Lifestyle

Village revival: holiday cheer abounds at Blue Fox Drive-In

Dustin Theisen and dog, Raiden, visit Christmas Village Sunday, where visitors could find outdoor decorations, animals and Santa Claus.  - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Dustin Theisen and dog, Raiden, visit Christmas Village Sunday, where visitors could find outdoor decorations, animals and Santa Claus.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

Dozens bundled up against the cold weather this weekend to see Christmas Village reawakened, as Santa, Mrs. Claus and the holiday train returned to the Blue-Fox Drive In.

The popular destination lost its sponsorship four years ago, but a long-time fan and Home Depot manager, James Croft, was determined to bring it back.

“He decided to step up, help sponsor it and get it going again,” Blue Fox owner Darrell Bratt said.

The event mimicked a small village, with small playhouses for the children, Christmas trees, cider, a fire pit and a petting zoo. Visitors were enthusiastic.

“The kids like the train a lot,” Cindy Homolka said, who was visiting with her family Sunday. “Us big kids like the fire a lot.”

The Bratt family fixed up the miniature train on the drive-in grounds for the “Brattland Express Railroad.” For $1, children rode a train manned by Frosty the Snowman.

All of the familiar attractions had returned, and Bratt had kept the original decorations in storage.

Croft, who returned to Oak Harbor after managing Home Depot stores elsewhere, said he wanted to share his warm memories of the village with the next generation.

The event was also leant to a good cause: collecting food and cash donations for the North Whidbey Help House.

“Bring em’ on out and we’ll make sure they get there,” Bratt said.

The event continues Dec. 19 and 20, from 12 to 7 p.m., and Dec. 21 to 23, from 4 to 7 p.m. The Blue Fox Drive-In is located at 1403 Monroe Landing Rd. in Oak Harbor. Admission is free.

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