boogie Band. Fronted by Martin Feveyear in resplendent glam wear and backed by a storied, all-star band of Northwest musicians, the band played a whole jukebox worth of 1970s and ‘80s megahit music by David Bowie, Marc Bolan & T-Rex, Roxy Music, The Cars, The Kinks, Talking Heads and more.

Between Bowie/Rex sets, the island band Cheap Scenery also delivered crowd-pleasing punk and post-punk classics to keep the crowd amped for the midnight countdown.

New Year’s Day dawned sunny and temperate — a perfect day for a dip in the Salish Sea. More than 50 people braved KVI Beach for a polar plunge, organized by islander Maya Krah to benefit Vashon’s DOVE Project. Also on the beach were the brother-sister entrepreneurial act of Parker and Haven Chase, ages 10 and 6, respectively, seizing the opportunity to set up a well-placed hot chocolate stand to help warm up the shivering swimmers. The kids accepted both cash and Venmo for their $2 cups of cocoa.

On Sunday night, islanders filled Vashon Theatre to watch the undefeated #2 Washington Huskies take on the #3 Texas Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl. The big-screen presentation benefited programs supported by Vashon Rotary.

The game ended in a nail-biting 50-second stretch, with the Huskies’ defense finally stopping a Longhorn drive down the length of the field in the last second of the game to seal the win 37-31.

The Huskies will face undefeated Michigan in next Monday’s National Championship game.