Celebrating the holidays in Grays Harbor County

What a delightful time of the year in Grays Harbor County. It’s bone-chilling cold, gloomy as gloomy can be and wet enough to seemingly water the world.

But that’s December in the Harbor. It’s also a festive time of the year with holiday-related events taking place all over the region, including WinterFest, Shop with a Cop and Festival of Lights.

WinterFest returned to downtown Aberdeen last weekend and was greeted with an enthusiastic and large crowd of shoppers and families who gathered to have some fun.

The Daily World reported that more than 500 people attended the WinterFest Holiday Market at the D&R Theatre Event Center, which featured the sale of raffle tickets for gift baskets.

The raffle, which served as a fundraiser for the Downtown Aberdeen Association, marked the first time the group has held one to raise money. Well it worked — the raffle generated about $2,500 in sales.

“We’ll put it back into our events, and hopefully we’ll be able to add more activities. It will go towards the different drawings we do throughout the year, so ultimately it will go back into the community,” said Downtown Aberdeen Association board member Bobbi McCracken.

WinterFest also proved to be a boon for some downtown businesses on Saturday, Dec. 4. One such business, Game Day Sports on I Street, hosted about 270 people at the restaurant in the morning for Breakfast with Santa where Rick Moyer of Moyer Multi Media LLC took more than 500 free photos of the event.

“It was really fun. Everybody seemed to be having a good time, there was a long line for photos with Santa,” said Tom Sutera, owner of Game Day Sports. “We’re a family-friendly business and we encourage them to come in.”

Shop with a Cop also took place last weekend with 60 elementary school children participating in the event hosted by Grays Harbor County law enforcement personnel. The event was not held last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating students were selected by their teachers, and then paired up with law enforcement personnel as they enjoyed a free breakfast and holiday shopping at Walmart.

“It is something we all enjoy and look forward to. Having a year off certainly made this year special,” said Sgt. Shane Krohn of the Hoquiam Police Department, who coordinated the event for the first time.

The festivities continue this weekend with Montesano taking center stage, as the Montesano Chamber of Commerce hosts the Festival of Lights Grand Parade at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

The parade route, which weaves its way through town, gives way to the Lighting of Yule Log at 7 p.m., followed by live music at Pub Monte featuring Matlock & the Keys.

While there are bound to be numerous other events, private and public, taking place this holiday season in the Harbor, we encourage y’all to be safe and mindful. Happy holidays!