While the downtown Aberdeen events have been downsized this year, Winterfest activities at the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport are being expanded to cover two long weekends: Dec. 6-8 and 12-15.
That’s partly because Lady Washington will be visiting her home port during that time, according to Brandi Bednarik, the Seaport’s executive director. Dockside tours and a couple of midafternoon sailing outings will be offered (see event calendar on this page for details), but she notes that no tours will be available Dec. 12-13 because of very low tides.
Except for the tall ship tours and sailing, all of activities at the Seaport will take place indoors, at the facility’s event center. The theme will be “Days of Magic,” Harry Potter style.
So the old man you see there with the white beard might be Kris Kringle – or it might be Albus Dumbledore. “We’ll see,” Bednarik winked.
“When everybody comes in, we’re going to hand them a ‘You’ve been accepted to Hogwarts’ letter,” she said, “and on the back will be a full schedule.”
Hogwarts-inspired classes (herbology, wand-making and more) and Harry Potter movie showings are just part of the fun scheduled over the next two weekends. A Yule Ball will be held this Saturday evening, with music by the Olson Band and prizes awarded for the best themed costumes.
Arts and crafts will include ornament making, figurine painting, stocking decoration and more.
“We do a lot of crafts here because we have a concrete floor. People can bring their kids and do glitter and paint, and we don’t have to worry about the mess,” said Bednarik. “It’s geared to all ages, from preschoolers on up. And usually the whole family ends up making things together.”
Board games will be set out for visitors to play most days, and bingo (with prizes including local gift certificates) will be offered Dec. 14. “If we get enough people interested, we’ll get a Harry Potter trivia contest going,” she said.
Beverages available for sale every day will include apple cider, soda, hot cocoa, water, pumpkin juice and butter beer. (At the Yule Ball, beer and wine also will be sold within a designated area.) Foods will include cotton candy, popcorn, Harry Potter-themed candies, hot dogs and pizza.
Those planning to watch a Potter film should bring their own camp or folding chairs. Also, most of the classes will carry a small fee ($3 to $5 each) to help cover the cost of materials used.
Bednarik is hoping to draw enough visitors – and volunteers – to continue the same theme next year.
“This is actually the first year I’ve been able to get more than one or two volunteers,” she said, adding that she’s hoping to recruit more to help with this and future events at the Seaport. “We pay in food and sailing tickets.”
For event updates, check the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport’s event pages on Facebook.