The holidays are always a special time of year for me and being in Sumner makes it all the more special. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first Hometown Holidays Celebration as the Executive Director of the Sumner Downtown Association. I'd like to share my perspective with you through this story.
The smell of fresh brewed Green Mountain Coffee filled the air as early Christmas shoppers made their way to Sumner's Hometown Holiday Celebration. Merchant windows were decked out with holiday decor' and even a little something special for those paying attention; Norman Rockwell Live Windows as Art, presented by ManeState Theatre.
Five merchants chose to participate in this year's special Hometown Holiday window displays; designed to charm and intrigue passers by. FolkArt Gathering hosted "Twas the Night Before Christmas" depicting two sleeping children in a chair with Santa spying from around the side.
The "Truth About Santa" showed one child's amazement at finding Santa's red suit in his father's dresser drawer - hosted by The Whistle-Stop Antique Store.
Another fun holiday theme hosted by Simple Tidings & Kitchen was entitled "Day After Thanksgiving" and portrayed a very tired out chef who sat energy depleted after preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Just up the block at the New England Saltbox, "Day After Christmas" showed one very exhausted Santa taking a long deserved nap in his chair.
Finally, Van Lierop Garden Market welcomed visitors "Home For The Holidays" as family members greeted one another at the front door.
The Windows as Art were all live portrayals of a specific Norman Rockwell holiday print. Use of Norman Rockwell's name required the Sumner Downtown Association to request copy right permission through the Norman Rockwell Foundation. ManeStage Theatre was hired to provide the actors and rein-act each theme identical to the Rockwell prints selected for this years Hometown Holiday Celebration.
Very true to life and to the era presented in each print, adult and children actors spent two long hours in the sun heated windows as they recreated these themes. No sooner had the ManeStage actors finished their window duty when some connected up with the Dickens Carolers who then strolled the Main Street of Sumner for two hours of caroling. What a great way to welcome in the holiday season and what a wonderful presentation by ManeStage Theatre.
Those with an interest in food were not disappointed either as Sumner welcomed back Housewife Hotdogs (Gourmet Hotdog vendor), a Kettle Corn vendor and new to Sumner, Jawa Bavarian Cinnamon Roasted Nuts. Berryland and Sorci's both had revolving doors as well making this day in Sumner good for both merchants and restaurants alike.
Another fun addition was caricature artist Michae lFletcher of Seattle. Even I had a drawing done and my friends said it looks just like me.
John Rader and his associate from Green Mountain Coffee set up a coffee stand in front of the New England Saltbox. Here they served specialty K-cup coffees with their Keurig coffee maker as well as hot cider. Donations were accepted and will be contributed to the Sumner Food Bank. Mid-day, Green Mountain Coffee was serenaded by the ManeStage Dickens Carolers drawing more folks to the already gathered crowd.
Sumner has incredible charm and most especially around the holidays. Next week, the City of Sumner Public Works, the Sumner Rotary and the Sumner Arts Commission, along with some hometown community volunteers, will begin decorating the downtown Main Street.
The Sumner Downtown Association has ordered 12 new snowflakes to replace the ones that are no longer working. This purchase was made possible through funds raised during our Holiday Green and Poinsettia Fundraiser supported through Windmill Gardens. With the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse Annual Bridge Lighting just weeks away, and the Santa Parade soon to follow, Sumner is already showing signs of the holiday spirit. It is my wish that each of you begin to feel that stirring in your hearts as well and find a way to share it with others.
If you attended our Hometown Holiday Celebration, your input is highly regarded and welcome. We know there are a few bugs to resolve such as the advertised time of the Live Windows as Art. SDA, and the Sumner merchants will do our best to make improvements and correct our challenges from this year to make next year's Hometown Holiday Celebration the best ever.
We'd like to thank John Rader and Green Mountain Coffee for always showing amazing support to the Sumner downtown, the merchants and the Sumner Food Bank. We want to thank those vendors who agreed to join us and we especially thank all who came to Sumner, shopped local and helped us kick off the holiday season.
Finally, we want to express our thanks and appreciation to ManeStage Theatre Company for their professionalism and creativity. ManeStage will be presenting their production "White Christmas" beginning November 24th through December 16th. It promises to be another outstanding production for all ages. For more information please go to www.manestagetheatre.com
Here's a little something to add to your calendar: On December 1st between 11 am and 2 PM (just before the Santa Parade), ManeStage Theatre will host FREE photos with Santa, sponsored by Sauro's Photography and Union Bank of Sumner. Children will be photographed on a first come first serve basis. So come....spend some time in Sumner and celebrate the holidays!