EDITORS NOTE: This story was changed at 9:45 a.m. on 11/27 to reflect a change in location for the Thanksgiving Dinner.
The annual Christmas at the End of the Road festivities take over Winthrop this weekend with two days of family-oriented events. And it’s all free.
The events begin on Friday (Nov. 28) with storytelling by Granny Winthrop (Georgia Sanders) at Trail’s End Bookstore from 2 – 4 p.m. On Friday night, Morning Glory Balloon Tours will illuminate Riverside Avenue with “balloon glow” from 5 – 6 p.m.
Feeling sluggish after that Thanksgiving meal? Run off some the stuffing on Saturday (Nov. 29) in the Mule Deer Dash — a 1-kilometer fun run at 11 a.m., followed by a 5K run at 11:15 a.m. The course begins at the Winthrop Ice & Sports Rink and wends its way over the Spring Creek suspension bridge, through local neighborhoods and along Riverside Avenue. A donation of a canned good per participant is welcomed and encouraged. The food will be donated to The Cove food bank. Register for the event from 10 – 10:45 a.m. at the rink.
Santa makes his typically dramatic arrival at noon. At 1 p.m. the Children’s Winter Fest begins at the Winthrop Barn, where Santa will have his photo taken with the kids, courtesy of Winthrop Kiwanis. There will be hot chocolate, cookies, hot dogs and chili available for sale from the Winthrop Auditorium Association and the American Legion Auxiliary. The fest lasts until 4 p.m., and there will be tractor-pulled wagon rides between downtown and the Barn during the event.
Starting at 3 p.m., the burn barrels will be fired up on Riverside Avenue, sponsored by the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association. There will also be caroling on Riverside Avenue from 3 – 5 p.m. Participants should gather at Town Hall; music sheets will be provided.
The traditional town lighting will be at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. (weather permitting), the bluff west of downtown will light up with the annual fireworks extravaganza, organized by Doug Mohre of Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe and sponsored by Winthrop Evergreen IGA.
Downtown merchants will be open all day offering a wide array of seasonal gifts. Some will be offering prize drawings. For more information, call 996-2125.
Other events during Thanksgiving week:
• A community Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the Methow Valley United Methodist Church is being held at the Methow Valley Senior Center on Thursday (Nov. 27). The free event begins at noon. Turkey, ham and traditional side dishes will be served; potluck dish contributions are welcome. The senior center is located at 215 Highway 20 in Twisp. For more information, call Judy Tonseth at 997-5162. The dinner was originally scheduled to be held at the church, but an ongoing power outage caused a change in locations.
• A free community meal at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket on Sunday (Nov. 30) from 2 – 3 p.m. The meal includes meat and vegetarian options, several vegetable side dishes, pasta or potatoes, salad, soup, desserts and beverages. Donations are welcome. The free community meal will be served twice a month through March 2015, on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. For more information, call (509) 826-0100.
• A Thanksgiving day football party at Twisp River Suites (Seattle Seahawks versus the San Francisco 49ers). Serving begins at 4 p.m., kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. Call 997-0100 for reservations.
• A “Methow Made Tasting” featuring local food and drinks on Saturday from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Evergreen IGA in Winthrop.