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Happy Thanksgiving, San Juan Island; flurry of activities scheduled

This handsome fellow is expecting you for dinner — twice, on Sunday and on Thanksgiving Day.  - Molly Neely-Walker
This handsome fellow is expecting you for dinner — twice, on Sunday and on Thanksgiving Day.
— image credit: Molly Neely-Walker

Happy Thanksgiving Day, San Juan Island.

The holiday season begins today with some potentially positive signs: Ferries from Anacortes to Friday Harbor have been packed for two days and some businesses are hopeful that the first day of holiday shopping season -- Friday -- could bolster the local economy and reverse two months of lagging sales.

Today, however, all thoughts are on food, family and fun. And perhaps seconds on pie.

Turkey Trot starts at 9 a.m.
The fourth annual Turkey Trot begins at 9 a.m. in front of the Best Western Friday Harbor Suites. Participants can get som exercise, help the Food Bank and make room for that Thanksgiving Day feast.

The “Turkey Trot" is a 5K (3.1-mile) run, walk, trot or crawl. Registration fee is $5 and two cans of food for adults and $2 and two cans of food for children under 12. Proceeds from the Turkey Trot will go to the Friday Harbor Food Bank.

The Turkey Trot is produced by Island Athletic Events, LLC with special thanks to King's Market and Best Western. For more information, contact Paul Hopkins at San Juan Island Fitness, 378-4449.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner starts at noon
The annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner begins at noon in the Grange Hall on First Street. For close to a decade, Jim and Minnie Knych have worked with service clubs and organizations to serve up turkey and trimmings to hundreds of people free of charge. An average of 300 islanders attend the afternoon of fun, food and fellowship.

Local service clubs and sponsors provide the seed money for food purchases. King's Market donates 24 turkeys for the event.

Waldorf salad, dressing, mashed potatoes, yams and green bean casserole are among the dishes prepared by an army of volunteers. “Anyone interested can walk in and help,” Minnie said.

Robin Delazerda and her children have attended the event every year since moving to the island eight years ago. The entire family helps serve, clean and set up games.

Enjoy board games, jigsaw puzzles and music, as well as a television viewing of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and football games. Islanders can bring a pie to share.

Heidi Broward, a former resident of Friday Harbor, was deeply touched by two dinners she attended the past two years. Shortly after moving to Friday Harbor, she was alone on Thanksgiving while her husband worked off-island.

“I felt so blessed,” she said. The following year, she and her husband attended the dinner. “It was a very big ministry to us,” Broward said.

You could win a 12-pound turkey
King's Market customers can earn a free frozen 12-pound grade A turkey (or equal cash value) when $500 is spent. Individual punch cards tally the amount of money spent. Turkeys or equal cash value can be donated to the Food Bank. Requests for punching Food Bank cards are offered at the register. Cards are valid through today.

Residents are encouraged to donate food or funds to the local Food Bank. The number of households the Food Bank serves has more than doubled the last two months.

Island Artisans 30th annual Holiday Marketplace
Island Artisans is celebrating its 30th year of providing scholarships to young artists from San Juan, Lopez, Orcas and Shaw islands.

Local artists sell their works at the annual Holiday Marketplace Friday and Saturday at Friday Harbor Elementary School.

More than $120,000 has been awarded to 150 graduating seniors in the last 30 years. Students have used scholarships to further their education in Commercial Art, Graphics, Film, Fashion Design, Jewelry, Photography, Metal Work, Industrial Arts, Textiles, Sculpture, History, Culinary Arts and Education.

"We invite you to come celebrate our 30th anniversary by supporting Island Artisans and shopping locally at the Holiday Marketplace," organizers wrote in a press release. "Stop by our booth to see impressive artwork from scholarship recipients, buy a raffle ticket for our 'Best of Friday Harbor Shopping Spree,' or a truck load of Richard Lawson’s gravel.

"We appreciate the generosity of our island community and would like to thank you for 30 years of support at the Holiday Marketplace."

Gallery show openings
Several local art galleries have show openings Friday and Saturday.

Arctic Raven Gallery's fourth annual "First Snow" show opens Friday with a hot cider reception (130 S. First St., Friday Harbor). "First Snow" showcases works in ivory, bone and stone from Inuit, Yup'ik and Inupiaq carvers. These works are gathered on the gallery's fall trips north, a time when Native artists begin carving during the first snow.

The gallery will also debut new cedar masks by Kwagiulth master carver Simon Dick, intricately carved cedar wall sculpture by Coast Salish artist Ron Aleck and prints by Coast Salish artist Susan Point.

Waterworks Gallery's annual Holiday Show opens Saturday, with new works by Jaime Ellsworth and Tom Small (Argyle Avenue and Spring Street, Friday Harbor). Other featured artists include Art Hansen, Jim Meyer, Sue Roberts, Richard See, Marilyn Stiles and Jill Trear, and a few artists new to the gallery. A portion of sales proceeds will help support local schools' art programs.

Gallery San Juan & Framing's Holiday Show opens Saturday with new works and new artists (232 A St., Friday Harbor). Enter for a chance to win a BJ Dollahite painting.

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