Submitted by Jules Mcleland
Lopez Island might still be one of the few places in the world where you can simply drift into the Holiday Spirit. Return from a winter hike through forests or along the beach feeling exhilarated, then snuggle up, away from the cold, with a warm fire and a book, holiday music in the background. And if you enjoy shopping local, a magical place to do it is at our annual Port Stanley Schoolhouse Holiday Fair from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.
When you pull into the parking lot, you will be greeted by our historic schoolhouse festooned with holiday greenery. Entering the warm space, you are greeted by the inviting smell of hot apple cider and an array of sweet and savory nibbles free for the sampling. Then as you move on to the main room you are able to mingle with the local artists with an array of Lopez Island creations available for relaxed shopping.
The Port Stanley Schoolhouse is the perfect setting for this small holiday fair. From 1917-1941 it was used as a schoolhouse, and in later years it served a variety of purposes, as a meeting place, hardware store, and even hay storage. The building was donated to the Lopez Historical Society by Chris and Helena Jones, and in the early 2000s many local builders and other volunteers worked on a major renovation. The building is currently used during the week as a private school, but it is available for rent at other times for community and private events from the Lopez Island Historical Society (http://lopezmuseum.org/).
This year marks the 16th season of what we like to think of as “stress-free” holiday shopping at the Port Stanley Schoolhouse.
The 10 artists participating this year are Leslie Austin, ceramics — you may also know her as one of our faithful ferry landing attendants; Karen Hattman, wildlife-inspired art; Jules McLeland, jewelry and mixed media; Terri Roush, kiln-formed glass; Kate Scott, art cards and prints; Stina Soderlind, beach rock jewelry; Linda Ann Vorobik, botanical art and hand-painted silks; Janet Yang, jewelry; and Debbie Hayward and Maxine Bronstein of Island Fibers.
Our special participants over the last several years have been representatives from Solid Waste Alternatives Program, https://www.lopezsolidwaste.org/swap, who will be selling their fun and useful goods made from recycled and reused items in support of Take It Or Leave It at the transfer station.