Hold on to your Santa hats — it’s going to be a whirlwind of a holiday season.
Friday, Dec. 2
• Need a break from all the holiday prep? Bring the family to see Gangstagrass on Dec. 2 at Orcas Center. Gangstagrass combines great American traditions of bluegrass, hip-hop, and beyond to create a whole new musical genre that is more than the sum of its parts with original songs that have everyone up and dancing! Tickets are available at www.OrcasCenter.org, or by calling the Orcas Center box office at 360-376-2281 ext. 1.
Saturday, Dec. 3
• From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lum Farm will host its 3rd annual “Wooly Winter Pop Up.” This event features the felted ornaments of Bossy’s Feltworks, holiday cards with artwork by Mandy and Lucy Troxel, ceramic ornaments by cheesemaker Crystal Mossman, sheepskins, yarn and more. To top off the festivities, the petting zoo will also be open for anyone who needs goat hugs.
• Annual Holiday Bazaar at the American Legion from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Enjoy a bake sale, three raffle baskets, a soup bistro, gifts from local artists and a Christmas room. Winners of the baskets will be drawn at 3 p.m. that day. This is the major fundraiser for the American Legion Auxiliary. Proceeds go towards supporting its Veterans’ projects and scholarships awarded to graduating seniors.
• The Friends of the Orcas Library is happy to announce the return of the Holiday Tea from 1-4 p.m. at the Orcas Island Public Library. This annual event is a “Thank You” to the community for supporting FOIL through donations and attending annual book sale events, which help raise funds for the library. Coffee, tea and punch will be served along with cookies, tea sandwiches and other goodies. There will be activities for the children and live music for your enjoyment. If people in the community wish to donate cookies they can bring them to the library on Dec. 2 or in the morning on the day of the Holiday Tea. During the celebration, FOIL will present the library with a presentation check in the amount of $21,750, meeting the library’s grant request for 2023.
• The Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce invites the Orcas community to join us as they light the holiday tree on the Village Green. Join the fun from 3:30-5 p.m. The chamber is thrilled to feature Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot cider and cookies and the Turtleback Brass, who will play holiday music. The tree on the Village Green will be expertly wrapped in strands of colored bulbs by the reliable crew from OPALCO. Masks and precautions will be taken to keep everyone safe and secure. Cookies and cider will be available starting at 3:30 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 4 p.m. The tree will be officially lit at 5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4
• The Solstice Mercantile is back for a compelling second year. The community-driven local craft fair is once again hosted by Orcas Island Winery. The event will take place inside and within an attached heated weatherproof tent. Solstice Mercantile was founded in 2021 by Whitney Chamberlin, Tera Andaya and Kelly Francis out of a desire to create, champion and celebrate light and beauty during the depth of the pandemic. According to event organizers, last year’s attendance exceeded 700 visitors over two days. This year’s number of vendors is expected to be larger than last year. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday, Dec. 4
• The Orcas Island Historical Museum will be hosting a Family Day — Kids, Cookies and Crafts from 1 – 4 p.m. There will be hands-on activities for kids while Orcas history is shared by docents. Enjoy discounts in the museum.
Dec. 8 through Dec. 11
• It’s that time of the year, islanders when carols fill the air! Time to dig out your Christmas sweaters and blinking-light necklaces and embrace the holiday spirit. To help put you in the mood, The Actors Theatre of Orcas Island invites you to enjoy some good old-fashioned radio theater at their upcoming Christmas Show. More than a dozen of your friends and neighbors come together to present “The Shop around the Corner” and “The Miracle on 34th Street” in the style of radio shows from the 1930s and ‘40s, complete with Applause and On Air signs lit for audience participation. The evening will end with a rousing Christmas classic. And yes, there will be Christmas cookies! All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at The Grange. Tickets are only $10 and available at Darvill’s Book Store, online at www.orcasactors.org, and at the door. Questions? Contact Doug Bechtel at 360 317-5601.
Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11
• Oddfellows Hall comes alive again with the new Winter Artisan Market featuring three events that carry on the much-loved village tradition of maker pop-up sales at the historic waterfront Hall.Enjoy artisan markets on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check out fine arts and crafts with a rotation of pop-up artisan foods and beverages from across the islands. Both days are free. On Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m., there is a night market with wine, cider, a fire pit, s’mores and pre-order dinner options. There is a $25 cover fee that includes $15 in market bucks for shopping. Tickets and pre-orders are at https://sanjuanmakersguild.com/markets/.
• Raise your voices! Clang the cymbals! Ring in the holidays with joy this December 10 and 11 in Orcas Choral Society’s festive concert, “Celebrate!” featuring island instrumentalists and the new Orcas Youth Chorus. Artistic Director Bruce Langford will lead the choir through fresh arrangements of favorite carols and songs that will have you tapping your feet. Joining them onstage is the new Orcas Youth Choir, singing under the joint direction of Andy Rivera and Monica Steele. The Dec. 10 is at 7 p.m. and the Dec. 11 show is at 2 p.m. at Orcas Center. Tickets at the center’s tiered prices are $15, $25 or $47. Tickets for youth 12-18 are $5. Children under 12 are free. Order tickets at www.orcascenter.org.
Sunday, Dec. 11
• The ninth annual Children’s Holiday Market will be held from 12-2 p.m. at the library. This year is going to be the biggest yet. There are currently more than 75 kids at 50 tables signed up to sell their wares. Everything being sold has been handmade by the kids, and everything will be priced at $10 or under. There will also be a “courtyard cafe” in the courtyard at the library where kids will be selling warm food, baked goods and hot drinks.
• The Orcas Island Historical Museum will be celebrating members and donors during an open house from 12 to 2 p.m. Enjoy one-day only discounts in the Museum Store plus free gift wrapping, wine, hot spiced cider and platters of sweet and savory foods. Bring your family and visitors to see the new permanent Bison Antiquus Exhibit about the 14,000-year-old bison found here on Orcas that is rewriting history books. If you have not yet seen the current exhibit – Mapping Orcas – now is your chance. Peter Fisher’s beautifully restored map reproductions are available to purchase. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the museum.
Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14
• Celebrate the wonder of the winter season with an evening of dance, presented by some of Orcas Island’s aspiring performing artists. “Magic & Merriment” will feature a variety of dance styles and choreography by Orcas Dance Collective’s talented dance instructors on the Orcas Center main stage. Tickets are available at www.OrcasCenter.org, or by calling the Orcas Center box office at 360-376-2281 ext. 1.