Ellensburg puts on holiday events

Tapanga Krause, Staff Reporter

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Whether it’s cozy sweater parties, a night out with the girls or annual tree lightings, the Ellensburg community has a variety of holiday events to choose from. The Ellensburg Downtown Association (EDA) and Iron Horse Brewery are putting on some of these events to help the community ring in the holiday season. 

Moments to Remember is an annual event that the EDA puts on every year. It took place on Nov. 29 with the annual tree lighting and Dancing in the State Farm Windows.  

According to Taylor Villwock, the public relations (PR) representative for the EDA, Dancing in the State Farm Windows tends to draw a big crowd. There were two groups performing this year: Dubstep Studio and the Ellensburg Dance Ensemble. The dance ensemble performed two 30-minute shows while Dubstep Studio performed an hour long show. 

Villwock said she enjoys this event because the dance groups “really get into it” by dressing up in their holiday outfits and giving their all to the performance.

“It’s such a unique way to showcase their talents,” Villwock said. “And I think the parents definitely appreciate it.”

Preceding this event was the annual tree lighting. Villwock said that the tree lighting kicks off the holiday season and puts people in the holiday spirit. 

There were also hot cider and hot chocolate for everyone to enjoy. Santa Claus arrived at 5:30 p.m. to pass out candy canes. This event has been going on for as long as Villwock can remember and has been a tradition in the community for years.

On Dec. 12 EDA’s Girls’ Night Out will take place from 5-9 p.m. According to Villwock, the event has been going on for as long as she can remember.

“It’s definitely a loved event downtown,” Villwock said. “I can’t ever see it going away.”

The main goal for this event is to bring more people to the downtown businesses. This gives businesses the opportunity to do something different and stay open longer. Most businesses downtown close at around 5-6 p.m. According to Villwock, the businesses get very invested in this event. They decorate for the holidays, bring in vendors and have food and drinks for customers.

Villwock believes that people should come to this event because it’s a good way to experience Ellensburg and all the town offers. It gets shoppers to explore shops they normally wouldn’t go into and gives them the opportunity to find things that they didn’t know was here in Ellensburg. 

There are a couple of shops in town that Villwock said not a lot of people know about.

“Things that they can get in town, other than going to a big box store or going to the west side,” Villwock said. “There’s Purity Silkworks, where you can get bath stuff. They even have dog shampoo. Just cool unique things like that. There’s clothing stores, a lot of spas and salons.”

Villwock’s favorite part of this event is getting to participate in it.

The Cozy Sweater Party will take place on Dec. 6 at Iron Horse Brewery from 7-10 p.m. According to Jared Vallejo, director of marketing for Iron Horse Brewery, this event has been going on since 2009.

“A decade of cozy sweater parties in various forms feels like a tradition,” Vallejo said. “However, we could just be blinded by our love for a good old social gathering.”

Vallejo said the main goal for this event has always been the same: have fun, let loose, connect with your community and enjoy friends old and new. 

Along with this, Iron Horse will help support the Cold Weather Shelter by collecting as many mittens, beanies, gloves and jackets as possible for those who could use them the most.

Vallejo said the true character of a community is revealed by how it treats those most in need. According to him, Ellensburg tends to answer the call, and Iron Horse is here to simply create another pathway to do so. Vallejo’s favorite part of the event is seeing the collective joy from a wide range of people, coming together for a common cause. 

“Also the beer is pretty dang good too,” Vallejo said.