By Ken Stern 

Santa Claus came to town Saturday


December 8, 2021

As predicted, Santa Claus made two stops in La Conner Saturday, posing with kids for photos at Maple Hall while the La Conner Rotary held its annual Santa Breakfast Dec. 4. Rotary Club President Marty Pease and her trusty elves estimated at least 130 meals were served, evenly divided between adults and children. The kitchen ran out of food and stopped serving by 10:45 a.m., ahead of the 11 a.m. ending time. It is not known how much hot chocolate was consumed.

Santa did not leave until every child that wanted to whisper in his ear did so.

Parents and children alike could browse and spend at the morning craft fair spread across Maple Hall’s smaller rooms, including upstairs. Lots of good stuff was for sale, and bought.

Right at 5:30 p.m. Santa was delivered to Gilkey Square in a bright red shiny firetruck, outlined with blue Christmas lights and sporting a lit life-sized Santa lawn ornament on its front.

The crowd filling Gilkey Square was a mix of children and their parents and families. They had been listening to carols sung by the Harmony Northwest Choir first. Then DJ Heidi took over, playing lively Christmas classics. Heather Carter, director of the La Conner Chamber of Commerce, was the emcee, greeting Santa and turning the microphone over to him. Within minutes he did his “1-2-3” magic and with the help of the children the community’s Christmas tree’s lights came on.

Santa was near-infinitely patient in taking every child on his lap who agreed to tell Santa their Christmas desires. The line initially stretched from Santa’s chair in front of the tree to Morris Street.

The tree came from Adam and Hollie Del Vcchio’s Big Lake Trees farm. The 20-foot-plus Douglas Fir came to town Monday, cut at the farm by Todd Park and Chip Sherman. The $65 price was a 50% off donation. Town staff, including Manny Perez, strung lights Nov. 29-30. On Dec. 2 Perez assisted the Shelter Bay tree team of Kim and Dale Oldis, Lora and WC Harvey, Debbie and Jon Galbraith and Carole and Sonny Miller. The Chamber coordinated decorations.

The weather cooperated, early overcast skies having given away by mid-afternoon to high clouds with sun breaks. The day could not have been more different than 2020, when the Rotary Pancake breakfast was canceled, the tree lighting was virtual, broadcast on social media, and Santa’s only appearance was a letter in the La Conner Weekly News the Wednesday before. Last year he wrote, “Enjoy Christmas with your families. Keep your gathering small so that we all will be safe. That is how we show we care for each other. That is how we reduce the spread of the coronavirus.”

Downtown’s boardwalk will be predictably jammed Saturday, Dec. 11 for the lighted boat parade. Mask up and come on down for it.


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