The holiday season is in full swing here in Petersburg, and if you’ve been following the Blog for any length of time you’ve seen some of the festive fun. This town is crazy about the holidays! It all begins around Thanksgiving, and if the promise of a tryptophan coma from Thanksgiving dinner isn’t enough, the Sons of Norway also hosts a Harvest Pot Luck dinner towards the end of November.
Featuring ham and smoked turkey, no respectable fishing community would have a dinner without some crab and smoked salmon too. With very very few restaurants open for dinner, pot luck dinners are fairly frequent events around town and everyone puts a lot of effort into their contributions. “Feast” is truly the right word for it. And since Jim loves to bake we usually bring one of his sweet creations.
The night after Thanksgiving, Santa leads the whole town in a parade down the main street for the town tree lighting. Some members of the high school band were playing holiday tunes and the Sons of Norway handed out cups of hot cider. One of our elderly veterans was chosen to throw the switch for this year’s tree – it’s a big tall beauty! One of the many benefits of living in a National Forest is that there are plenty of trees to choose from.
We had a pretty temperate fall, and even into early December the nearby (lower) mountains were still pretty naked. Finally the temps started to drop and the mountains got some snow, and when the overnight temperature got into the 20s we were gifted with some hoar frost – so beautiful!!
It didn’t last too long before the rain returned, but we had dry weather long enough for Jim to get the boat all decked out with Christmas lights.
He has the lights on timers so they come on in the dark mornings as well as in the afternoons – it really helps with the short daylight that we have.
Sometimes the holiday lights draw interest from the local wildlife – friends sent us photos of a buck that had someone’s lights tangled all around his antlers! Fortunately he dropped one antler a day later, though the tangle remained on the other one. His antlers and their decorations are now somewhere in the woods – and we’re glad that they didn’t cause him any problems. I’m sure someone in that neighborhood is wondering who took their lights!
All around town the holiday lights brighten the “dark days”, and many will leave their lights up well into January. Right now we’re down to about 7 hours of daylight, and when it’s overcast or rainy it doesn’t feel like much light at all. Reflective bands or flashing lights are popular, and we’re awaiting delivery of some new rechargeable lighted/reflective belts to improve our safety walking around in the dark.
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the dance troupe’s biennial presentation of the Nutcracker featuring 180 dancers ranging in age from 3 to 18. For a small community on an island, that’s a LOT of young people committing their time and talent to bring the production to the stage!
The little ones are my favorites – wave upon wave of heart-melting cuteness in tiny tutus or bow ties.
Personalities really shine during these performances, with some little tykes intently focused on their teacher, some doing their own thing, some directing the other children, and some suffering from stage fright. During “Little Chinese Tea” one little gal wasn’t happy about being on stage…
…and at one point she poked her head out…
…but it was a fleeting moment. She took one look at the audience and did her best imitation of a turtle, pulling her head back into her costume. The little guy next to her had to tug her sleeve when it was time to leave the stage.
The number of dancers en pointe seems to grow every year, elegant sparkly young ladies in toe shoes gliding around the stage.
Three hours of watching these wonderful young people – if that doesn’t make your heart melt and put a smile on your face I don’t know what will.