Sneak Preview of Winterfest events

Sneak Preview of Winterfest events

With the next month set to be bustling with holiday activity, the Journal took a sampling of a few upcoming Winter Festival events.

Whale Museum events

The Whale Museum’s annual “Holiday Treats and Crafts” is from 3-4 p.m. on Dec. 7. For this free, family-friendly event, museum staff will set out an array of crafting supplies geared toward all ages. Refreshments will be provided as well, to get into the holiday spirit. While crafting occurs, the store will be offering a 10 percent sale throughout the day.

The Whale Museum will host its second annual “Double Indulgence” for adults, from 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 12.

“The idea was to give adults a chance to shop without worrying about their children,” Chad Coffey, Whale Museum manager of communications and visitors’ experience team, said.

Besides offering sweet treats and libations — donations are appreciated — adults may partake in a 30 percent storewide sale. The discount is not applicable to Orca Adoptions.

“Adoptions are probably our most popular gift item,” Coffey said, adding that many store products are from local artists. “By local, I don’t just mean San Juan, but regionally.”

Proceeds from the store benefit the 40-year-old museum. The nonprofit’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. Museum programs include marine naturalist training; the orca adoption program; SeaSound acoustics; Soundwatch; San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network; and the Whale Hotline. To learn more information about the museum, visit

San Juan Singers Concert

San Juan Singers’ winter concert, titled “Christmas in our Hearts,” is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets are $22 for adults, students reserve is $12, or student rush at the door is $5.

After more than 30 years, the Singers’ annual concert has become an island tradition. Last year, according to San Juan Singers director Angel Michaels, the concert sold out. This year, the group ranges between 40-50 individuals.

“The coolest thing about the San Juans Singers today is that it has become multi-generational,” said Michaels. “This year we have a grandmother, mom and teen.”

Several children have joined the choir, she continued, as well as several couples.

“It is something they can do together,” Michaels said. “I love that aspect of how the choir is developing.”

She added that there will be a mother-daughter duet with Shannon Danskine and Joanna Evans.

The singers will also be performing “O’Magnum Mysterium,” one of Morten Lauridsen’s most popular pieces, as well as Lord’s “Sure on This Shining Night.”

The Singers will be adding some strings to the concert, performing Ralph Vaughan William’s well known “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”

“What’s nice about this piece is that it takes familiar carols and weaves them together in this very playful whimsical way,” Michaels said.

New to the concert this year is two Hanukkah songs that were written in Hebrew by Jewish composers, Michaels said.

In closing, the group will sing the popular Celtic version of “Silent Night.”

“I tried to go back to the songs I heard while growing up,” Michaels explained. “ I think people will really enjoy it.”

Park Holiday Celebration

Friends of Lime Kiln Society, or FOLKS, welcome the public from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Lime Kiln State Park for their free annual Holiday Celebration.

Much of the event occurs indoors, rain or shine, the interpretive center and lighthouse will be open and cozy. Warm beverages like cider and cocoa, as well as treats, will also be available. There will be an opportunity to tour the lighthouse.

A raffle and a silent auction to benefit the nonprofit will also be held. FOLKS’ mission statement is to provide a unique experience for visitors through support and development of educational programs and activities related to Lime Kiln Point State Park’s extraordinary location, diverse ecosystems and historic structures.

Anyone wishing to donate items for the raffle and auction, contact Erin Corra, founder and executive director, at or call 360-378-5154. Donations are tax-deductible. Should anyone want to volunteer as Santa for the event, they may also contact Corra.

The weather outside will be wintery, however, chances of viewing wildlife and the natural environment are always stellar at the park.

“It’s actually really fun to see the lighthouse in a stormy state, watching the waves crash,” Corra said, adding that storm chasers tend to frequent the park during the otherwise dark winter months.

Island Rec Events

Island Rec will be hosting its annual “New Year’s Eve” party from 7-9 p.m., Dec. 31 at Brickworks. The usual popular activities are planned for this free, family-friendly event, Recreation Manager at Island Rec Morgan Johnson, said. Activities include hat making, a hat parade and playing Bingo. There will also be a variety of other crafts and games available.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a potluck item, either sweet or savory. Join Island Rec in watching the New York City ball drop and sing in the new year with “Auld Lang Syne” before the event ends at 9 p.m. This New Year celebration is geared for all ages, and approximately 300 people attend each year, Johnson said.

For those who are eager to get their New Year off to a healthy start, Island Rec is also hosting the Salish Sea Run and Splash Jan. 1. The 5k run starts at 10 a.m. at Jackson Beach. Registration begins at 9 a.m., the cost is $10 for 16 and older, and free for 15 and younger. For those who are interested in a polar bear swim, be sure to bring a change of clothes and towels. Island Rec staff will have a fire ready for swimmers to warm up next to afterward.

For more information about these or other Island Rec events, visit