Last week kicked off the holiday season on Vashon — a bustling time of traditional events and community celebration.
At Jingle Bash, a new holiday market held on Saturday, Nov. 26, shoppers perused the wares of more than 50 local arts, crafts, and other vendors arrayed in the Great Hall and outdoor courtyard of Vashon High School.
The market also included a busy Santa photo booth, offered by Sarah Bunch Photography. But still more merriment is in store this weekend.
“The Nutcracker Ballet” will be performed by students of Vashon Center for Dance and other community members, with shows at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, December 1-2, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, at Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA). Visit vashoncenterforthearts.org for ticket information.
While visiting VCA, don’t forget to vote for your favorite island-made gingerbread house — an annual contest taking place this year through Dec. 22.
A First Friday Gallery cruise, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, will provide a chance for islanders to shop for the gift of art at shows of small artworks at VCA and VALISE Gallery, and jewelry, crafts and wearable art on view at other shops around Vashon. Stop by the lawn of the Presbyterian Church, if weather permits, to sing carols and warm yourself around a fire as the church’s Christmas tree lights up.
Studio tour, shopping and Winterfest
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, will mark the return of another tradition, which since 2019 has been on hold due to the pandemic: the Vashon Island Holiday Studio Art Tour. This year’s free, self-guided tour — which will also run on Dec. 10-11, is a chance to find more one-of-a-kind, locally made gifts of fiber art, glass, jewelry, candles, pottery, tile and mosaic art, photography, sculpture, prints, paintings, and more. (See page 12.)
Find a tour map at vivartists.com — the website of Vashon Island Visual Artists, the tour’s presenters.
The town’s main event, Winterfest, presented by the Vashon Chamber of Commerce, will roll out on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 3.
The community celebration will begin with an open-air market in Vashon Theatre Plaza, from 2 to 6 p.m. offering local vendors, music, activities and cocoa for kids, plus a free screening of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” inside the theater at 4:30 p.m., complete with photo ops with the Grinch himself.
Vashon Highway will be closed from Cove Road to the Vashon Theatre from 4:30 p.m. to approximately 8:30 p.m. — creating a safe and spacious pedestrian mall in town, with detour directions posted at the beginning of the street closures and also the way.
In town, merchants and organizations will also hold open houses — a time to stop in, shop and chat with friends and neighbors. At Vashon Presbyterian Church, a market featuring a wide array of gifts and good will take place, along with a station for professional or “do-it-yourself” photos with Santa. All proceeds will benefit the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation.
An ornament-making station will be set up between Island Queen and Voice of Vashon, where islanders young and old can also write letters to Santa to drop them off at Vashon Bookshop. The costumed cast of “The Nutcracker” will also be available for photo ops during pre-parade festivities at Island Queen, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Santa’s Cottage, located between U.S. Bank and the Village Green, will be open from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., for a special story hour with Santa’s elves. Vashon Library will also host a quiet time during Winterfest, with more story times.
A lighted tractor parade, bringing Santa to town, will start at 6 p.m. outside Vashon Theatre. The parade will end at Vashon Village, where Santa and special guests will take the stage prior to the official lighting of Vashon’s community tree. Afterward, stick around for more caroling, as well as more photo ops with Santa.
Santa at Point Robinson
Can’t get enough of Santa? Visit him again at an open house at the Point Robinson Lighthouse, hosted by the Keepers of Point Robinson and Vashon Park District, from 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.
Santa will arrive at 1:30 p.m., and visitors can tour the lighthouse with docent Captain Joe Wubbold, U.S.C.G. (ret.), and enjoy sugary treats and seasonal music in Quarters A. The Ship’s Store will be open to sate those with nautical-themed gift needs.