By Polly Keary, Editor
As the Sky Valley transitions from summer into the holiday season, there are a lot of activities and events planned. Here’s where to go in the area to hear holiday music, attend a show, buy locally-made Christmas gifts and celebrate the season.
Murder Mystery Dinner Theater- Nov. 15-January
For an unusual and amusing meal with friends or a loved one, attend one of the many showings of “Murder at the Masquerade” at French Creek Manor outside Monroe this winter.
Presented by the national theater group The Murder Mystery Company, the dinner theater involves solving a mystery over a three-course meal. Audience members are encouraged to wear masquerade attire, including masks and costumes. Audience members don’t have to participate, but it’s recommended. Throughout the meal, there will be opportunities to get up, question suspects and gather clues, with tables working together to identify the culprit.
Ticket prices include the theater and a three-course dinner, with drinks and tips not included. The meal includes a salad, a choice of a beef, chicken or vegetarian entree and dessert.
Shows are scheduled several nights per week, and are selling out quickly. At press time, the earliest show with tickets still valuable is Nov. 15. Shows run through January.
For more information, see http://www.grimprov.com/Murder-Mystery-Dinner-Seattle/.
Sultan Harvest Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday, Nov. 22
This is an old town tradition in Sultan, where everyone in town is invited to join together at the Volunteers of America building to eat Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the trimmings, for free.
The event starts at noon and goes until 4 p.m. After dinner there will be games of checkers and gin rummy.
Donations are accepted and go to support the Volunteers of America
Wreath-making classes, beginning Friday, Nov. 24, through holidays
Beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving, wreath-making classes will be available daily at Monroe’s Pine Creek Nursery. There will be public classes, which anyone may join; call ahead to ask about the day and time that works best for you, and Pine Creek Nursery will work to accommodate you. There is a materials fee of $10. Private classes are also available for groups; contact Pine Creek to set up a fun and original company holiday party. The number to call is (360) 863-8866.
Light Up Monroe and Light Up Monroe Bazaar-Saturday, Nov. 24
Monroe’s annual downtown Christmas tree lighting and holiday celebration will take place at the corner of Lewis and Main on Saturday, Nov. 24 this year.
It will be an all-day event, including many downtown businesses. Beginning at 11 a.m., there will be a Holiday Bazaar at 206 W. Main Street next to the Main Clothing Company, as well as an evening Wine Walk along Main Street. The tree lighting will include a visit from Santa and holiday music. The community is invited to sip on hot cocoa, munch on kettle corn and sing carols with roving carolers. There will be live entertainment.
In the Mood-Nov. 30-Dec. 9
Each year, Sky Performing Arts creates a USO-style show of the kind that soldiers in World War II might have seen while serving abroad. The show is rewritten every year by Terry Simon, who also directs the play.
The show includes live big band music performed by a 17-piece band, playing songs from the 1940s.
Ticket prices are between $14 and $16, and show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Wagner Performing Arts Center on Main Street.
Northwest Equine Stewardship Holiday Bazaar-Saturday, Dec. 1
To support a local non-profit that rescues neglected and abandoned horses, attend the Northwest Equine Stewardship Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 1. There will be handcrafted gifts, a tack sale and a giving tree, a bake sale and cake walk, children’s activities, photos with Santa and raffles. The event runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Northwest Equine Stewardship Center at 9812 215th Ave. S.E. in Snohomish.
Proceeds from the event will go to support NWESC’s work of giving rehabilitation support to neglected horses. Visitors to the event will also get to interact with some of the horses the organization, spearheaded by Monroe veterinarian Hannah Evergreen, has assisted.
Sultan Winterfest, Saturday, Dec. 1
Sultan’s main winter event, the 21st Annual Sultan Winterfest, this year includes live music, craft booths, music, food, Santa photos and a health fair including free medical screening.
The event takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Sultan High School.
1st Annual Holiday Food and Gift Show Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9
For the first time this year, Monroe River Valley Farms will host a food and gift show with about 20 vendors selling handcrafted and locally-made gift items.
Paula Peak, owner of Paula’s Pepper Jelly and co-owner of River Valley Farms, will sell custom gift baskets and gift boxes, including such items as wine, chocolates, barbecue collections, hot sauce and more.
Other items will include natural soaps and bath products, scented soy candles, wine-related gifts, puppy toys, pottery, handbags, jewelry, and much more.
Admission and parking are free. The event takes place Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1-7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9 from noon to 6 p.m. at River Valley Farm, just south of the Lewis Street Bridge in Monroe off SR 203.
Sultan Community Christmas Caroling, Monday, Dec 17
This is the revival of a long-standing Sky Valley tradition of neighborhood caroling. Everyone is invited to meet at the Sky Valley Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. before heading out en masse to sing for the residents of the town.
Monroe Community Concert at Wagner Auditorium-Thursday Dec. 20.
The Monroe Community Concert Band will give a performance at the Wagner Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. This is an annual performance of holiday music.