Annual Winthrop celebration kicks off Friday
Walk (or run) off the Thanksgiving stuffing this weekend at Winthrop’s annual kick-off to the winter holiday season, Christmas at the End of the Road.
Festivities begin Friday (Nov. 29) for this year’s Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas, with two days of family-friendly activities ranging from traditional to uniquely Methow. Christmas at the End of the Road invites community members and visitors to enjoy shopping, food, music, the outdoors and a fireworks display.
The celebration starts with storytelling by Granny Winthrop from 2-4 p.m. Friday at Trail’s End Bookstore. After dark descends, downtown Winthrop will glow with color when Morning Glory Balloons inflates a hot air balloon on Riverside Avenue from 5-6 p.m.
Enjoy live music at the Methow Valley Ciderhouse and Old Schoolhouse Brewery beginning at 6 p.m. Or head over to the Winthrop Rink between 6-8 p.m. to skate with Santa. Regular rink fees apply.
Saturday (Nov. 30) offers a full day of fun that begins with the End of the Road 5K Run, and a 1K Kids’ Fun Run, starting at 10 a.m. at the Winthrop Ice Rink. Early registration for the race is at Cascades Outdoor Store on Friday (from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) or on the day of the race at the ice rink from 9-9:45 a.m. Registration is $5 for the 5K and $1 for the 1K, with proceeds benefitting Cascadia Music.
Saturday offers an opportunity for holiday shopping at local stores, with many offering treats and extended business hours. Shoppers will have a chance to win a gift certificate worth $50, $100 or $200 that can be used at Winthrop stores, hotels or restaurants. Shoppers can enter their names for the raffle at participating businesses throughout the day.
The Winthrop Chamber of Commerce will be offering for sale mugs by local potter Emily Post, and tote bags by local manufacturer eqpd, both with the Winthrop logo. The mugs and bags will be available at the Winthrop Visitor Information Center, which will also be serving free hot chocolate.
At noon, Santa makes his appearance in downtown Winthrop and then heads over to the Winthrop Barn to visit with children from 1-4 p.m. as part of the Children’s Winter Fest. Free Santa photos will be provided by the Winthrop Kiwanis, and hot chocolate, cider, cookies, hot dogs and chili will be offered for purchase by the Women’s Auxiliary and Winthrop Auditorium Association. Horse-drawn wagon rides will shuttle people between downtown and the Barn during the afternoon.
Warm your fingers and toes at campfires along Riverside Avenue, courtesy of the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association, beginning at 3 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit with carolers, who will meet at Town Hall at 3 p.m. and carol along the main street until 5 p.m.
The town will light up at 5 p.m. with the annual town lighting ceremony, when local businesses turn on, all at once, hundreds of white LED lights decorating their storefronts.
At 6 p.m., the sky above Winthrop will explode in color as the annual fireworks extravaganza begins. The fireworks will last about 15 minutes, and the best place to see them is from downtown. The fireworks are made possible through sponsorship by Winthrop Ace Hardware and the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, donations from local businesses and work of local volunteers, said organizer Doug Mohre. He advises people that their dogs may not appreciate fireworks like their people do, and might be best left at home.
Saturday’s festivities wind up with live music at Sun Mountain Lodge and Methow Valley Ciderhouse, beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more events in the valley this weekend, check the What’s Happening calendar page on page A8.
Christmas at the End of the Road schedule:
Friday, Nov. 29
- 2-4 p.m., storytelling at Trail’s End Bookstore with Granny Winthrop
- 5-6 p.m., hot air balloon glow on Riverside Avenue by Morning Glory Balloons
- 6-8 p.m., skate with Santa at the Winthrop Rink (fees apply)
- 6 p.m., live music begins at Methow Valley Ciderhouse and Old Schoolhouse Brewery
Saturday, Nov. 30
- 10 a.m., End of the Road 5K and 1K Kids Fun Run, starting and ending at the Winthrop Ice Rink
- Noon, Santa arrives in downtown Winthrop
- 1-4 p.m., Children’s Winter Fest at the Winthrop Barn, with Santa visits and free Santa photos, beverages and snacks for purchase, and wagon rides to and from downtown.
- 3 p.m., campfires along Riverside Avenue
- 3-5 p.m., caroling along Riverside Avenue, meet at Town Hall to join in
- 5 p.m., town lighting ceremony on Riverside Avenue
- 6 p.m., fireworks extravaganza
- 6:30 p.m., live music begins at Sun Mountain Lodge and the Methow Valley Ciderhouse