This year’s Christmas will be one unlike any the country has seen in a century, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be a festive one.
The coronavirus pandemic means that in-person events are either postponed or have been moved online. But several socially-distant events are still happening around the Valley.
The Eastside Fire and Rescue holiday drive is still happening. The department is collecting food and toys to benefit the Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank, Hopelink and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Donations have been challenging this year amid the pandemic and social distancing. Cash donations can be made on the Eastside Firefighters Benevolent Fund website.
On Dec. 5, the North Bend Downtown Foundation hosted a live tree lighting with Mayor Rob McFarland and a cutout of Buddy the Elf. The 18-foot Noble Fir was donated by the Christmas Creek Christmas Tree Farm, and Tanner Electric donated time to string the tree lights. A video of the event can be found on the Foundation’s Facebook page.
The Foundation has also released the Hometown Holly Days countdown, which showcases various businesses in North Bend.
The city of North Bend is also hosting a holiday lights contest. Applicants should have submitted their applications by Dec. 10, and the city will be releasing a map of winners. Residents can drive to the locations on the map to soak in the holiday ambiance.
And while residents check out the lights, they can swing by the North Bend Theatre and tune in to a broadcast of the classic Cinnamon Bear Radio Show. Two 15-minute episodes will play each day from Dec. 12 to Dec. 24.
The broadcast will be on 89.1 FM. The broadcast will be audible within a two-block radius of the theater at 125 Bendigo Blvd. N. Concessions will be available for purchase from the theater between 5 and 8 p.m. daily.
In Snoqualmie, the Yuletide Express is back in action, with tickets available for 25-minute holiday excursions. These begin at the Snoqualmie Depot and travel to the Snoqualmie Falls.
To the north, the Carnation Chamber of Commerce is holding a scavenger hunt that began on Dec. 5 and will run through Dec. 20. More information can be found at www.carnationchamber.com.