Trees are delivered to the Safeway lot in Queen Anne for the Queen Anne Helpline’s annual holiday tree sale. File photo courtesy of Queen Anne Helpline/Facebook
Trees are delivered to the Safeway lot in Queen Anne for the Queen Anne Helpline’s annual holiday tree sale. File photo courtesy of Queen Anne Helpline/Facebook
1
2

For many in Queen Anne and Magnolia, it just wouldn’t truly be the holidays without them. 

And as the month of November winds down, organizers are putting the finishing touches on a pair of annual traditions that mark the season for local residents.

But this year, both Magnolia’s Winterfest and Queen Anne’s Holiday Magic are incorporating new elements alongside some of the classic hallmarks of each event. 

 

Winterfest

Now in his third year as the Winterfest event chair for the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce, Scott Ward said the annual gathering is a chance for businesses in Magnolia Village to engage with the community.  

And while he admits Summerfest is the biggest community event the chamber takes on each year, he said Winterfest holds its own. 

“Winterfest comes in right behind that, as far as what it does for the greater community,” he said. 

The yearly holiday festival — set for Saturday, Nov. 28 — is bigger than ever before, with family events from 2 to 6 p.m. and extended shopping hours until 8 p.m. for some merchants. The day is also Shop Small Saturday, with residents encouraged to keep money within their community by frequenting local merchants. 

While some elements of past Winterfests return — like carolers, live reindeer, falling snow (courtesy of machines, with the forecast currently calling for sun and high temperatures in the mid-40s) and the chance to get pictures with Santa — several new components enter the fold. 

Those include 10-minute horse-drawn covered wagon rides, a raffle, a window display contest and a treasure hunt, in which participants are tasked with spotting Santa’s eight reindeer — each in a different venue — for a chance to win a prize.

“The treasure hunt was to get people to really start exploring the Village and go to the different areas to see what’s there,” said Ward, who noted both the treasure hunt and display contest are an opportunity to bring foot traffic to parts of Magnolia Village that don’t always get much attention. 

Other business participation includes a pair of author appearances at Magnolia’s Bookstore (3206 W. McGraw St.), where Chris Kelly will sign copies of “Italy Invades” from noon to 2 p.m., and Kim Darling, author of “Bad Aunty’s Kitchen Smarts” will appear from 3 to 5 p.m. Caffe Appassionato will also sample its new blend, Summerfest 2016, with the proceeds serving as a fundraiser for its namesake. 

Also returning is the annual tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. at the Magnolia Garden Center (3213 W. Smith St.).

“I think it’s going to be a festive day,” Ward said. 

To learn more about Winterfest, visit www.magnoliachamber.org. 

 

Holiday Magic

Upper Queen Anne will also play host to its own yearly celebration on Dec. 4, as Holiday Magic takes over the neighborhood from 4 to 8 p.m.

And, again, while many of the aspects people have come to expect — like photos with Santa at HomeStreet Bank (1835 Queen Anne Ave. N.) — are back, there’s one notably large addition for 2015. 

Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce executive director Charley Shore said people had talked about the idea of a large tree and a lighting ceremony for years. 

Originally, Shore said, the idea was to flip the switch on the lighted trees up and down Queen Anne Avenue all at once. But because each tree is plugged into its neighboring business, there is no single switch to flip. 

The next best thing, Shore said, was to find a focal point and create a tradition where people can gather to kick-off the season. In that vein, a 15-plus-foot Christmas tree will be in the middle of the Towne Centre (1920 Queen Anne Ave. N.), sponsored by the Queen Anne Apartment Collection and provided by the Queen Anne Helpline. 

Shore said the hope was to create an event that people would “love and remember and look forward to.” 

“It really does try very hard to get the community and the businesses working together for the holidays,” Shore said. 

That lighting ceremony is set for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and is also slated to include a performance from the Seattle Pacific University Brass Ensemble. Shore said Holiday Magic does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of the holidays. 

“It really brings an air of the holiday season out and brings families out,” Shore said. 

Meanwhile, approximately half of the 100 or so trees along Queen Anne Avenue are accounted for, but Shore said she’s confident that the community will close the gap. The $215 tree sponsorships can be purchased by mailing a check to QACC, 2212 Queen Anne Ave. N., No. 809, Seattle, WA 98109. 

To learn more about Holiday Magic, visit www.queenannechamber.org.

 

Other events

Also new this year in Queen Anne will be a holiday breakfast hosted by Aegis of Queen Anne on Galer (233 W. Galer St.) on Dec. 10 at 7:30 a.m. Registration is required, but the event is open to all.  

And for those anxiously awaiting the chance to put up a Christmas tree in their home, Queen Anne Helpline will open its holiday tree lot in the north parking lot of Safeway (2100 Queen Anne Ave. N.) on Saturday, Nov. 28. All proceeds from that lot benefit the Helpline and Boy Scout Troop 72. 

“It’s a Queen Anne tradition, for sure,” said Helpline executive director Lisa Moore. 

Along with trees, the lot — which will open at 2 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. on weekends through Dec. 21 — will also sell garlands, wreaths, mistletoe and tree stands. 

“We’d love for people to consider buying all their holiday decorations there,” Moore said. 

For more information on the Helpline, visit queenannehelpline.org. 

To comment on this story, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.