An Edmonds kind of (holi)day

Bright lights, trolleys, boats and more bring cheer to downtown
By Brian Soergel | Dec 21, 2017
Photo by: Brian Soergel The Puget Sounds Strummers cheered those walking – and dancing – along Fifth Avenue South outside of The Wooden Spoon.

It’s hard to feel like Scrooge in downtown Edmonds in December. I tried, but it didn’t take.

On Saturday, I hopped into the open-air Holiday Trolley for a loop-de-loop from the Edmonds Museum, down Main Street, east on Walnut and north on Fifth Avenue South back to the museum.

Conductor Kenny Gilbert encouraged those on board to warble along with tinny holiday tunes crackling from the trolley’s speakers. A few joined in, while others were content to play tourist.

The trolley is courtesy of MTR Western, a charter bus and shuttle service in Seattle that runs tourist trolleys in the big city during summer.

Gilbert lives in Covington, so he drives the trolley up I-5 to toodle around Edmonds. He takes his job seriously – he wears a tie – but also not seriously, if that makes sense.

“I get a lot of stares on the freeway,” he said. “A lot of honks and thumb-ups. It’s a fun gig.”

Also enjoying the ride was Emily Scott, a member of the Edmonds Historic Preservation Committee. This year is her first as the trolley’s brightly colored elf – she said she spotted an ad for the position and thought it’d be a good fit. It definitely was, as her engaging smile welcomed visitors on and off the trolley.

She handed candy canes to kids and to any adults who wanted one. I wanted one. It was sweet in a yucky way, but not a bit stale.

So, if you’re thinking Edmonds is heaps more festive during the holidays than it used to be, you’re onto something.

It's not by Santa’s design. The trolley is an outgrowth of joint efforts by the city and the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (the uppercase ED!) to enhance holiday activities and offerings in downtown Edmonds, Economic Director/Community Services Director Patrick Doherty said.

Also, there's money in them thar tourists.

“The trolley, together with the holiday market, carolers, other events and substantially increased holiday advertising all resulted from these efforts that we started beefing up about three years ago,” he said.

The trolley is underwritten by sponsors - shoutout to Comstock Jewelers, HouseWares, Rick Steves’ Europe and Walnut Street Coffee.

The trolley began its run on Dec. 2, running every 30 minutes on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The last day is Dec. 23.

Musical notes

New this year in Edmonds was “Jingle Those Bells,” a caroling contest held in the patio area of Red Twig on Fifth Avenue South. Five groups competed, with the Holy Rosary Christmas Carolers taking first place.

Another musical event was held Dec. 16 in front of The Wooden Spoon, where owner Jenny Shore’s holiday tradition marked its 17th year. Playing holiday favorites were members of the Puget Sound Strummers, a ukulele group.

There also was music at the city of Edmonds’ Holiday Market, held Saturdays in November and December (the last one was Dec. 16).

But there’s still time to catch all the festiveness in Edmonds, as businesses are aglow in holiday cheer and the tree at Centennial Plaza lights up every night.

Another light-filled spot can be found at the Edmonds Marina, where numerous owners decorate their boats every year.

Happy holidays.



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