Le tout nabe gets roasty-toasty

It's that time of year when Queen Anne falls in love. Every merchant you see opens his or her door, caroling fills the air and seasonal cheer is everywhere. On Friday, Dec. 2, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Queen Anne celebrates its 12th annual Holiday Magic gala.

But for the first time, as Steve Spielberg was saying, We Are Not Alone. In a new spirit of ecumenicism, Lower Queen Anne and the people of the Hill are celebrating together in the name of "Holiday Magic from Top to Bottom."

Partly it's the doing of the Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce, which is putting to good use its recently announced $7,300 award by way of a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Matching Funds Grant. To the immediate point, the chamber is sponsoring a Gray Line Holiday Trolley to travel throughout the upper and lower business districts and surrounding neighborhoods each Saturday in December. The trolley will serve as a shuttle for residents between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. There is no charge to passengers, but anyone who feels moved (as well as transported) to offer a "trolley token" donation should know that it will end up aiding the Queen Anne Helpline.

And it's not only (1) free and (2) good for the charitable spirit, but also (3) educational. Members of the Queen Anne Historical Society will be sharing stories of Queen Anne and its history as they ride along with their neighbors.

This Holiday Magic Friday, however, the trolley is confined to the top of the Hill, playing its accustomed part in the traditional Holiday Magic scene. The Little Friends Petting Zoo promises to provide plenty of furry critters. The Clay Martin Puppet Theater will entertain audiences at Color Me Mine, and a variety of musical ensembles will perform at locations up and down the Ave. There will also be strolling carolers and the memorable tree lighting on the lawn of Bethany Presbyterian Church.

Then, toward the end of the celebration period, Hilltoppers and Uptowners will share a "roasty toasty" event at the new Roy Street Park on the corner of Queen Anne Avenue North and Roy Street. Program includes a bonfire, caroling, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, popcorn and S'mores.

This year's Holiday Magic theme is celebrating the season with song, and many Hilltop merchants have chosen a holiday song to inspire their store decorations. Les Cadeaux Gourmets selected "Blue Christmas"; Hilltop Yarn, "My Favorite Things"; and Queen Anne Books, "The 12 Days of Christmas." In keeping with the latter theme, the bookstore will conduct storytime every half-hour from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., with readings from the book "Three French Hens."

Holiday Magic, an annual event famous for infusing Queen Anne with hundreds of visitors and lots of good cheer, attempts to recapture some of the Christmas that many of us truly long for.

For a wonderful time, join the festivities! With the number of bells that will be ringing, at the least Holiday Magic ensures that some angels will get their wings.

For a Holiday Magic map and a list of the multitude of events taking place, visit Queen Anne Books, 1811 Queen Anne Ave. N., or Communique Toys, 2215 Queen Anne Ave. N.[[In-content Ad]]