By Polly Keary, Editor
Leaves are turning and the bright colors herald the Sky Valley’s busiest season. In coming weeks, there will be holiday and autumn events galore, from church bazaars to choir performances, from Mexican rodeos to comedy shows.
Here is a preview of some of the activities and entertainment opportunities on the agenda for the Sky Valley this season.
Night on the town
Live music is ongoing at the Paradise Tavern on Main Street in Monroe, but the Slaughterhouse Lounge is also having live music and dancing several times this fall and winter.
On the schedule at the Slaughterhouse are:
The Marlin James Band
Sat. Nov. 23, 9 p.m.
Marlin James is a local country musician who has traveled between the Sky Valley and Nashville to work on his music performance and songwriting career.
Sat. Dec. 21 9 p.m.
This is the Slaughterhouse’s third annual Christmas Party, featuring retro-rockers MagicBus. The Seattle-based band has been touring for 21 years.
New Year’s Eve with Whiskey River
Tues. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.
Ring in the New Year with Whiskey River, a regionally-renowned Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band.
Wanted Dead or Alive: Mystery Dinner Theater
Nov. 2-Jan. 11, shows at 5 or 7 p.m. at the French Creek Manor, 9931 167th Ave. S.E. in Snohomish.
French Creek Manor is a destination for murder mystery theater buffs, and this fall and winter, a new Western-themed mystery opens called Wanted Dead or Alive. For more information, see http://www.grimprov.com/wanted-murder-mystery-dinner.
Traditional Mexican Rodeo
Sat. Nov. 9, 2-11 p.m. at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.
These traditional Mexican rodeos draw thousands to the fairgrounds several times each year. Expect horse dancing exhibitions, bull riding contests, live music and lots of vendors and food.
Comedy show at The Slaughterhouse Lounge
Sat. Nov. 16, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
19829 168th St. S.E., Monroe.
Nationally-famed comedian Stephanie Blum will appear with two other comedians as yet to be announced at the Slaughterhouse Lounge just off Lewis Street across the river, Saturday, Nov. 16.
Blum began her comedy career after winning the New York’s Funniest Teacher contest. Since then, she’s won numerous national awards, been a finalist on CBS’s Star Search, and has appeared regularly on television comedy shows such as HBO’s Comedy Minutes.
Tickets are $20 for the three-hour show. Call (425) 501-7563 for details and reservations.
Sultan Harvest Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Thursday, Nov. 28 at the VOA, 701 First St., Sultan.
A significant percentage of Sultan’s population is involved with the town’s Thanksgiving Dinner each year, whether as volunteer cooks and servers, diners, or both. There’s a full Thanksgiving meal with all the traditional dishes, then activities for kids and visits with Santa.
Monroe Christian School Christmas Pageant
Fri. Dec. 6 at Wagner Performing Arts Center, Main Street, Monroe.
This Christmas pageant is open to the public, and will take place in the Wagner Performing Arts Center, Monroe’s historic theater.
Winterfest and Tree Lighting
Sat. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Sultan High School.
More than 40 craft booths will sell handcrafted goods at Winterfest, as local school groups perform throughout the day and the Sultan Education Foundation serves chili, soups and more.
Santa will be there for visits and photos.
In the Mood
Dec. 13-14 and 15, 7 p.m. at Wagner Performing Arts Center, 639 W. Main St., Monroe.
This annual World War II USO-style show is rewritten every year by Terry Simon and performed by Sky Performing Arts, featuring music from the Big Band era.
Community Christmas Caroling
Mon. Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m. carolers meet at the Sultan Visitor Information Center, 320 Main St.
Join others from the community for a traditional caroling jaunt through the neighborhood, singing carols in the streets of Sultan.
Monroe Concert Band Community Concert
Thurs. Dec. 19, 7 p.m., Wagner Performing Arts Center, 639 W. Main St., Monroe.
The Monroe Community Concert Band will do their annual winter concert.
Bazaars and craft fairs
Even the person who has everything can’t already have the one-of-a-kind items available at bazaars and craft fairs. These local events are a great place to shop for a gift for anyone, including yourself.
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church Fall Bazaar
Nov. 15-16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
36817 143rd Pl. S.E., Startup
The fall bazaar will feature locally-made handcrafted items in many different mediums including woodworking, crocheting, knitting, painting, card and jewelry-making and a bake sale. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days during the bazaar. Tickets for the raffle of a large Victorian dollhouse will also be for sale; proceeds go to support the global relief work of the Lutheran church.
Northwest Equine Stewardship Center Holiday Bazaar
Sat. Nov. 23. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
307 N. Madison and W. Hill St. (Next to Abbey Antiques), Monroe.
For a gift that benefits both receiver and horses in the care of the Northwest Equine Stewardship Center rescue and rehabilitation program, visit their annual holiday bazaar. There will vendors selling handcrafted items, refreshments, food service, and activities.
On the scene will also be a Santa pony for photos with the kids.
Morningstar Lutheran Alternative Gift Fair
Sat. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Frank Wagner Learning Center on Main Street in Monroe, in the gym.
This annual event features gifts that do good to more than just the recipient. Goods made by artisans in support of local and global non-profits abound at this fair, which also features live music and hot food.
East County Senior Center Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair
Sat. Dec. 7, 276 Sky River Parkway, Monroe. Call (360) 794-6359 for information on hours.
The long-running bazaar features crafts made by some of the valley’s most experienced hands, and the fair benefits the senior center.
Annual Evergreen State Fairgrounds Homespun Holiday Bazaar
Dec. 7-8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Building #400
The large annual holiday bazaar that has taken place at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds since 2009 will return this year with more homemade crafts, snacks, photo opportunities and family activities.