A shiny red fire truck pulled up to the Downtown Marketplace in Lake Stevens last Saturday night bringing with it a jolly old man in a bright red suit. Santa Claus joined city residents in the 25th annual tree lighting and Winterfest celebration by singing Christmas carols and welcoming little ones to sit on his lap.
Five-year-old Katie was curious about whether or not she would be receiving any gifts this Christmas. “Have I been good this year?” she inquired of Santa.
Santa reassured her that she had indeed been a good girl and asked her to leave him a treat on Christmas Eve. “Can you leave me a little hot chocolate?” he asked Katie.
While children waited for their turn on Santa’s lap receiving candy canes and stuffed toys, the Kiwanis Key Club and Boy Scout Troop 41 helped kids make Christmas crafts and served hot cocoa and cookies. The Lake Stevens Kiwanis sponsors the annual event and long-time resident Jack Sahlbom donates the tree from his property.
“We love our children and our community,” Kiwanis President Darwin Smith said. “Joy is what we are all about.” Earlier in the day the 23rd annual Dickens Fair was held at Cavelero Mid High School. Local vendors sold their handmade wares to holiday shoppers, some dressed in Dickens era clothing.
“I enjoy doing what I love and sharing my talent with the community,” first time Dickens Fair merchant Katie Wiser said.
Students from every local school entertained the crowds with music throughout the day. “It’s a great fair because of the choirs and bands bringing the people in, it’s a lot of fun,” vendor Lesley Mattson said.
If all of that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, the Lake Stevens Firefighters held their sixth annual Tips for Firefighters event at Ixtapa in Lake Stevens that evening.
Local firefighters waited on tables and collected donations to ensure local families receive Christmas gifts. Each year the firefighters have collected around $5,000 during their Ixtapa event. They also use union dues to give families gift cards for grocery stores to provide food for their holiday meals. Each year the event helps between 12 and 20 families.
“We try to find different ways to serve in our community, this is one way we can give back,” Firefighter and event coordinator Pat Cook said. “We are always looking to do something different.”
The folks at Ixtapa look forward to the event every year. “It’s fun for the whole community and we like to help,” Eddie Barajas of Ixtapa said. “It’s a lot of fun seeing the people interact with the firefighters.”