West Seattle Christmas tree season: Holy Rosary lot now open

November 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

Though a few places in West Seattle had trees before Thanksgiving, today is the traditional start of Christmas tree season, and so it was opening day for the Holy Rosary School Tree Lot (rejoining the WSB sponsor team for the occasion). It’s just north of the school, with entrances off 42nd or 41st north of Genesee.

Tree types include Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, Frasier Fir, Grand Fir, and Norway Spruce (:15 guide in our Instagram clip), with prices starting at $25. Again this year, part of the proceeds go to local charities. Other greenery available, including wreaths.

The hours are on the official HR Tree Lot website; it’s staffed by cheery volunteers, including Geraldine, who showed us the lot’s official Christmas tree costume:

The lot will be open through December 13th, 9 am-9 pm weekends, 2-8 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 2-9 pm Fridays. If you’re not ready to buy a tree yet, just remember that whenever you are, this lot and others we’ve spotted around West Seattle are listed in the WSB Holiday Guide.

VIDEO: West Seattle High School, Salty’s in 2015 Holiday Parade

November 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The marching bands in this morning’s Macy’s Holiday Parade downtown included one local school this year, West Seattle High School. Above is our video, recorded as they made the final turn at 4th and University. We didn’t catch the banner but Nicole e-mailed this photo:

One week from tomorrow – on Saturday night, December 5th – you’ll see and hear the WSHS Marching Band as opening act for the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting (Junction Plaza Park, NW corner of 42nd and Alaska, with a street closure providing more room this year!). Back to today’s parade – right in front of the Wildcats were the Nutcrackers from Salty’s (WSB sponsor):

As featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, Salty’s has Santa visiting for brunch the next three weekends, plus Christmas Eve.

HAPPENING NOW: Native Holiday Gift Fair @ Duwamish Longhouse

November 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

(WSB photos)
Potential gifts you won’t find anywhere else await you right now at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse in West Seattle; it’s Day 1 of the three-day Native Holiday Gift Fair. Above, Vashon Island-based Shotridge Studios‘ offerings include laptop sleeves and phone cases by Tlingit master carver/artist Israel Shotridge; below, artist Margie Morris is at work during the fair, adding designs to drums:

While you’re there, get your copy(ies) of the West Seattle Wildlife Calendar, with photos by Mark Wangerin (you’ve seen his wondrous bird photos here on WSB). It’s a benefit for Chief Sealth International High School environmental programs, and students are helping sell them – Elaine was on duty when we stopped by:

No admission charge at the Longhouse, which is also a cultural center, but if you want to support the tribe’s fight for federal recognition, “Stand With The Duwamish Tribe” T-shirts are being sold too:

You can also buy snacks/lunch while there. The fair continues until 4 pm today, 10 am-4 pm tomorrow and Sunday, at 4705 W. Marginal Way SW (turn into the parking lot from the west side

‘Black Friday,’ West Seattle style: No need to stand in lines or dash down aisles

November 26, 2015 at 11:00 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

The post-Thanksgiving calm is starting to settle … except for the corners of the holiday-shopping world where people are lining up for the start of “Black Friday.” Instead of mall-mania, West Seattle’s local independent retailers invite you to sleep in and see what they have to offer – tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday, and beyond. You don’t even have to wait for “Shop Small Saturday” – make it “Shop Small Every Day.” The WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide has some previews of local shopping highlights if you scroll down the page; also new this year, the West Seattle Junction Association is offering some ideas in a three-part Gift Guide (here’s where to start). Another stop for your list tomorrow – it’s the first of three days for the annual Native Holiday Gift Fair at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse – hand-crafted creations you won’t find anywhere else. (WSB photo: Garland-decked Easy Street Records, one of the local indie businesses where you’ll find deals Friday)

TOMORROW: Sealth, WSHS marching bands in downtown parade

November 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

IF you’re going downtown to see tomorrow morning’s Macy’s Holiday Parade – you’ll have locals to cheer for: The Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School marching bands are both on the lineup, per their online schedules. The parade starts at 9 am and ends when Santa Claus goes by – the route is described in SDOT’s holiday-weekend alert. You can’t take the Water Taxi over since it’s not running on Friday, but you can take Metro, which will be on a “reduced weekday” schedule. (Anybody else from WS in the parade? Please comment, or message us, so we’ll all know to look for you!)

HAPPENING NOW: West Seattle Eagles’ 7th annual ‘Thanksgiving to Remember’ community dinner

November 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Another group of West Seattleites putting the “giving” in Thanksgiving today – the West Seattle Eagles, serving their 7th annual “Thanksgiving to Remember” feast, free to all, until 5 pm. The first hour saw more than 60 people, they told us when we stopped by:

Among the Eagles and volunteers making everyone welcome are Armando Juarez, Christine Juarez, and Gatewood Elementary students Maddy and Ty:

The Eagles’ aerie is just south of the Junction post office, 4426 California SW.

PHOTOS: Thanksgiving dinner @ The Hall at Fauntleroy, year 17

November 26, 2015 at 1:30 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

For the 17th year, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering is serving its legendary complimentary community Thanksgiving dinner right now at The Hall at Fauntleroy, all welcome, until 3 pm. We dropped in to photograph some of the smiling faces of the people who are spending part of their holiday making it happen:

T&TSC proprietor David Haggerty (3rd from right, above) told us that within the first 35 minutes or so, they had already served 100 diners. (What does it take for this large-scale feast to happen? See our behind-the-scenes story from 2012.) As is also a tradition, a table in the hallway also was laden with warm clothing available to anyone who needed to take some home.

West Seattle Thanksgiving 2015: What you need to know

November 26, 2015 at 6:03 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(One more view from Tuesday’s king tide/north wind – photo by Monica Zaborac)

Happy Thanksgiving! Again this year, we are thankful for YOU and this beautiful neighborhood we share. Here’s info you might find useful:


WHO’S OPEN FOR COFFEE: We heard from 7 coffee shops ready to serve you for at least part of today! See the Thanksgiving section atop our West Seattle Holiday Guide.

PRE-TURKEY WORKOUTS : Also in the first section of the Holiday Guide.

The Hall at Fauntleroy
, noon-3 pm (9131 California SW)
West Seattle Eagles, 2-5 pm (4426 California SW)
South Park Senior Center, 11 am-2 pm (8201 10th Ave. S.)
—-More in our preview and our Holiday Guide. And if you are looking for a way to be helpful today – dessert donations are accepted at The Hall starting at 10 am.

WHICH RESTAURANTS (AND BARS WITH FOOD) ARE OPEN TODAY AND/OR TONIGHT: Here’s the list (please note, it is a list only of who told us, when we called, that they planned to be open – always subject to last-minute change without notice to us, so please alert us if you find any discrepancies).

THANKSGIVING CHURCH SERVICES: 2 are listed in the Holiday Guide.

The Admiral Theater is open this afternoon/evening – see the movies/times here (2343 California SW) … The West Seattle Lights/Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular music-synched light show starts tonight, lights on at 7 pm – bring food for the West Seattle Food Bank! (3908 SW Charlestown)

*Metro is on a Sunday schedule
*The Water Taxi is NOT running today or tomorrow
Sound Transit Route 560 is on a weekend schedule
Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on a normal schedule.

OTHER NOTES: No solid-waste pickup today … government offices, libraries, Parks-operated facilities are closed (except for golf courses including WS, closing “around 2 pm” per the city).

West Seattle holidays: Menashe Family Lights going up

November 25, 2015 at 6:19 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle Christmas lights, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

The season of light is about to begin, and nowhere in West Seattle does it shine more brightly than in the 5600 block of Beach Drive SW, where the famous Menashe Family Christmas Lights display is going up.

After seeing the work in progress, we stopped briefly late this afternoon to find out when the lights officially go on. Josh Menashe told us this Sunday (November 29th) is the night.

The box where you can drop off letters to Santa, as you can see, is back – and you’ll find Santa himself visiting on Saturday night, December 12th, 6-10 pm – bring a nonperishable food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank.

P.S. This is featured in our West Seattle Holiday Guide along with our area’s two synched-to-music light shows.

Short on cash and/or companionship? 3 places welcoming you tomorrow for a free community Thanksgiving meal

November 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

This year in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, we have three listings for a free community Thanksgiving meal. Organizers for all three stress that everyone is welcome – no prerequisites.

(WSB photo: T&TS crew preparing 2014 Thanksgiving dinner)
HALL OF FAUNTLEROY’S FREE DINNER: Again this year, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering will host a free, elegant Thanksgiving dinner for the community, noon-3 pm. Plenty of volunteers already are lined up but dessert donations are welcome, as noted in our preview – drop them off starting at 10 am on Thanksgiving. The Hall is on the south end of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. (9131 California SW)

WEST SEATTLE EAGLES’ FREE DINNER: Once again, the Eagles plan a free community Thanksgiving dinner on the holiday – follow the link for menu details. 2-5 pm. (4426 California SW)

FREE THANKSGIVING MEAL IN SOUTH PARK: The South Park Senior Center sent word that it is hosting a free Thanksgiving meal for anyone who would like to attend. It’s at the South Park Neighborhood Center, 11 am-2 pm. (8201 10th Ave S.)

West Seattle Wednesday: It’s all about the giving

November 25, 2015 at 11:09 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

(West Seattle Montessori & Academy [WSB sponsor] photo: What their students are thankful for)

On this day before Thanksgiving, you can give others a reason to be thankful too. From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, two Thanksgiving Eve-specific reminders:

TURKEYS FOR WCFB: The White Center Food Bank (which also serves part of WS) needs more turkeys, and welcomes dropoffs until 7 pm tonight. (They’re OK on volunteer help, and grateful to everyone who responded to that part of the most-recent request.) Just take them over to the food bank at 10829 8th SW.

‘LUNCHES WITH LOVE’: This annual community-powered effort to feed hungry people could use your help in several ways – drop off lunch supplies, make some sack lunches and take them over, help make sack lunches at LWL’s home-based HQ, help take the lunches around the area tonight to people who need them. Details are in our preview from Monday.


We’re spotlighting other giving opportunities throughout the holiday season – you’ll find them in our guide, which also has holiday-specific information you might find useful tomorrow, including:

-Grocery-store hours
-Where to get coffee
-Restaurants that plan to be open

… and what happens AFTER Thanksgiving, too, from light shows to Santa visits to parties, concerts, special shopping events, and beyond. (We continue to update daily, so please keep sending info on your holiday events – editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!)

Looking for West Seattle Thanksgiving info? Check the Holiday Guide

November 23, 2015 at 9:13 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Three days to get ready for Thanksgiving! If you are looking for information including:

*Free community meals
*Restaurants/coffee shops/grocery stores open on Thanksgiving
*Thanksgiving Eve/Day services
*Ways to put the “giving” in Thanksgiving (and the entire holiday season)

… please take a few minutes and check the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide (Thanksgiving is right at the top!). It’s updated daily (if not more often) all season long, so if you have information to add, for Thanksgiving or beyond, please send it as soon as you can! editor@westseattleblog.com is the best way to get us info for the guide and/or our regular year-round calendar (plain text in the body of the e-mail, please, not as an attachment or image) – thank you!

West Seattle pre-holiday scenes from Sunday open houses/bazaars

November 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Just back from two of the events in today’s WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide listings:

JF HENRY OPEN HOUSE: Some holiday open houses at local businesses are one-day-only events; at JF Henry in The Junction, they’re continuing until 5 pm today, and in addition to shopping for kitchen/dining ware, you can check out the retro aluminum tree with which proprietor Tom Henry is posing, above, and the little train circling the trees in the front window, as seen in our Instagram clip below:

JF Henry is at 4445 California SW on the north edge of The Junction. Treats and giveaways, too.

PEACE LUTHERAN BAZAAR: Two more hours to bazaar-shop if you can get to Gatewood:

It’s been a successful sale so far, the folks at Peace Lutheran Church (39th SW & SW Thistle) tell us, but items decorative and celebratory still await you in the sun-dappled downstairs room (doors are on 39th) until 3 pm.

Something to add to our Holiday Guide? E-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com ASAP – we’re updating daily!

HAPPENING NOW: Holiday season starts with open houses, bazaars…

November 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

From our West Seattle Holiday Guide, two of the many West Seattle events happening now:

At the Junction True Value (WSB sponsor) Holiday Open House – on until 2 pm at 4747 44th SW – helping the West Seattle Food Bank is a highlight. You can buy one of the raffle tickets that Sara (above) is selling, and/or bring a nonperishable food donation – the barrel’s right out front. New guest at the open house this year – an early visit from Santa Claus:

You’ll find him by the front door, steps away from the table of treats that also await you:

JTV is also your holiday-decorations headquarters – from lights to wreaths to tree and yard ornaments, and beyond.

Our West Seattle Saturday preview lists other open houses happening today and also a lineup of bazaars, including the one at Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), also until 2 pm. Volunteers there include Betsy, ready to cheer for the Cougars tonight:

The Tibbetts bazaar (3940 41st SW) is highlighted by handmade items – hurry over to see for yourself if you haven’t already.

West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays: New for this year’s tree lighting – street closure!

November 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

The updated-daily WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide includes a full list of what’s happening for WS Junction Hometown Holidays this year (we’re again among the co-sponsors), and there’s something new: On tree-lighting night – Saturday, December 5th – SW Alaska will be closed in front of Junction Plaza Park, so you’ll have more room to gather around the tree and park to enjoy the ceremony! It’s been elbow-to-elbow for years now, and the park itself is fairly small, so this is a big move to make room for more people to join the fun. Music, caroling, and more – full schedule TBA – 5 pm on the 5th. Also this year, that same night will bring a rolling Holiday Party at Junction stores, 4 pm-8 pm, with sips and snacks and specials all around, so come prepared for shopping and fun before and after the tree lighting.

SATURDAY: Turkey/groceries giveaway at Eastridge Church

November 19, 2015 at 9:42 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

One more quick reminder so word can circulate to those in need: Once again this year, the Saturday before Thanksgiving will bring the annual Eastridge Church giveaway of turkeys and bags of groceries. You don’t have to sign up or show anything – it’s available to all comers while supplies last. The line forms outside Eastridge, which is on the southeast corner of 39th SW and SW Oregon, and the giveaway starts at 9 am Saturday (November 21st). Read more about it on the church website.

P.S. This is part of a long list of Thanksgiving-related events/info in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

Keep your neighbors warm, by donating clothes, coats, and shoes for West Seattle Helpline via Dave Newman State Farm Insurance

November 16, 2015 at 3:11 pm | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photo from last holiday season: Car full of donations, unloaded upon delivery to WS Helpline)

That photo shows some of what West Seattleites donated to the West Seattle Helpline last holiday season to help keep neighbors warm, in large part thanks to a donation drive at Dave Newman State Farm Insurance (WSB sponsor). We’ve just received word that they’re doing it again: You can drop off donations of clean clothes, coats, and shoes at Dave Newman’s office (3435 California SW) from now until the end of December. If you want to donate, but can’t get the item(s) to the donation location, pickup might be available – call 206-932-1878 to inquire.

P.S. We’ve just added this to the newly launched WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, which, along with all kinds of other holiday information, includes a specific list of donation drives and other opportunities to give – some, like this one, all season long, others just for a specific day or event. Something to add? E-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

HAPPENING NOW: ‘Sip & Shop’ holiday bazaar until 5 pm

November 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Looking for something to do before The Game? Head over to the second annual “Sip & Shop” holiday bazaar at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral. It’s on until 5 pm. In the photo are Brooke Vaughey and Emily Paulson, who shared the photo shortly after Sip (wine!) & Shop got under way. All ages welcome; no admission charge; 3050 California SW. (This was featured in our newly launched West Seattle Holiday Guide – send us your event ASAP – editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!)

This year’s WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide is ready for you!

November 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(File photo of the Christmas Ship, whose 2015 West Seattle stops are part of what you’ll find in the guide)
Just published – the first version of this year’s WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. Thanks to the many people who answered our call to send holiday info as early as possible, it already has dozens of listings for the season, pre-Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. We’ll be updating it frequently as usual, removing what’s already happened, adding new events and updates that come in. So browse the guide when you get a chance! (Many of the standalone events also appear in our regular year-round calendar, if you prefer that, and we also continue with daily highlight roundups here in the news section, so you’ll see reminders, but if you find it helpful to make note of dates early in the season, here you go.)

West Seattle Thanksgiving: Eastridge Church turkey giveaway set for November 21

November 8, 2015 at 3:33 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo, November 2014)
Early word so the news gets around: Eastridge Church is again giving away turkeys and bags of groceries on the Saturday before Thanksgiving – this year, that’s November 21st – no proof of need required. It starts at 9 am outside the church, which is on the southeast corner of 39th SW and SW Oregon, and continues while supplies last – more information here.

West Seattle holidays: Free Thanksgiving dinner at The Hall at Fauntleroy again this year

November 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo from 2013)
It’s a West Seattle tradition, and it’s back for another year, confirms Carol Madaio from Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering:

The Free Community Thanksgiving Meal at the Hall at Fauntleroy is (again) on Thanksgiving Day – November 26th from noon until 3 PM. It’s our 17th year and is open to anyone who needs a hot meal or just a warm and friendly place to go on the holiday. We are fortunate to have plenty of volunteers this year but encourage people to come and eat and mingle. That is a big part of what makes the event so wonderful!

We do accept desserts. They can be dropped off at the Hall at Fauntleroy on Thanksgiving Day from 10 AM on. This year we are also holding a sock and blanket drive. We are trying to fill our cargo van! We will be distributing them on Thanksgiving and also to a shelter.

People can drop off new socks and blankets to our office in Sodo at 4101 Airport Way S or there is a collection bin at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse at 9131 Fauntleroy Way SW. People can call me at 206-932-1059 if they have any questions.

The Hall at Fauntleroy is on the south end of the historic schoolhouse, same address.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who answered our call earlier this week to send event listings and information for another tradition, the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide. If you haven’t sent us your info – events (plus donation drives, restaurant/bar holiday hours, all the things we usually publish) – editor@westseattleblog.com, soon as you can!

HAPPENING NOW: Holiday season starts sizzling with ‘Taste’ event at West Seattle Thriftway

November 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Three weeks until Thanksgiving! If you’re thinking about having West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) put together the holiday feast for you – get to tonight’s Holiday Taste event before 7 pm and try some of what’s on the menu!

Vendors are there too, including, below, what you might call the “pie a la mode” team:

That’s Alex from Lopez Island Creamery and Joe from Whidbey Pie Company. Among this year’s new participants, The Waffle Lady, with pancake/waffle mix and several types of syrup:

Lots more to try. And a bonus – spend at least $20 at Thriftway tonight and get 10 percent off. If you’ve never been to Thriftway, it’s in Morgan Junction, where California and Fauntleroy meet Morgan.

WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide goes live soon! Share your event(s)

November 3, 2015 at 9:35 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | Comments Off

While we work on the calendar-highlights preview for the rest of today/tonight, a quick note: This year, we’re launching the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide earlier than usual, since the season begins in just a few days with the first round of bazaars/art shows/sales. So we’re inviting you to send us information on YOUR holiday event as soon as you have it. No need to wait for your logo, poster, graphic to be ready – we can’t use most of those anyway; what we really want (as with our regular Event Calendar) is just the basic information on the event, including who/what/when/where, and a website link if you have one (not mandatory). Please include all that info in plain text in the body of your e-mail – NOT a Word doc, PDF, etc. – and send it to editor@westseattleblog.com. Our Holiday Guide spans the season from now through New Year’s Day. We also welcome information on restaurants/coffee shops/business hours for Thanksgiving/Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day once you know. We’ll be updating the guide at least once a day throughout the season, so no worries if you don’t have the info now, but please bookmark this and get us the info soon as you do. Thank you!

P.S. Our guide also features a list of holiday-season charity drives – so if you’re collecting food, socks, blankets, toys, whatever, please let us know about that too!

West Seattle Halloween scenes: Wolf eel to ‘Werewolf,’ and beyond

October 31, 2015 at 11:22 pm | In Fun stuff to do, Holidays, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Boo! That’s an undersea Halloween scene, courtesy of Jim Bodoia, who found the “grinning Wolf Eel out just past the Alki Statue of Liberty.” Here’s a sampling of what was happening on the surface:

Neither the rain nor the wind – both at a tolerable level when we stopped by – got in the way of Skeleton Theatre at 36th SW & SW Hanford. After years of brewing up an all-new, all-out show each Halloween, this year the crew offered what they dubbed “Plan B” – a retrospective with skeleton stars from past years.

Rock ‘n’ roll, big belting ballads, you’ll hear it all if you go for encore night tomorrow (Sunday), 6-9 pm, 10-minute shows continuously with a few minutes of resetting inbetween.

Indoors, we found a full house at Meeples Games (WSB sponsor):

Meeples invited folks in to play “Werewolf on Halloween night. Storyteller Hank had all in thrall when we walked in:

Meeples (upstairs at 3727 California SW) is a happening place – just browse their calendar for proof.

Earlier in the evening, one last round of business trick-or-treating happened at Westwood Village:

That photo is courtesy of the folks at Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor), whose namesake Wyatt – son of proprietors Kirk and Joni Keppler – was handing out the candy.

Last but by no means least: Every year, neighborhood decorations seem to get bolder and brighter. Doug B sent a photo of his spooky yard in Seaview:

Thanks to everyone who’s shared photos and event info over the extended Halloween season (editor@westseattleblog.com) – now we move on to winter holidays, with bazaars and art shows starting as soon as NEXT weekend!

West Seattle Halloween: Teal Pumpkin Project carves out an inclusive niche for trick-or-treaters

October 28, 2015 at 8:51 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(Photo by Jason Enevoldsen)

By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog

Think about a recent time you were excluded from something:

Your friends spent the evening out without you; you didn’t have time to watch that movie everyone said was so good; or, you weren’t invited to an important meeting, even though your coworker at the same level was. You know that feeling? It isn’t fun, but as adults we’re able to deal with it appropriately most of the time. Celebrating Halloween with food allergies means being left out over and over again, which is particularly difficult for children.

Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project! It’s simple:

1. (optional) Sign up at http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project.
2. Display a teal pumpkin at your door, or a picture of one, to show that you’re participating.
3. Give trick-or-treaters a non-food treat, either instead of candy or in addition to candy.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is not an attempt to eliminate candy from Halloween. The Teal Pumpkin Project was started to promote the inclusion and safety of, and respect for, people with food allergies. As a happy circumstance, this also promotes the inclusion and safety of, and respect for, people who also cannot have candy for reasons besides food allergies.

I don’t have food allergies, why would I participate?

Empathy and inclusion.

Halloween today is one of many social occasions with an emphasis on food. For someone like me, with food allergies, these occasions mean being excluded or partly excluded. That’s not fun. It’s not fun that it is absolutely necessary that I use my willpower to resist eating a delicious-looking cookie that might have nuts, or a caramel candy bar (my favorite) because the brand has mixed peanuts into the caramel. I’m an adult though: I have both the willpower to resist the candy bar and the emotional resiliency to cope with the exclusion. Children are still learning these things.

There are already 18 households signed up on the West Seattle peninsula, including White Center. You can find a map of some of them on the Teal Pumpkin Project website.

I know there are more planning to participate as well.

Do kids really like non-food treats?

Yes. Not every kid likes every treat, and that’s true for candy too, but non-food treats can be even more fun, and are less likely to be subject to the “parent tax” (you know the one: the portion of kids’ candy eaten by the parents after bedtime?). I’m sure you can get even more creative, but stickers and glowsticks are usually a hit. I’ll be making slime. Are you down to the wire on time? A dollar store is going to have a variety of things that might work for you.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?

I advocate giving out both to each kid, but the Food Allergy Research and Education organization recommends that “you can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.” Keep your candy and non-food treats in separate bowls.

I/My Child Has Food Allergies

Please stay safe on Halloween. Bring your epinephrine and allergy medications while you trick-or-treat and to Halloween parties. Wait until you get home to eat any treats. Check every label and ingredients – “fun-size” candies can have different ingredients than full-size. If you can’t find the ingredients, swap it for something safe. Bring extra safe treats along with you to parties.

Have a Happy Halloween!


FARE: Food Allergy Research and Education
FAACT: Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team
WA-FEAST: Washington Food Allergy, Eczema, and Asthma Support Team—this is our local active support group.
Sea-FAC: Seattle Food Allergy Consortium—local research being done into causes and cures for food allergies.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re adding the Teal Pumpkin Project map to the WSB West Seattle Halloween Guide, so you can find it again easily.

Veterans Day invitation: Dinner with American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary Unit 160

October 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm | In Holidays, Triangle, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo from 2014 dinner)
One more look ahead to Veterans Day: Once again this year, West Seattle’s American Legion Post 160 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 160 invite “all active duty, reserve, national guard, military veterans and their families” to the annual Veterans Day Italian Dinner at the Legion Hall in The Triangle, 3618 SW Alaska. Free, no RSVPs needed – just stop by between 5 and 7 pm on Sunday, November 8th.

Last call: Be part of the 2015 West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival – offer an activity!

October 8, 2015 at 9:52 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(2014 WSB photo: Harvest Festival activity @ Westside School [sponsor] booth)
Halloween season is closer than you think – the big day/night is three weeks from Saturday – and the biggest event in West Seattle is even sooner, two weeks from this Sunday. That of course would be the West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 25th, 10 am-2 pm, featuring the chili-cookoff tasting at 11 am, the big costume parade at 11:30 am, and business trick-or-treating at noon. Even before all that, the fun starts right at 10 with “harvest-themed activities” throughout The Junction, as well as the Farmers’ Market in the middle of the street (its permanent home, inspired by the success of its previous in-the-street incarnations during the festival). There’s still room for a few more community groups and businesses to be part of the heart of the festival by offering activities – please go to this page on the West Seattle Junction Association‘s website ASAP for an application. (WSB is a co-sponsor and activity provider again this year, so we’ll see you there!)

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