Something for everyone this holiday weekend

It’s a time of gratitude, gathering with family and eating home-cooked meals.

Thanksgiving weekend is also the launch of the holiday season.

The Orcas community is offering a variety of ways to feel merry from dodgeball to craft-making to music.

Friday, Nov. 25

Community Dodgeball

The Orcas Island Education Foundation and Orcas Park and Rec invite the whole community to an evening of all-ages Dodgeball at the high school gym from 7 – 9:30 p.m. Holiday attire is STRONGLY encouraged. There will be a prize for the most festive outfit. An above average bakesale will take place in the concessions stand. There is a $5 suggested donation and all proceeds go to OIEF. Bring the relatives! Bonus points if you bring an islander/student home for the holiday!

Saturday, Nov. 26

Holiday Makery Pop-up

Enjoy offering hands-on, make-it-yourself classes in the Madrona Room at Orcas Center from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This community gathering is an affordable way to bring new cheer to your home, make cards to send friends and family or create gifts. There are kids activities too.

Instructors Maria Bullock, Susie Shipman, Tenar Hall, Marcy Montgomery and Tabitha Rose are hosting beeswax rolled candles, willow and paper ornament, island-grown wreaths, block printed cards and wooden 3D tree making. Classes are by advance reservation to secure the materials kit. Storytelling and youth activities are being convened with Caleb Summers and friends from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., free to all youth with parents attending a workshop. The afternoon culminates with a festive Tamale making class for all ages.

Exchange anniversary sale

Where has the time gone? It seems like it was just a short time ago that The Exchange reopened, but it’s actually been five years in the new facility. The Exchange was originally founded in 1981 by community activists. Sadly, the original burned to the ground in February 2013. After a few years of fundraising and construction, the new Exchange store opened its doors on Thanksgiving weekend, 2017.

To honor the anniversary The Exchange is welcoming everyone to come in and get your holiday shopping started. They will be providing cookies and hot apple cider to the public, and shoppers can look for gift cards hidden throughout the store.

There will be discounts and deals made on merchandise of all kinds; there will be a larger-than-normal supply of kids’ books and toys. There will also be a huge collection of decorations on the shelves to get your home decked out in holiday finery.

Nov. 25 and Nov. 26

Olga Symphony

They’re back! The beloved tradition returns, as the Olga Symphony once more takes to the Orcas Center stage at 7 p.m. for their annual Holiday Concert. Melinda, Gordon, Z, JP, and Anita will bring guitar, fiddle, bass, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, dobro, musical saw and luscious vocals to you in decidedly non-symphonic manner. There will be classic favorite songs, a few new treasures, some laughs, and some really nice clothes. The Symphony is thrilled that this year they once more have friends joining in the fun! Former band-member Dave Parish and his flute will add his special touch, as will local singer-songwriter Madison West. And, back by popular demand, Mel Urbanozo aka “that Hawaiian Guy” will also be there! Masks will be required in the theater and lobby except where refreshments are being served. Don’t worry if you’re going to be off island for the holiday weekend. Friday night’s concert will be livestreamed! Simply go to

ALL TICKETING, in person and livestream, is entirely BY DONATION! Your generous gift upon purchase will be passed along in its entirety to local charities. For tickets and more information, please visit