Enjoy a hometown holiday experience while supporting students. “Celebrate the Season,” a series of family-oriented holiday events presented by the Anacortes Schools Foundation opens the first weekend of December 2016.

The experience is open to the public on the Dec. 3rd and 4th, noon to 5 PM daily at the Port of Anacortes Event Center at the north end of Commercial Ave.

2016 Celebrate tree 2015“We decorate the Event Center in a winter wonderland theme as a gift to the community to explore and enjoy. Among the features is a marketplace for unique gifts by local crafters and non-profit organizations – many benefitting student groups. In addition, there are activities for kids, teams, adults and families,” noted Art Shotwell, Foundation President. “On Saturday, we hope that people will come down after the parade and enjoy this holiday experience and the entertainment we have lined up.”

Funds generated by this event go towards programs supported by Anacortes Schools Foundation including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment programs that enhance curriculum.

During “Celebrate the Season’s” two public days, guests will enjoy a wide range of activities including photos with Santa, make craft projects, warm-up with hot chocolate and cookies, and a holiday shopping marketplace offering unique gifts and food items. There is a nominal admission charge of $5/person, $20/family per day.

Saturday, December 3rd will feature afternoon entertainment that includes the An-O-Chords, Fidalgo Dance Center groups, caroling and other plans that are in the works. On Sunday, December 4th, the focus will be on Gingerbread Houses. Student and adult teams will test their creativity as they compete in designing and decorating houses for prizes and bragging rights. Gingerbread entries will be judged by a panel of community leaders. In addition, younger children will be able to decorate a mini-house of their own to take home.

The signature event of “Celebrate the Season” is the “Dream It” dinner/auction. This year it will lead off the “Celebrate” festivities on Friday, Dec. 2. Also at the Port’s Event Center. This will be a lively evening featuring dinner catered by Gere-a-Deli, a live auction followed by entertainment. Doors open for registration at 6:30 PM. Tickets are available for $50 per person online here or at Johnny Picasso’s downtown.

Dakota Creek Industries is the presenting sponsor for this event. Other generous local sponsors of the two-week celebration include: the Port of Anacortes, Trident Seafoods, Sierra Pacific Industries, Kiwanis Sunrisers, Conrardy Design Group, Synergy Sports Technology, T-Shirts by Design, Diamond Rentals, Quantum Construction, SRV Construction, Chandler Square and The Market.

2016 celebrate parade 600

The “not so precision John Deere mower drill team” will participate in the Anacortes Holiday Parade to herald the public opening of the annual “Celebrate the Season” event. The community is invited to join the “team” at noon as they head back to the reindeere barn at the Port of Anacortes for hot chocolate and cookies, Santa, crafts, gift shopping and entertainment. 

Anacortes Schools Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization with 501(c)(3) status. ASF was established in 1984 and benefits students at all levels with college and vocational scholarships, early learning support and STEM enrichment opportunities. All proceeds from the “Celebrate the Season” event will support Anacortes Schools Foundation programs including comprehensive STEM enrichment initiatives for students of Anacortes School District.