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Nativity Festival a community event

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by Kristi O'Harran
Herald Columnist
There is a twist to the Arlington Nativity Festival.
It's a new Christmas event that will feature not only a live nativity, but nativity scenes from around the world, on loan from area families.
Christmas music and family activities will be offered, too.
It's planned for 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9; 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10; and 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 11, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 17222 43rd Ave. NE in Arlington.
The main display room will feature nativity displays shared by folks in Marysville, Arlington, Lakewood, Stanwood and Camano Island. Volunteers will be on hand to greet visitors, share information about the festival and serve refreshments.
Organizer Dawn Dickson said folks can submit original artwork such as paintings, sketches, sculptures or handmade nativity creches for display. An online sign-up form is available at
A labeling and digital photo system are planned to ensure that each nativity set retains all of its pieces and is returned to its rightful owner. Around-the-clock security will be provided.
Families may dress up in period costumes and have their photos taken.
A choral concert is planned for 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the church.
My brother, Terry Brayton, attended the Veterans Day assembly at Utsalady Elementary School on Camano Island.
He said it was as great as it was billed.
"They did a terrific job," Terry said. "Lots of love America songs from the kids, and they honored all of the services by individual branches, police and fire.",
The kids sang each service anthem while those veterans walked to the front and received a very nice gift.
"They had the 9/11 steel monument from the Twin Towers that Arlington fire loaned them. The fire department did a presentation of colors and did a ceremonial ringing of the 'bell' in honor of fallen firefighters."
The featured speaker was Camano Island Fire Chief Mike Ganz.
"Most of us veterans feel 'funny' at these events," Terry said. "We are the ones who feel privileged to serve our country, and are thankful for the opportunity to serve. I feel that way from being in the Army and being a retired professional firefighter."
He wanted to thank everyone for letting him serve, my brother said.
"What a great event put on by the Utsalady school."
Island County Leadership and the Island County Employees Wellness Committee joined to offer lunch to Island County employees. They said at the first Staff Appreciation Luncheon that they aimed to thank those who stepped forward to voluntarily participate in cost-saving measures that resulted in wage and benefit reductions, furloughs and other efforts to preserve the jobs of fellow employees.
There were raffles at the meals, too, at Oak Harbor District Court, North Whidbey Family Resource Center, Island County Recovery Services, South Whidbey Public Health, South Whidbey Sheriff's Precinct, Coupeville Annex, the Camano Road Shop and Public Works Road Shops and Solid Waste sites.
Kristi O'Harran: 425-339-3451;
Story tags » ArlingtonCamano IslandCoupevilleOak HarborStanwoodChristmasVeterans Day

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