Annual celebration includes Santa, fireworks, much more
File photo by Laurelle Walsh
Celebrate Christmas at the End of the Road in Winthrop on Friday and Saturday.
The snow arrived on cue. Santa is booked for his annual appearance. The fireworks show will again erupt from a hilltop just west of downtown.
It’s Christmas at the End of the Road, Winthrop’s annual community celebration of the season. The free event starts on Friday (Nov. 27), but most of the activities are on Saturday (Nov. 28).
At 5 p.m. on Friday, Morning Glory Balloons will inflate and light a hot air balloon on Riverside Avenue in downtown Winthrop. Watching the burner flames won’t make you any warmer, but it is fascinating.
Saturday will feature caroling, holiday music, horse-drawn carriage rides and all-day shopping. Many local businesses will offer prize drawings. When you’re out strolling, warm your hands by the “campfires” tended by the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association.
You can start the morning off with a brisk workout by taking part in the End of the Road 5-kilometer run or a 1K kids’ fun run. Cost is $5 for the 5K, $1 for the 1K. Early registration is on Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Cascades Outdoor Store, or on race day from 9-9:45 a.m. at the Winthrop Ice & Sports Rink. The race starts at 10 a.m. from the rink. Proceeds benefit the Liberty Bell High School cross-country team.
At noon, Santa will make his entrance from … somewhere downtown. Keep your eyes peeled.
From 1 – 4 p.m., hop on a horse-drawn wagon and ride from downtown to the Winthrop Barn for the Children’s Winter Fest. The Winthrop Kiwanis will offer free Santa photos from 1 – 4 p.m., along with hot chocolate and cookies. The Winthrop Barn Association will be selling hot dogs, chips and drinks.
At 5 p.m., watch the town light up with the decorative strands outlining every downtown building. The fireworks begin at 6 p.m., this year sponsored by the Winthrop Evergreen IGA Market and other local contributions from businesses and individuals.
There will also be a holiday gift show and artists’ reception at Winthrop Gallery from 5 – 7 p.m.
At Trail’s End Bookstore, children’s book author Hannah Viano will lead a kids’ story time from 2 – 4 p.m. Local author and illustrator Erik Brooks will do signings and readings from 1 – 3 p.m. And local author Peter Donahue (Madison House, Clara and Merritt) will be in the store from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to talk about a new book about the history of the Methow Valley, Seven Years on the Pacific Slope, that he edited in collaboration with Sheela McLean.
If you want to get out of the cold after the fireworks, check out folksinger Debbie Miller at Old Schoolhouse Brewery beginning at 7 p.m. It’s free.
And thanks to an early snowfall, Methow Trails has groomed many of its trails already. Visit www.methowtrails.org for complete details.