Elves added to holiday happenings in Langley

Expect to see a lot of little green people this weekend.

And maybe one big red jolly guy.

One Santa and two elf events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mark the beginning of many weekend seasonal and shopping specials around South Whidbey.

Langley’s Holly Jolly Parade starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, an hour later than past years. The annual parade includes musicians, service and youth groups, pets, families and many others. The Chamber of Commerce has been wooing many groups and businesses to join in to make it the largest Christmas parade ever.

Santa Claus is expected to appear in the parade depending on global warming conditions.

Langley’s ship also comes in Saturday with the first of many weekend visits by the San Juan Clipper. The Clipper cruise company is once again featuring its Christmas Ship venture that leaves downtown Seattle bound for Langley on four weekends in December.

The company bills the trip as “a uniquely Pacific Northwest Christmas experience in the seaside town of Langley on Whidbey Island.”

Elves are now part of the package.

“With the Clipper Vacation cruises coming to Langley every weekend starting in December, bringing 400 people each weekend, the city is making an extra effort to bolster the holiday spirit with music throughout the town and children ambassadors dressed as elves,” said Inge Morascini, executive of the Langley Chamber of Commerce.

Expect hundreds more people to be out and about exploring, shopping, perusing art galleries and eating and sipping at local restaurants, bars and brewery. Ship passengers arrive at 11:45 a.m. and depart at 4:45 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 22.

Dec. 1 is also Langley’s First Saturday Art Walk from 5 to 7 p.m. Galleries are hosting holiday receptions, debuting new shows and emphasizing artwork suitable for gifts. Surrounding stores are also staying up later that evening for a chance to Shop & Stroll.

The annual Deck The Doors contest is inspiring many downtown merchants to get dressed up in their greenery best as they compete for prize money.

This weekend is the last chance to catch Country Christmas at The Fair. Friday through Sunday, the Coffman Building at Island County Fairgrounds will be filled with unique gifts, refreshments, holiday music and kids’ crafts. Hours are 12-7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2. Admission is free.

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