Matthew and Amanda Brogan pose with their children, Tavin, 7, and Ayla, 2, for a free portrait with Santa Claus offered by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Matthew and Amanda Brogan pose with their children, Tavin, 7, and Ayla, 2, for a free portrait with Santa Claus offered by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Christmas lights up Clinton’s holiday spirit

Shoppers, Santa, canines and kids fill community center

Kids and canines posed with Santa over the weekend’s Winter Market at Clinton Comunity Hall as South Whidbey kicked off the holiday season with numerous activities.

Saturday evening, a few dozen people watched the official Clinton tree lighting ceremony complete with cocoa and Christmas carols and the announcement of the children’s coloring contest.

“We’ve done this at least 15 years,” said Stephanie Cook, president of Clinton Chamber of Commerce. “We had Mel Birch lead the singing again. He’s amazing, a lovely man.”

Teenagers Natalie Monetti and Tess Patty-Caldwell helped comfort children braving the lap of St. Nick by handing out candy canes and flashing reassuring smiles.

“I know Santa personally; he’s a family friend,” elf Tess said with a laugh. “I’ve done this the past two years, it’s been a lot of fun.”

Many children are apprehensive, added elf Natalie, but not the furry kind. “We’ve have a lot of dogs having photos, too.”

The Brogan family opted for the family portrait, courtesy of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. As photographer Allana Cook clicked away, parents Matthew and Amanda ended up with some nice holiday shots with both children, son Tavin, 7, and daughter Ayla, 2, staying still at the same time.

Maps labeled “Port of Clinton Holiday Makers Tour” guided visitors to unique artists and shops, including Abundant Earth Fiber Mill for luscious spun, carded and knitted wool, Cadee Distillery for a whiskey tasting, original art and gifts created by artists and craftspeople at Blueschool Arts and Make Whidbey for one-of-a-kind beautiful local gifts and furniture.

Two dozen vendors filled Clinton Community Hall during a weekend of Christmas activities sponsored by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Two dozen vendors filled Clinton Community Hall during a weekend of Christmas activities sponsored by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Elves Natalie Monetti, left, and Tess Patty-Caldwell visit Santa for a fun photo opportunity Sunday at the Clinton Winter Market. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

Elves Natalie Monetti, left, and Tess Patty-Caldwell visit Santa for a fun photo opportunity Sunday at the Clinton Winter Market. (Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group)

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