There’s no shortage of fun holiday events on Bainbridge Island, and one of my favorites is Winter Wonderland, which takes place at Waterfront Park each year.
I sat down with Ashley Miller, Recreation Program Manager at Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation District (BIMPRD) to learn a bit more about the event. It began four years ago as a collaboration between several Bainbridge Island organizations—the Downtown Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Parks & Recreation Department, and the Senior Center. It was a huge success and is now presented by the Parks & Recreation District and the Senior Center, who work tirelessly throughout the year to provide a variety of fun and entertaining programs for our local and visiting communities.
Ashley and a slew of volunteers began preparing for Winter Wonderland in late November, when they strung lights all around Waterfront Park, and with the assistance of PSE’s bucket truck, they also decorated the large evergreen in the park, which will be featured in a tree lighting ceremony at 5pm. In addition to the tree lighting, there will be ice sculpting, face painting, balloon clowns, holiday crafts, Santa and Mrs. Clause, as well as cider, cookies, s’mores, Grub Hut Food Truck, musical performances, lighted boats and much more.
Start the evening with a donation at the Helpline House booth (they’re very much in need of non-perishable food items) and receive a glow-stick bracelet.
Grab your friends and family and take your holiday photo inside the “ice frame” sculpture—ice sculptor, James Royal, will begin carving his masterpiece at 3pm.
Stop by the Senior Center for cider, cookies and hot cocoa and visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause.
Peruse handmade crafts and gifts with the Girl Scout Troop 44331, as well as games and crafts sponsored by BIMPRD and partial sponsor, Costco.
*Meet Orion, the Great Horned Owl.
Take a stroll through the luminaire lit pathways—volunteers from the BIMPRD Active Adult Program and The Mosaic School will be on hand to teach you how to make your own luminaire—then head down for s’mores in the park, presented by Mosaic School. Wondering what all those lights at City Dock are about? Meander down to see the lighted boats, presented by Eagle Harbor Yacht Club, visitors will be greeted warmly with holiday cheer and cups of hot chocolate.
At 5pm, The Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Island Association and Mayor Kol Medina will introduce and welcome the delegation from our sister city, Ometepe, Nicaragua.
Don’t forget your Bainbridge Island 2019 Holiday Guide—you can still enter to win one of five $500.00 shopping sprees and a drawing for a child’s gift (see the Holiday Guide for participating merchants), as well as the hunt for the hidden Elf on the Shop Shelf, for each Elf your child finds, they’ll receive a stamp, collect 10 or more stamps and drop your entry off at Calico Toy Shoppe to receive a small treat (see the Holiday Guide for additional details/rules and stamp collecting form).
*Orion was hatched in 2006, and was permanently injured when he fell from his nest. Fortunately for Orion, Mike Pratt, BIMPRD Park Maintenance Coordinator, biologist and outreach naturalist with 30 years of hands-on experience was able to take Orion in and provide him a permanent home at Mike’s registered wildlife habitat. Orion is not a pet, but he has performed in over 290 education programs throughout his life, to learn more about Orion and Mike, click here.
This event is sponsored by Home Street Bank and Puget Sound Energy.
*Images provided by Ashley Miller, BIP&R and taken by Bob and Dorothy Rosenbladt