By Erin Wygant
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
With summer fading and the whisper of autumn in the air, people look for things that warm their bodies and their souls — knitted blankets, hot cider, bonfires on the beach and the company of those we hold dear. It’s a season for the senses and there’s no better place to experience them all than right here in the islands during Savor the San Juans.
“Savor” is an annual fall celebration of food, farms and film, now in its 11th year.
Taste the Islands alongside local chefs and sommeliers at carefully curated wine and special dinners throughout October. For example, Coho Restaurant staff in Friday Harbor are partnering with Raccafiore, the Orcas Project and the Spire Collection to pair island-inspired courses with local wine. The Lopez Island Center for Community and the Arts staff are serving up a treat of their own—Harvest High Tea Party. With refreshments from Holly B’s, live music and a fashion show, the fourth annual event is sure to delight.
A treat for the eyes, award-winning films are set to thrill audiences at the Orcas Island and Friday Harbor Film Festivals. Curated by Carl Spence, a former Seattle International Film Festival director, the Orcas Island Film Festival runs from Oct. 4-8. This year, the event is featuring talented women both on and off the screen, along with a selection of moving documentaries and 34 international films. The Friday Harbor Film Festival, running from Oct. 26-28, seeks to entertain, inspire and enlighten while sharing the stories of the people, cultures and environment that make up the Pacific Rim. Capt. Paul Watson, founder of both Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, will be awarded the Andrew V. McLaglen Lifetime Achievement Award, and composer Alex Shapiro will receive the Local Hero Award.
Invite friends and family for a visit and take advantage of Kenmore Air’s lower fall rates. As the official airline of the film festivals, passengers will receive a 10 percent discount on Friday Harbor Film Festival tickets. While in Friday Harbor, let the aroma of the finest foods from each island guide you to Brickworks for the Eat Island Grown tasting event on Oct. 28. A collection of local bites, it’s the perfect place to sample island grown food between films. Island farming will be celebrated on Oct. 6 at the Friday Harbor Fall Farm Parade, and local brews will be in the spotlight on Oct. 13 at San Juan Island Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest Celebration.
Listen to live music at Hops on the Rock, the grand finale of this two-month fest on Nov. 10. The streets of Eastsound will be filled with local liquid artisans, toe-tapping tunes and taste testers from near and far. Shut down the streets, dance and sip the night away as the islands celebrate the end of Savor the San Juans.
Embrace the island community — its artisans, farmers, chefs and filmmakers. Let yourself be warmed by the glow of an autumn sunset, a smooth glass of wine or a moving film. Find all these events and more at www.VisitSanJuans.com/savor.