A trio of relatively recent holiday traditions, followed by a long-time favorite, highlight the North Coast calendar through the Thanksgiving festivities.
The Ocean Shores Firefighters Association’s Turkey Bingo event moves up to the main room at the Ocean Shores Convention Center with doors opening at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16; the Ocean Shores Food Bank offers a special holiday distribution from 1-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20; and the Ocean Shores Lions Club once again will feed hundreds at their free Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 1-4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22.
The long-running Winter Fanta-Sea Arts & Crafts Show completes the holiday weekend, running Friday through Sunday, Nov. 23-25, at the Convention Center.
The Turkey Bingo party, Friday at the Convention Center, is an annual fund-raising event that has grown quickly and last year had an overflow crowd and sold out of bingo cards. This year, space will be almost doubled as Turkey Bingo moves into the Great Hall of the Convention Center, with doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the event starting at 6.
Refreshments will be available and 3-card bingo sheets will be sold for $1. In addition to Thanksgiving turkeys, participants can win fixin’s baskets, party-sized pies, and a variety of prizes donated by businesses and individuals in the area.
The local non-profit Firefighters Association uses the proceeds to fund their annual free Halloween Party for area kids, Easter Egg Hunt, scholarships, other community activities and purchase of professional equipment.
Food Bank Distribution
In addition to their normal free food distributions on the first and third Thursdays of each month, the Ocean Shores Food Bank will have a special Thanksgiving holiday meal distribution on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 1:30-5 p.m. The menu will include: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, green beans, black olives, rolls, margarine, evaporated milk, pie shells and filling.
The Food Bank’s executive director, Sandra Harley, said the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday dinner distributions, the latter coming Friday, Dec. 21, are two of the biggest days of the year for the local non-profit. She asked that people make reservations, by calling 360-289-2171 and leaving a message, so Food Bank volunteers can have a good estimate for the number of turkeys and amount of needed.
Harley said enabling traditional holiday dinners for the Food Bank’s clients is “not just about food. It’s also about dignity and respect,” and helping everyone feel that they are part of the community.
Free Thanksgiving Dinner
This is the sixth year the Ocean Shores Lions Club has hosted what club president Ernie Nelson said is “really a community effort – just a wonderful event.” From 1-4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, a small army of more than 25 volunteers will serve over 300 people from a menu that includes turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, yams, rolls and a variety of desserts.
While the event takes place at the Lions Club, 832 Ocean Shores Blvd. NW, it receives broad support. Nelson said they receive donations of turkeys, hams and other items and assistance from Ocean Shores IGA, Quinault Beach Resort & Casino, the Ocean Shores Elks Lodge, Brookdale Senior Living, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, Ocean Shores VFW Post 8956, the North Beach Senior Center and others.
The result, he said, is not just a meal but “a real family-type get together, and a friendly event where you can sit and meet new people. It’s a really nice feeling to be able to create something like that.”
The Lions also offer free delivery to anyone requesting it, usually 30 or more local residents. Nelson said that can be arranged by calling him or his wife, Leona, at 360-289-2314. He added that 70 or so boxes of leftovers will go home with folks who come to the dinner.
He concluded, “We especially thank all the people that volunteer. It’s just phenomenal — some volunteer here, then go home and make their own Thanksgiving dinners.”
Glimpses Lecture Series
The Coastal Interpretive Center is hosting its winter season Glimpses Lecture Series on the third Thursday of each month, November through March. Lectures start at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Room of the Shilo Inn Ocean Shores, 707 Ocean Shores Blvd. Tickets are $10 at the door. Restaurant menu available.
On Nov. 15, the guest speaker will be Kelly Calhoun, curator of Museum of the North Beach. Kelly will be speaking of the history of Moclips and Pacific Beach and historical facts of the communities at the end of Highway 109.
The Dec. 20 speaker is author Robert Teague on “Shipwrecks and the Development of Coastal Washington.”
The Interpretive Center will be open Friday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Whale Tale Days
When in Ocean Shores, keep an eye out for Whale Tale Days — an event to bring awareness to the Coastal Interpretive Center. Bins will be placed throughout town where a small plush whale can be obtained in exchange for a donation.
The Interpretive Center welcomes new volunteers, and is looking for those interested in promotions, education, fund-raising, exhibits/facilities and hosting. Visit or contact the Coastal Interpretive Center at (360) 689-4617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hundreds of witnesses, experts, enthusiasts and believers will discuss and debate everything about the wild, bipedal primate known as Bigfoot at the Sixth Annual Sasquatch Summit, Friday through Sunday, Nov. 16-18, at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino.
The event was created by Johnny Manson, who claims to have had some Bigfoot experiences himself, and is known to many as the host of the “Morning Madness” broadcast, 5-10 a.m. weekdays on KJET 105.7 FM in Aberdeen, and “Strange Harbors,” airing Sundays at 4 p.m. on sister station KBKW.
Manson has seen and heard some strange things around his home, “out in the woods” a few miles from Ocean Shores, not surprising since many experts in the field consider the temperate rainforests, dense timberland and rugged mountains of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula to be ideal Bigfoot habitat.
John Pickering, a life-long Grays Harbor resident, has been making casts of animal tracks for more than 20 years, including some he believes were made by bigger-than-human bipeds. He will demonstrate his methods in a Sunday workshop session at the Sasquatch Summit.
As a scientist and full professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University for 25 years, Summit speaker Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum agrees that the Grays Harbor area “certainly has a great deal of reporting, both contemporary and historical” with numerous eyewitness encounters and “very good footprint records.”
His Saturday afternoon presentation will offer scientific perspective “on the behavioral ecology of Sasquatch.”
Advance tickets and more information available online at www.sasquatchsummit.com.
Nov. 23-25: The annual Winter Fanta-Sea Arts & Crafts Show returns to the Ocean Shores Convention Center Thanksgiving Weekend, 12-5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.
The show, held here for many years on the holiday weekend, is completely full, with more than 70 vendors offering unique, hand-crafted gifts, collectibles, tasty treats and more.
Food and beverage service are available and Santa Claus will appear from 12-3 p.m. Saturday. No admission charge for the event.