Santa spreads magic throughout Whidbey

Drivers and parents beware. There are eight reindeer running loose through the streets of Oak Harbor. When Santa Claus arrived on Pioneer Way Friday night, he announced that he had been in the city earlier, and while he was doing some shopping, his reindeer had managed to slip away. Luckily, the fire department agreed to give him a lift to the festivities.

On Friday, hundreds of people gathered to witness the lighting of Oak Harbor’s tree on Dock Street and Pioneer Way. The ceremony was emceed by Councilman Scott Dudley and Mr. Claus himself.

“If you think you’re in Rockefeller Center, you’re not,” Dudley said to the crowd. “You’re somewhere better ... we’ve been doing this every year, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a bigger tree.”

The tree, which was lit with sparkling white lights and topped with a twinkling matching star, stood at 42-feet tall.

“I’m going to have to put a lot of presents under that tree,” Santa said.

After the lighting, the kids followed Santa into the candy themed and seasonally decorated Harborside Village to get their photos taken and to share their wish lists.

“I’m going to tell Santa that I’m being a good girl,” 3-year-old Izabella Headings said moments before crawling onto his lap. “You have a handsome hat,” she told Santa after asking him for a horse. Izabella said she’d like to keep the horse in her bedroom, but would consider moving it into the living room if it got too big.

Santa suggested that she keep the horse outside, but said he thought a toy horse might be more practical, and after some convincing, Izabella reluctantly agreed.

Two-year-old Kaenen Wiesen promised Santa that he would keep his toys picked up off of the floor if he could have his very own monster truck.

After his duties on North Whidbey, Santa headed into Coupeville on Saturday evening for the annual Greening of Coupeville parade. Again, he made a grand entrance, only this time, he was sitting atop his sleigh. He followed floats from the Boy Scouts, Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation, the Island County Historical Society Museum and others.

Many parade-goers, including canines, donned festive clothing and hats. Thirteen-year-old Rosie Sawatzki helped a group sell Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee to raise money for the Coupeville Boys and Girls Club while wearing a green and red jester-style hat.

“I’m just trying to not to lose my dignity,” Sawatzki said laughing.

People lined Front and Main streets to watch the procession and later gathered in Cook Park for a tree lighting.

Want more holiday fun?

Oak Harbor Middle School Symphonic Band and The Harborside Merchants welcome the community to Holiday Magic on Pioneer Thursday, Dec. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring: Battle of the Christmas Choirs, all proceeds go to the OHMS Symphonic Band’s trip to nationals. Also enjoy hot apple cider. pictures with Santa, and hay rides up and down Pioneer Way (weather permitting).

Join the downtown merchants in supporting the middle school musicians as they earn their way to the Heritage National Music Festival.

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