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Holiday events brighten weekend

The holiday spirit will be in full swing Saturday around the Plateau.

In downtown Enumclaw, the Mount Rainier Independent Business Alliance has taken on the annual Christmas Parade and is expanding it into a full-day celebration. The downtown corridor will be blocked off from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to accommodate the festivities.

The biggest change is that the holiday parade will get rolling at 2 p.m. Organizers were sensitive to tinkering with tradition – the parade has always been at night – but note that a daytime parade will allow visitors to do much more and provide a better atmosphere for some of the attractions.

For example, Santa Claus will be available to greet kids following the parade, something that has not been done in the past as parents immediately headed home with sleepy children.

Additionally, there will be a Holiday Celebration Main Stage featuring performers from Michelle’s Studio of Dance, Allegro Women’s Ensemble and Cascade Foothills Chorale.

Also new will be a Battle of the Bands, for middle and high school programs in western Washington.

And, aside from photographs with Santa, there will be make-n-take Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas karaoke, and an extreme bike demonstration.

Those wishing to get an early start on Saturday fun can drop in on Magical Morning, a family-friendly offering of the Enumclaw Parks and Recreation Department.

The sixth-annual event will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., once again at the Enumclaw Expo Center Fieldhouse.

Families will enjoy breakfast with Santa, live music and crafts for kids 12 and younger.

The cost will be $6 per person at the door, or $5 for those who preregister by calling Parks and Recreation at 360-802-0235. Children 3 and younger are admitted free.

Not too far away, in Wilkeson, the still-new Historical Society is planning an old-fashioned, hometown Christmas celebration.

“The Wilkeson celebration is for the child in all of us when it comes to Christmas,” society President Donna Hogerhuis said. She said events will include children’s activities at Town Hall during the afternoon and, at dusk, a tree-lighting ceremony with refreshments and old-fashioned caroling in a mule-drawn wagon around town.

From 3 to 5 p.m. at Town Hall and the courtyard, children 2 through 12 can decorate cookies and make ornaments. Children in elementary school can make table centerpieces.

Santa will arrive between 4 and 5:30 p.m. The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. with a special guest appearance by the Cascade Foothills Chorale. Admission is one can of nonperishable food item per child for the food bank and community Christmas baskets.

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