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Visitor's Guide to Washington's most beautiful and accessible island

Winter on

WHIDBEY Food 〉 Wine 〉 Sights Entertainment 〉 Activities

A supplement to the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record

2019/20 - FREE

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See island’s beautiful fields, forests and beaches Winter is the best time to discover the wild side of Whidbey Island. The fields and woods are home to an assortment of furry critters — including one mischievous elk — and life flourishes below the waves. But the skies are where a lot of the action is. One of the island’s most popular outdoor winter pastimes is birding, which can be at its best during the colder months. The fall and winter migration period bring both an abundance and wide variety of birds to Whidbey. The best spots are Crockett Lake, Deer Lagoon and the Crescent Harbor marshes. They are sites identified as “Important Birding Areas” by the National Audubon Society because of their pristine habitat. Whidbey is located in the Pacific Flyway, a north-south migration path for birds. In the fall and winter, a variety of birds arrive from Alaska, British Columbia and other northern reaches. The island also receives birds from Eastern Washington and Idaho for the winter, as well as those that come from higher elevations in the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges -- all with the common goal of fleeing the freeze. Whidbey is home to a healthy population of bald eagles that will travel to rivers in search for spawning salmon but tend to return to the island during the winter months. Other raptors, waterfowl and seabirds are common sights during winter. One of the biggest winter-time attractions is the red-throated loon that can be seen near Deception Pass in De4 WINTER ON WHIDBEY

Hiking is a popular activity in the many state, county, municipal and community parks on Whidbey Island. cember and January. Also, thousands of snow geese and trumpeter swans also frequent the river deltas around North Puget Sound during the late winter with some stopping over at Dugualla Bay on North Whidbey. Whidbey Island has four state parks. Deception Pass, Fort Casey, Fort Ebey and Ebey’s Landing parks each have unique terrain, amazing vistas and plenty of outdoor opportunities. While these parks can be busy in summer months, winter also is a great time to visit and enjoy some solitude. The island’s state parks remain open for day use during winter, meaning visitors may take beach strolls or hike the trails. The exception is Joseph Whidbey State Park, where the gate will be closed but can still be accessed by foot and enjoyed. The trails at Fort Ebey are popular because they connect to the expansive Kettles Trails system in Central Whidbey. Deception Pass State Park is the most

visited state park — and for good reason. There are great wintertime hikes, such as Goose Rock, Lighthouse Point, Kiket Island and Dugualla. These lowland hikes range from an hour to three hours on mostly good terrain. Island County and the cities and town on Whidbey also maintain well-visited parks. Oak Harbor recently spent millions of dollars recreating the waterfront Windjammer Park. Of course, there are many stretches of public beaches to comb and explore. Whidbey’s winter winds, particularly on the west side, welcome extreme adventurers. Surfers come to the beaches near Fort Ebey to ride the waves in the winter. Kiteboarders also hit the west side. Starting in the late fall, and sometimes stretching into December, the wind invites kiteboarders to Crockett Lake in Coupeville and Double Bluff Beach in Freeland. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17


Winter Calendar DECEMBER

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Dec. 5-15: “Elf Jr. ‚ The Musical.” 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Whidbey Playhouse Community Theater in Oak Harbor. This modern day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. 360-679-2237. Dec. 6-21: It’s A Wonderful Life,” Presented by WICA. The beloved holiday film comes to life as a 1940s radio broadcast in the world premiere of a new adaptation by David Ossman. Dec. 7: St. Mary’s Annual Christmas Bazaar & Bake Sale. In Coupeville. Dec. 7: Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Oak Harbor Senior Center. With over 30 vendors find unique holiday gifts,

Dec. 7: Methodist Church Holiday Bazaar. 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Coupeville. Dec. 7: Holiday Bazaar hosted by NASWI Officers Spouses Club. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the CPO Club. Open to the public. Features military spouse home businesses/artisan products from clothing to crafts to woodworking. Dec. 7: Handmade Holiday Market. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hosted by South Whidbey Elementary PTA. Handmade/handcrafted goods or offer services like photography. Dec. 7: Annual Jingle Trail 5K Run/ Walk. 10 a.m. at Camp Casey. This race is great for families, runners, and walkers alike! Put on your holiday spirit and see Whidbey Island in all its splendor. www.

Dec. 7: Peter and the Wolf, Free Family Holiday Concert. 1-3 p.m. at Coupeville High School Commons. Join the Saratoga Orchestra and Conductor Anna Edwards for a festive afternoon of fun for the whole family. These events will start with an Instrument Petting Zoo. Try your hand at playing the cello, trombone, clarinet and more. All kids and kids-at-heart are encouraged to participate. Dec. 7: Greening of Coupeville Parade. 4 p.m. beginning from First and Main streets. The route goes down North Main to Front Street, then up Alexander to the Coupeville Library. Stick around afterwards to enjoy caroling and the lighting of the tree at Cooks Corner Park. Shops and restaurants in the Coupeville Historic District will be open late. The Oak Harbor Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade is scheduled to sail by the Coupeville Wharf around 5:45. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

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Dec. 7: Holly Jolly Holiday Parade & Shop & Stroll. 1 p.m. in downtown Langley. Musicians, service and youth groups, pets, families and floats will march up and down First and Second Street. Dec. 7: Home for the Holidays Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival. 4-7 p.m. in Oak Harbor on Pioneer Way. Choirs and Taste of Holiday Memories run 4-7 p.m., the tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m. www. Dec. 7-8: Clinton Winter Market and Tree Lighting. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists, crafters and vendors with a great variety for all your holiday shopping needs. Bring the kids to meet Santa and get their photo taken! (Santa photos 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., donations for photos welcome). Saturday night, 6-7:30 p.m., carols led by Mel Birch, hot chocolate, tree lighting, a visit from Santa Claus and the announcement of the Clinton coloring contest winners. www.discoverclintonwa. com.

vendors while sipping hot chocolate and taking pictures with Santa Claus. Dec. 19: Holiday Celebration, Friends of the Oak Harbor Library. 3-4 p.m. at Oak Harbor Library. Celebrate the season with friends, food and fun. Your favorite librarians will present the best gift books for adults, teens and children. Proceeds from a silent auction will support the Oak

Harbor Library. Dec. 21: Green Ticket Drawing. 4 p.m. at Harborside Village in Oak Harbor. Shoppers, collect your tickets for a big prize! Participating Oak Harbor merchants give green tickets while spending in their stores. At the end, there’s a drawing for a big prize. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Dec. 7-8: Made Right on Whidbey, Holiday Art Show. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Coupeville Rec Hall. Ten local Whidbey Artists that will have a beautiful display of art for you to choose from! Stop by for some great company, art and goodies to nibble on. Dec. 13-22: The Nutcracker. Whidbey Island Dance Theatre’s 27th season production is a holiday delight for the whole family. WIDT’s production of this classical ballet set to the music of Tchaikovsky features many of the beloved characters and themes of the traditional ballet but with a Whidbey Island twist. Dec. 14: Winter Holiday Art Festival. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coupeville Middle School. Kids activities, entertainment, raffles and local artists/vendors. Dec. 7-15: Holiday Market. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Greenbank Farm both Saturday and Sunday. Come join us for another holiday shopping season in the historic barn on the Greenbank Farm! Back by popular demand, have access to 19 WINTER ON WHIDBEY 7


Dec. 22: Red Ticket Drawing. 1 p.m. at Historic Downtown Coupeville. You or a representative must be present to win. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 2, every $20 worth of purchases you make with participating merchants, restaurants and service providers gets you a red ticket! Five prizes drawn; $1500, $500, and 3 $100 winners! Shopping local has never been so much fun! Dec. 22: The Night Before Christmas Holiday Concert. 7:30-9:30 p.m. at WICA. A musical celebration of the season featuring Whidbey Island Community Orchestra and storyteller David Ossman. Dec. 7-23: Oak Harbor’s Christmas Village at the Blue Fox Drive-In. 3-7 p.m. weekends Dec. 7-15. Daily Dec. 20-23. Admission is free. Enjoy a visit with Santa and his elves, petting zoo, games, holiday craft/gift vendors and more. Food and other vendors onsite as well.

Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Fireworks. 9 p.m. at Oak Harbor Bay. Join this annual celebration.

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the new year off with a splash! Join a fun-loving crowd for a bone chilling dive into 2020. WHY?! It’s fun. Seriously! Plus it benefits local youth programs. A New Year’s tradition since 2004. Swim at your own risk; no lifeguard on duty. $15 fee includes shirt, hot drinks and festive atmosphere. Register in advance by noon on Dec. 31 at https://, 360-221-6788. Jan. 4: Sea Float Scramble. 11 a.m. at Seawall Park. Hunt for hand-blown glass treasures. Free. www.langleymainstreet. org. Jan. 4: Tingstad and Rumbel’s Twelfth Night Concert. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Presented by WICA. For the past 30+ years, Grammy Award-winning artists Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel have been home for the holidays, creating a long-standing tradition with Northwest families and illuminating the enduring spirit of the season with the gift of music. Jan. 17-19: The Master of Suspense: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock. A threeday celebration of the stylish, wickedly funny, and macabre world of Alfred Hitchcock featuring favorites such as Rear Window, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo, and North by Northwest; Film School: Strangers on a Train (lecture and screening); a ShortsFest competition; guest speakers; special events; and a pass holders-only “Secret Screening.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 9


Jan. 26: Saratoga Orchestra. 2:30 p.m. at Oak Harbor High School. www. Jan. 31-Feb. 9: Jungle Book, KIDS: Runs at Whidbey Island Children’s Theatre in Langley.

February Feb. 8-9 and 15-16: Red Wine and Chocolate Tour. www.whidbeyisland Feb. 7-23: M*A*S*H* 4077th. 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Whidbey Playhouse Community Theater in Oak Harbor. Visit www.whidbeyplayhouse. com for more details or call 360-679-2237. Feb. 22-23: 36th Annual Mystery Weekend. We already know someone is gonna get dun in‚Ķwe just don’t know who or how. Keep an eye out for more information as it develops. www. Feb. 29: Best of Seattle International Comedy Competition. 7:30-9:30 p.m. at WICA. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the best of the best in comedy.

Edition). Runs at Whidbey Island Children’s Theatre in Langley. www. March 20-22: The Photographer. Presented by WICA. This experimental, multi-media work is based on the life

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March March 6: Mussel Mingle. 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Coupeville Rec Hall. Kick off to Musselfest weekend. www. March 6-7: Pianofest NW. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Presented by WICA. This two-day festival features musicians Mark Salman, James Hinkley and Mark Findlay. www. March 7-8: Musselfest. In Coupeville. Visit area businesses to sample chowder contest entries, dine on mussels and libations at two beer gardens while listening to live music. Tickets sell quickly. March 13-15: Concierto Latino. Presented by the Whidbey Island Orchestra. March 13-29: Les Miserables (School

and work of the pioneering 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge. The opera is a mixture of dramatic scenes flavored with incidental music, abstract music with motion, graphic visual accompaniment and modern dance.


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Shop Whidbey for items you’ll treasure With fewer swarms of tourists, wintertime is the right time to shop on Whidbey Island. While you’re browsing for that perfect decoration, unique gift or amazing artwork, stop by one of the island’s many coffee shops or restaurants and make a day of it. Here’s a look at just some of the shopping possibilities:

Oak Harbor Downtown Oak Harbor offers a widerange of shopping. The Jewelry Gallery has unique, vintage and high-end pieces in the sparkling cases. Frida’s A Beautiful Mess has art supplies, gifts and home decor. Dina’s Great Finds has a selection of vintage items. Whidbey Wild Bird is a great place to buy gifts for people who love their feathered friends. You can make someone a special gift at Paint Your World or find a unique present at Purple Moon. Also on Pioneer Way, Whimsies Treasures is chock full of locally made fare ready-made for holiday shopping. There’s woolly wear for babies and big CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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people, woven rugs and scarves, handbags, totes, teas and tea cups. Dozens of artists are represented at the store. Of course, there’s also Popsies, a favorite for children and adults alike. The shop is famous for its homemade caramel corn, but also sells ice cream and sweets of all different kinds. The Garry Oak Gallery showcases an ever-changing range of artwork made by Whidbey artists. Shoppers may find paintings in different medium, photography, glasswork, pottery, jewelry and wood pieces. The gallery is located in the Harborside Shops building. Up a block on Fidalgo Avenue is Whidbey Beer Works, a specialty beer shop with a selection of more than 600 beers, ciders, meads and wines. From the hippest IPAs to imported stouts, the shop has something for just about any beerdrinkers on your holiday list. For those looking for unique gifts on a budget, the city has several thrift stores to choose from. Island Thrift and the WAIF Thrift Store are both large spaces that are packed to the seams with items. On the south end of the city lies the Ishler Pottery Studio. Dan Ishler creates creatively crafted, functional and artistic

pottery. He is known for using unique glazes on his works: crystalline, ash and spitfire. He also creates whimsical cars from clay. Three Sisters Market is located farther south in the San de Fuca area. The retail store, however, doesn’t just carry Whidbey-raised meat, but a wide range of Whidbey-made products, including food, unique gifts, health and beauty products, pies and other baked goods.

Central Whidbey Shopaholics will find no shortage of stores in Greenbank and Coupeville filled with items crafted with care right here on the island. In Coupeville, there are a variety of Front Street businesses that carry a little bit of everything. To bring home a gift that’ll remind someone of island life, walk down to stores like Penn Cove Gallery where many of the artists featured capture the area’s beauty. Kingfisher Book Store has the right book for everyone on your Christmas list. At bayleaf, the gourmet food shop not only sells delectable imported meats and cheeses, but the shop features a variety of Whidbey-made products and unique decorations. Find cookware from Cooked on Clay, a Coupeville-based ceramics business, as well as cheese boards and

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other trinkets from Turnco, a South Whidbey business. Grab some locallymade crackers to go with that cheese for your next holiday gathering. Not far from bayleaf, the Lavender Wind shop sells a range of products made from lavender grown at the Lavender Wind Farm on West Beach. The store has essential oils, gift sets, cleaners, scents, decorative bundles, lotions, shampoos, culinary lavender, baked goods, eye soothers, massage oil, soap and more. Elkhorn Trading Company is a great place to find treasures from the past. A Touch of Dutch has been in business for over 20 years and offers Dutch themed items and more, including candy, breads and spreads and decorations. It also has a famously long list of licorice. Back to the Island sells clothes and novelties popular both with tourists and locals. Collections Boutique is located adjacent to the Coupeville wharf and sells women’s apparel, jewelry accessories and baby gifts for your young gift recipients. A whimsical, “far from normal” store, Far from Normal is the aptly-named novelty toy store for unique gifts. Their horse-head “mascot” is frequently seen around the store. The Honey Bear is burgeoning with toys, children’s books, plush animals and CONTINUED ON PAGE 13


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smart gifts. It’s also packed with a rainbow of selections of candy, from the educational and old-fashioned to the colorful and tasty. At Greenbank Farm, Raven Rocks and Artworks galleries offer collections of art in varying mediums from metalwork and glass art to painting and mixed media art. Whether it’s a large sculpture or a dreamcatcher, both galleries offer something for pretty much everyone’s pocketbook. Also at the farm, Greenbank Cheese Specialty Foods & Gifts offers not only a variety of cheese, but a variety of gifts and locally made items. Sample some wine made by a Whidbey Island winery before picking up a bottle for that holiday party at Greenbank Wine Shop.

South Whidbey South Whidbey’s selection of one-ofa-kind gifts is expansive because of the hundreds of talented crafters, artists, artisans and manufacturers who call the island home. Right off the ferry in Clinton, look for an old storefront marked MAKE Whidbey. Described as a “little shop of Whid-

bey makers,” the store blends handmade home decor with wooden crafts as well as soaps, candles and other original goods. Its filled with the finely crafted cutting boards, clocks and carafes made by store owner Janae Cameron and her husband, under their Turnco Wood Goods label. Nearby, Abundant Earth Fiber is an independent textile mill that churns out small batches of naturally-dyed yarn, perfect for the knitter on your list. A small storefront at the mill sells yarn, batts, tincture dyes, tools and kits. The city of Langley is Whidbey’s artsy epicenter. Its tiny, charming downtown is jammed-packed with small speciality shops, art galleries, studios, restaurants and wine bars. Dubbed the Village by the Sea, Langley merchants offer wearable art textiles, gemstone jewelry, delightful holiday ornaments, puppets and sea creatures for kids and gorgeous glass-blown wares. The stores all have fun and unusual names. At Music for the Eyes, Langley’s de facto international street bazaar, check out its array of beads, jewelry and woolly winter hats, mittens and gloves, direct from markets in Central Asia, the Middle East and Tibet. Wish by the Sea is the place to find locally made ornaments and small vintage treasures. Are you buying for an artist? Check

out another new store, Feather and Fox, for art and craft supplies, paper goods and small home gifts. Picking out a present at Foamy Wader is like picking a shell from the beach, they’re both one of a kind. Owner Alexa Allamano, whose last name coincidentally means “by hand” in Italian, uses seacolored gemstones and employs artisan wire work and metal smith techniques to craft her pieces. Looking for puzzles, poetry or puppets for kids and kids at heart? Then, take time to explore Moonraker Books lined with literature, cookbooks and children’s books and games. A dazzling display of Folkmanias finger puppets, hand puppets, stage puppets and hard and soft cover books can be found at Act 11 Books and Puppets. Callahan’s Firehouse Studio and Gallery is a repurposed firehouse where flames form glass art. Tumblers, pumpkins, flowers, paper weights, dishes, vases, garden art and many more sparkling items are created on site by Callahan Campbell McVay. Buy a fragile fish or treat someone to a glassblowing lesson. Just up the road from Langley is Bayview, which offers a variety of gift ideas. Bayview Farm and Garden is a great place to find decorations, plants and much more.

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A merican Legion Post 141

South Whidbey Island Washington Since our charter in 1936, our American Legion Post has been welcoming VETERANS from all branches of our Armed Forces. Today, we continue to welcome all active, separated, or retired military personnel and their families. Joining our Post enables you to continue serving your God, Country and Community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace and blessings for our country, friends and families embodied in our preamble.

Help support the American Legion as we help veterans and the community South Whidbey Post 141 • 14096 State Route 525, Langley, WA 98260 360-321-5696 • •

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People with Alzheimer’s can still enjoy having visitors Don’t let Dementia or Alzheimer’s rob you of pleasant visits with your friend or family member. It takes a little practice but it’s entirely possible to experience rewarding visits and have a rewarding conversation with them. Here are a few simple tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help improve your next visit. Limit visitors to 1 or 2 people at a time. Too many people can be overwhelming. Schedule visits for the time of day when your older adult is usually at their best. Minimize distractions by keeping the environment calm and quiet. Turn off the TV or loud music and ask any non-visitors to go to another room. Keep your tone and body language friendly and positive. Don’t speak too loudly. Make eye contact and stay at their eye level. Introduce yourself even if you’re sure they must know you. “Hi Grandma, I’m Joe, your grandson.” Speak slowly and in short sentences with only one idea per sentence. For example: “Hi Mary.

I’m Jane, your friend.” or “What a beautiful day. The sunshine is nice, isn’t it?” or “Tell me about your daughter.” Give them extra time to speak or answer questions, don’t rush the conversation. Use open-ended questions because there are no right or wrong answers. Be ok with sitting together in silence. They may enjoy that just as much as talking. • Follow their lead, don’t force conversation topics or activities. • Validate their feelings. Allow them to express sadness, fear, or anger. • Enter their reality. Go with the flow of the conversation even if they talk about things that aren’t true or don’t make sense. • Share and discuss memories of the past. They’re more likely to remember things from long ago. • Come prepared with an activity, like something to read out loud, a photo album to look at, or some of their favorite music to listen to. • Give hugs, gentle touches, or massage arms or shoulders if the person gives permission and enjoys it.

DON’T • Say “do you remember?” This can cause anger or embarrassment. • Argue. If they say something that’s not correct, just let it go. • Point out mistakes. It just makes them feel badly and doesn’t help the conversation. • Assume they don’t remember anything. Many people have moments of clarity. • Take mean or nasty things they say personally. The disease may twist their words or make them react badly out of confusion, fear, or anger. • Talk down to them. They aren’t children and you should show the proper respect. • Talk about them with other people as if they’re not there.

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“Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.”









































Another opportunity to get out on the water is kayaking. The Whidbey Island Kayaking Company, based at the Langley Marina, is open year-round for kayak tours, weather permitting. Whidbey also is home to four 18-hole golf courses and two 9-hole, par-3 courses. The 18-hole courses open to the public are Whidbey Golf Club and Galley Golf Course in Oak Harbor and Holmes Harbor Golf Club in Freeland. Useless Bay Golf & Country Club is a private course in Langley. The par-3 courses are Island Greens in Clinton and Lam’s Golf Links in Oak Harbor. For those who like watching the island’s black tail deer, a can’t-miss place to see them during the winter is Fort Casey State Park or nearby Camp Casey. The best opportunity to spot a South-

ern Resident Orca from Whidbey shores happens during the late fall and early winter. This generally occurs on the island’s west side as resident orcas pursue migrating salmon from October to late December. Transient orcas show up year-round and it’s possible, though more rare, to spot a humpback whale during the winter. Whale watching trips begin in early March when gray whales start arriving in waters around Whidbey as they have for decades in search of ghost shrimp to feed on. This goes on for about two months before they continue their migration to Alaska. Mystic Sea Charters starts its gray whale watching cruises March 1 out of Langley. Deception Pass Tours also starts March 1 out of Oak Harbor. The best bet for fishing around Whidbey in the winter is blackmouth in Admiralty Inlet (Marine Area 9) in the late fall and winter. Whidbey offers limited hunting op-

portunities, with no high-powered rifles allowed. Through the Western Washington Pheasant Release program, there also are opportunities to hunt for pheasants at various release sites throughout Whidbey Island. Hunters can check out the state Department of Fish and Wildlife website or talk to employees in the sports department of the island’s hardware stores for details. Through the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, the Trillium Community Forest on South Whidbey offers a shortened deer season starting in October with some opportunities in November. Island County has properties on Whidbey designated as hunting areas for deer. For more information about these opportunities, call Island County Public Works at 360-679-7331. The best bet for fishing around Whidbey in the winter is blackmouth in Admiralty Inlet (Marine Area 9) in the late fall and winter.





CLINTON WINTER MARKET Dec 7th & 8th 10am to 4pm Clinton Community Hall

PHOTOS WITH SANTA Dec 7th & 8th 11am to 2pm Clinton Community Hall

CLINTON HOLIDAY LIGHTING Dec 7th 5pm Clinton Community Hall

CLINTON EASTER EGG HUNT Saturday April 11th at 11am Dan Porter Park



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Winter On Whidbey - Winter On Whidbey 2019  


Winter On Whidbey - Winter On Whidbey 2019