A Coupeville Christmas sheds light on shoulder season

Coupeville may be heading into its quiet season, but things don’t appear to be slowing down for the tourism-driven town.

The community is launching a new promotion, A Coupeville Christmas, this weekend with the hopes of attracting visitors during the shoulder season.

“We’ve really been brainstorming ways to entertain and attract people to downtown,” said Lynda Eccles, executive director of the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce. “The shops look so beautiful right now with all their lights and decorations.

“We hope to bring awareness during the shoulder season that activities are happening in Coupeville.”

Kicking off this weekend with Sip ‘n’ Shop on the Cove and the Gingerbread Workshop, A Coupeville Christmas will serve as an umbrella that highlights a month of smaller activities similar to The Haunting of Coupeville.

The Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association is adding a few events this December for the promotion.

“We try to provide events to get people down to enjoy our historic district and, in turn, that helps the businesses,” said Vickie Chambers, executive director of the association.

The Coupeville Chamber of Commerce will promote activities such as the Greening of Coupeville, Jingle Trail Run, Saratoga Orchestra and a caroling competition, ending with the Red Ticket Drawing Sunday, Dec. 18.


Saturday, Nov. 26

As part of Small Business Saturday, participants will sample wine, spirits and food from eight Whidbey Island wineries and distilleries and a handful of Coupeville restaurants, bakeries, caterers and stores. The first 200 people will get a bag with a Sip ‘n’ Shop wine glass and a passport full of discounts for that day and future visits to town, Eccles said.

The event is headquartered at the Rec Hall, but participants are encouraged to go downtown and visit Coupeville shops. Tickets are $20 and the event runs 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26.


Sunday, Nov. 27

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Coupeville Rec Hall, the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association will host its annual Gingerbread Workshop.

When it comes to creating a structurally-sound gingerbread house, timing is key.

“We learned this the first year,” Chambers said. “When you glue your walls together, you have to wait 24 hours for it to harden.

“Ours come ready-to-decorate.”

The family-friendly event offers free kits and all the fixings to make that Candy Land dream creation.

The beloved community event is sponsored by the association and many community partners. Private donors and local businesses help purchase the kits, candy and icing. The workshop is also held in conjunction with the Gingerbread Challenge, which is sponsored by the Coupeville Library and The Whidbey Examiner.

“We really encourage people from our creations to take them up to the library,” Chambers said.

Starting Sunday, the library will be accepting submissions for the challenge. The community is invited to come in and vote on their favorites until Saturday, Dec. 17. Winners for best adult, child and people’s choice entry will be announced during the Red Ticket drawing Dec. 18.


Saturday, Dec. 3

This will be a day chockfull of events from the annual Jingle Trail Run at Camp Casey, church bazaars, art shows, craft events at the library to the grand finale holiday parade and tree lighting. The parade starts at 4 p.m. on South Main Street and travels down Front Street.

After the parade, a large crowd gathers at Cook’s Corner Park for caroling and the tree lighting.

Afterward, people often wander down to the wharf to see the lighted boat parade from the Oak Harbor Yacht Club.


Saturday, Dec. 10

Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island presents a family-friendly musical event featuring an Instrument Petting Zoo and performance of “Peter and the Wolf.”

Beginning one hour prior, musicians will demonstrate musical instruments of the orchestra and a number of instruments will be available for a “hands-on” experience for both the young and young-at-heart. Composed by Sergei Prokofiev in 1936, “Peter and the Wolf” features characters that is each represented by various musical instruments, and local favorite, David Ossman, will be bringing the story to life through narration. A sing-along of your favorite and festive Christmas carols is also on the program. The event begins 10 a.m. with the petting zoo in the Coupeville High School Commons.


Saturday, Dec. 10

Santa will be downtown 12-3 p.m., landing his sleigh at the steps of the Island County Historical Museum. The event, sponsored by the historic waterfront association, is free and open to anyone. Coupeville Santa Paul Messner will pose for pictures and be collection donations for Gifts From the Heart foodbank.

“We’re encouraging people to bring their own cameras,” Chambers said, but a photographer may be there to for professional services.


Saturday, Dec. 17

A new Coupeville holiday tradition that celebrates the season with good cheer, merry music, the caroling contest also draws donations for Central Whidbey nonprofit organizations. The historic waterfront association is inviting groups to represent any Central Whidbey nonprofit to carol from 1-3 p.m. in downtown Coupeville.

Groups should be four to 10 people and donations can be taken while caroling, Chambers said. The idea is to have groups set up around downtown and perform. People will register and vote at The Crow’s Roost on Grace Street. Prizes of $300 for first, $125 for second and $75 for third place will be awarded.

“I could see, as this grows, a group on every corner,” Chambers said. “The idea is to get some activity on the street and help these guys raise some money for their nonprofit.”

n For more information on any of these events, go to www.coupevillechamber.com