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Today, we offer you Aaron Webster’s video of the crab fleet finally getting to leave port and set their pots. You can see how heavily laden the little boats are:

Time lapse crab fleet video

If you would like to see a video showing how the crabbers work when they are out there, here is one featuring the son-in-law of a friend of mine:

Life on the Water

Blessings to all crabbers.

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

After a late lunch at Salt Pub, we walked down Waterfront Way toward the field at the west end, where the crab pot tree awaited lighting.

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The star light over Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company

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folks walking toward the tree

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A circle started to form around the tree.

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The tree, assembled from stacked Dungeness crab pot and decorated with garlands, lights, and floats.

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Crab Pot Snowman

At 5 PM sharp, the tree was to be lit.  Our dear friend Jenna (Queen La De Da) was in charge of the lighting.  At the same time, “the world’s shortest fireworks display” began.

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The crowd clapped and cheered.

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You can see a video of the lighting here, by local photographer Janelle (Nellie) Hux.  Jenna, event organizer and tree lighter, says that the video shows almost a “Griswold moment” when the checked and re-checked electrical plug-in almost did not work.  She later had to explain the Griswold reference to me with THIS video.

The audience then turned to face the event tent, where writer Lynette McAdams read from her poem called A Coastal Christmas.  It’s a clever take-off on The Night Before Christmas, featuring Santa and his reindeer at the mouth of the Columbia River.  (You can buy a copy of the chapbook, beautifully illustrated and reasonably priced, at Time Enough Books at the Port or at NIVA green in Long Beach.)

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photo courtesy A Coastal Christmas

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Lynette reading A Coastal Christmas

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Illustrator Sally Lackaff and author Lynette McAdams of A Coastal Christmas

Behind us, the tree sparkled…

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The Ilwaco High School Choir led us in caroling…

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…including the classic Ilwaco carol, Crab Pot Tree.  (The tree is taller than fourteen feet this year.  Each year, the port crew strives to build it a little taller.)

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After a rainy morning and early afternoon, we were fortunate to be blessed with perfect evening weather.  With the last carol sung, the crowd walked east toward the port shops for some post-tree-lighting festivities.

Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company was open, a new and welcome addition to the event.

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Jessie’s retail fish shop

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Jessie’s festive window box

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Dungeness Crab, the star of the show

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To the right are three of the librarians from Ilwaco Timberland Library

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strolling east on Waterfront Way

We visited a new art gallery, Skywater, at the west end of the port.

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Skywater Gallery (north side)

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Skywater Gallery (south side)

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art by Don Nisbett

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inside Skywater Home and Gallery

Two tables were set up for making nautical Christmas ornaments with rope knots and painted sand dollars.

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Next door, at Salt Pub and Hotel, holiday red wines and bubbles were on offer.

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the festive Salt lobby

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upstairs at Salt Pub

Another dining option was next door at OleBob’s Cafe.

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OleBob’s; We intend to try out their new menu soon.

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outside, the Jessie’s star

At Time Enough Books, the line was out the door for children visiting Santa.

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We went around to the north side to get in.

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Santa

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Bookshop staff member Scout was also a popular attraction.

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Shop owner Karla had on festive headgear.

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We bought two more copies of A Coastal Christmas.

At Purly Shell Fiber Arts, knitting and spinning by the fireplace looked so cozy that I wished that I could join in (if I only I could knit or crochet).  I am always reminded here of the Seaside Knitters mystery series.

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Purly Shell

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Purly Shell Fiber Arts

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Next door at the book store, we’d seen children decorated by the face painting lady.

We knew that hot chocolate would be offered at the Don Nisbett Art Gallery.

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Nisbett Gallery

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happy art patrons with hot chocolate

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Jenna and Monica the elf preside over the cookies….

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…and the hot chocolate.

Jenna had been working hard all week on the preparation for the event, including decorating the tree.

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Don, Jenna, and Monica

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Don dotes on his lovely wife, Jenna AKA Queen La De Da.

In the building next door, we peeked in the windows at the Marie Powell Gallery…

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beach rope baskets created by Susan Spence

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…and ArtPort Gallery.

I then went back to Time Enough Books with Jenna and Monica to see Santa.

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Back at Time Enough Books with Monica and Karla

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Monica, Santa, Jenna, Karla

By now, the event guests had departed.  A light drizzle had begun, so we drove to the east end of the Port where CoHo Charters always puts on an elaborate display of Christmas inflatables.

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On the north side, a snow machine operated from the upstairs window.

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Coho Captain Butch Smith enjoying the “snowstorm”.

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In a south facing window, and new this year, Butch and Terri had added an animatronic Disney display.

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We drove west to the tree to see if any help was needed after the event.  Sure enough, Jenna was there removing the sound equipment from the tent.  We helped her load it into her car and took one last Crab Pot Tree set of photos.

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Jenna likes her crab pot snowman.

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the authors of this blog

Because we had dined on a late lunch at Salt Pub just before the tree lighting, the two of us did not attend the final event of the event, a spaghetti dinner and concert at the River City Playhouse to benefit the Ilwaco High School music program.  The diners were well tucked into their meal by the time we briefly stopped to take a couple of photos.  The Ilwaco High School Jazz Band provided entertainment, and we think this year’s band is the best one we’ve heard.

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This young man was skilled on the sax.

Although our little town will seem quieter now until next year’s tourist season begins in early May, one of the busiest times of year is coming up soon for some of the residents.  The crab fishing fleet is already preparing for the Dungeness crab season, which will open sometime in December as soon as the crabs are plump enough.  Fortunately, the crab pot tree is made of old crab pots that won’t be needed for the crab season.

 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The Crab Pot Tree Festival is one of the top events in Ilwaco’s year. The gorgeous poster is by Don Nisbett.

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The 2017 tree had first appeared at the beginning of the month, assembled with the help of the port crew.

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November 9th

This week, a small but mighty crew of volunteers decorated the tree, beginning in drenching rain and strong wind on Tuesday, November 28th.  Despite the weather, they managed to get the tree wrapped in its evergreen garland.

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Local artist Don Nisbett making the top pot more secure.

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Jenna (Queen La De Da) unwraps the garland

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the view from the top

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Karla of Time Enough Books and the bucket truck (Jenna’s photo)

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Allan (Tangly Cottage Gardening) applying garlands (Jenna’s photo)

The weather did not win, and undaunted, the crew of four finished out the job.

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Karla and Jenna

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Don and Jenna

On Wednesday, a volunteer crew of four, with a rotating supporting cast, finished the tree in pleasant weather.

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a boat leaving the boatyard next to the tree

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Allan unrolling lights

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A former co-worker of Don’s was able to help for awhile.

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Jenna zip ties garland to the fence.

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To the right is the Marine Travel Lift that brings boats in and out of the boatyard.

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Cyd, the Saturday Market manager, helps for awhile; to the left, Jenna brings floats

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fence with garland and floats

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Meanwhile, the Port of Ilwaco crew was putting up the crab lights.

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A city crew member lends a hand for awhile.

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Don

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the view looking south

We decided that the whole field needed mowing to make for good footing for Saturday evening’s crowd.

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Skyler (Tangly Cottage Gardening) mowing

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Jenna adding floats

Don had to go open his art gallery at the port, and then there were three of us.

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handing up some zip ties

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almost done

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finishing touches by Allan

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mission accomplished

Be sure to join us, if you can, for the tree lighting on Saturday evening.  The aim is always to light the tree at 5 PM sharp, immediately followed by the world’s shortest fireworks display.  After that, you can walk down to the port and see Santa and Mrs. Claus at Time Enough Books and have some hot chocolate at Don’s gallery.  Purly Shell Fiber Arts will be open, along with ArtPort Gallery, OleBob’s Café and Salt Pub.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

In our continuing mission to support local businesses, we shopped at our favourite portside businesses. The shops front the pedestrian Waterfront Way, with this view.

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The gale flags say that wind is coming.

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Don Nisbett Art Gallery

 

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Artist Don Nisbett

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The store was abuzz with shoppers.

Don is going to have to restock his Christmas card rack because we bought out our three favourite designs.  His magnets and tiles are a great economical gift for folks on a budget who want to share images that reflect love of our coastal community.

Purly Shell Fiber Arts

Even though I don’t knit or crochet, I peeked into Purly Shell just to enjoy the colors.

It would be worth learning to knit just to be able to join a knitting circle by the fireplace.

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The ambience here always reminds me of a favourite cozy mystery series, The Seaside Knitters by Sally Rosenbaum.

Time Enough Books

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bookseller Karla LeClaire Nelson

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so many good books 

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and so many interesting no-book items

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garlands made from upcycled book covers

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Staff member Scout was tired out from Thanksgiving revelries.

We bought the new and charming little chapbook, A Coastal Christmas, by our friend Lynette.

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photo courtesy “A Coastal Christmas”

A longer day could be made of Shop Small Saturday by exploring two more art galleries, the gift shop at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum,  and dining at OleBob’s Café or Salt Pub.  We had other fish to catch, so we only visited three shops today.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

6×6 Art Show and Auction at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

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“Join us for our annual 6×6 Art Show and Auction Nov. 4th. Over 60 art objects produced by some of the region’s most talented artists will be auctioned, with the silent auction running from 5-8pm and the live auction starting at 6pm. Tickets are $15.00. Fifty raffle tickets are available for $20 each. The winner can pick any 6×6 prior to the Auction event!”

This is one of the three most fun official events on Ilwaco’s yearly calendar (the other two being the Slow Drag and the Crab Pot Christmas Tree).  It is my favourite of the events because of the winning combo of good food, good art,  the hilarity of Bruce Peterson’s auctioneering, and the annual battle for the sock monkey art.

We first perused the four tables of silent auction items.

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We had a look at the live auction display case…

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just a few of the live auction items

…and then filled our plates from the delicious buffet, created by the 2 Monkeys (Rosemary and Ellen, two museum staffers who cater the museum events).

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The skewers formed a peace sign.

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The clam fritters and tri tip sliders were especially tasty.

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desserts

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delicious morsels and auction paddles

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at the bar

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a full house

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Esteemed local Kaye Mulvey picked the raffle ticket, here held by museum director Betsy Millard.

All of the raffle tickets had been sold, providing a good fundraising for the museum. The winner of the raffle gets to pick any item of art.  The winner picked this piece, “an homage to a 60s female band called the Murmaids”:

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Auctioneer Bruce Peterson presents the art with witty patter.

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He began with the rules of the evening:

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Security Chief Richard Schroeder stands stoic guard over the art.  No sudden moves, please, unless you are one of the two art handlers.

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Only the art handlers dare to approach the display easel.

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Communications Chief Karla LeClaire Nelson, owner of Time Enough Books, handles communication from call in bidders.

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She also has a slight weakness for sock monkeys.

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Bruce briefly explained an important 60s topic, the path to enlightenment.

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what we once though

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the truth

The audience was led in a singalong, demonstrating the depth of meaningful 60s song lyrics.

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Let the live auction begin!

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Bruce, museum director Betsy Millard, Karla

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Bruce waxed eloquent about “The Trail to Grandma’s Village’ by Charles Funk, an artist of the Chinook Tribe.  The trail led down from Bruceport, near South Bend, to a village that is now gone.  We agree with Bruce that Charles surely still walks the trail in his dreams.

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Karla takes another call in bid.

Bruce shared his expertise about the Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide while auctioning a repurposed book and knitted coasters by Lisa Mattfield.

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The auction includes a few local items of interest as well as art.

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We had very much liked what artist Marie Powell had written about her piece, above, when it was on display in the preview show at the museum, about these times echoing the political tumult of the 1960s.

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a birding tour and lunch put on by the Willapa Refuge, including a ride in the Willapa Refuge van

As Bruce says, these package tours do require you to have five friends to invite.

In an interlude from art, Bruce asked for donations for an Ethafoam party, not a foam party.  Ethefoam is an expensive product that the museum uses to protect its exhibits in storage.

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not a foam party

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Bruce’s grandson tries to make ethafoam look more fun.

Time for the highlight of the night: The annual bidding war between Karla and her sister, Kathy, for the sock monkey painting.

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Across the room, a third bidder appeared!

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Kathy

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Karla

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showdown with the mysterious third bidder

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Third bidder kept swigging from a bottle of booze.

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Karla prevailed and won the sock monkey painting for $700, to add to her collection of at least 9 others.

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photography by auctioneer Bruce Peterson

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Bruce reminded us, with an evocative slide, that metal artist Jacob and his wife, Maddy of Pink Poppy Bakery, had just had a baby.

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Jacob, Maddy, and their daughter Quincy

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Jacob’s “Steel Angel” did very well at $400.

Security Chief Schroeder maintained his stoic expression and solid stance during the auctioning of his own art piece, a wood turned martini glass with olive.

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Has his expression lifted slightly with pleasure when his martini glass sold for $510?

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In the silent auction, one can often win pieces at a price more affordable to the average art collector.

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Rosemary presents the traditional fresh baked shortbread at the end of the show.

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At the end, the live and silent auction pieces are paid for and packaged up.

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We are already looking forward to next year.

Here, courtesy of the museum, are a few more of our favourite pieces from the 2017 auction.  You can see them all here.

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Halloween is a very big deal on the flatland streets of Ilwaco.  Decorations began to appear at the end of September.

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next door to the post office, 9-29

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Wendi’s Attic, 10-3-17

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Lake Street front porch, 10-7

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Halloween garland going up at the Post Office on Lake Street, 10-13

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pirate ship, Lake Street, 10-13

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more on Lake Street, 10-14

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Wendi’s Attic at night, 10-14

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Lake Street, 10-14

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Lake Street, 10-16

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pirate house, 10-16

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Spruce Street, 10-22

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On October 29, councilwoman Vinessa came by distributing Candy Relief, a collection of candy taken up by the Ilwaco Merchants Association for the folks on the main Ilwaco Halloween route.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

We could not have had better weather for our Ilwaco Halloween extravaganza.  Not only did we have a party at our house, with a group of friends gathered to welcome the trick or treaters, but we did two walkabouts of the town and gathered some photos of the occasion.

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4:40 PM: The first trick or treaters arrive.

The first walkabout took place between 5:30 and 6:30 PM.

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pirate house, Lake Street

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Lucy Dagger

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Lucy keeping a tally of trick or treaters

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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sign says “Please Take One!”

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Spruce Street

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Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department

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Fire Chief Tommy Williams

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Tommy agreed fire fighting is hard work

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Inn at Harbour Village

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Lake Street,  by the post office

We know a few people who gave the music boosters $5.00 for a cider or cocoa.

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Tangly Cottage

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Tangly Cottage

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little chili relleno on Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

We garnered some photos from friends:

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photo by Tony Hofer

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photo by Tony Hofer

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photo by Tony Hofer

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photo by Tony Hofer

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photo courtesy Azure Salon and Spa

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photo courtesy Azure Salon and Spa

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photo by Wendy Murry

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photo by Wendy Murry

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Lake Street, photo by Wendy Murry

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photo by Wendy Murry

Between 7:30 and 8:30, we took another walkabout:

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Lake Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Spruce Street

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Colbert House, Lake Street

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Colbert House

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Tangly Cottage

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Inn at Harbour Village

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Inn at Harbour Village

 Inside the Inn at Harbour Village, a former church turned bed and breakfast inn, the old chapel was transformed into a haunting.

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We had 543 trick or treaters at our Lake Street abode, and the fire station had 703.

Tangly Cottage Gardening Journal

Saturday, 1 July 2017

We took advantage of much of what our town had to offer today.  Earlier in the week, while weeding the port gardens to get them spiffing for today’s events, I had had that feeling of being smitten with love for this little town.  The first Saturday in July is always special here, with probably the biggest Saturday market of the year followed by a fireworks extravaganza at the port in the evening.

Ilwaco Saturday Market

Knowing that the Pink Poppy Bakery booth would be at the market today is part of what drew us down there.  (Baker Maddy is pregnant and therefore not doing every week of market this summer.)

DSC02668.jpg Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ in one of our port gardens (Allan’s photo)

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DSC00615.JPG The lines were long at the food booths.

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DSC00620.JPG plants for sale

DSC00621.JPG at one of the plant booths

DSC00622.JPG the cutest booth of all

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