Sky Valley rings in the holiday season with style

The holiday season came alive on Saturday, Dec. 6, in Monroe, during the Holiday Extravaganza put on by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, as well as in Sultan, during the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce's Winterfest and Sultan's Tree Lighting event.
This year's Winterfest featured over 80 vendors including artists, jewelry-makers, craftsman, nonprofit agencies, firefighters, local entrepreneurs and even Brooklyn Holton, a 2018 Olympic hopeful who spent the day fundraising to help support her Olympic aspirations.

Local events like Winterfest and Monroe's Artisan Bazaar gave holiday shoppers the opportunity to support the local economy by purchasing hand-crafted gifts that were truly one of-a-kind.
Sultan resident Lisa DeGon had a booth at Winterfest where she displayed her intricate bead jewelry including necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. DeGon's handmade items featured brightly colored pieces filled with sparkling bling.
DeGon said that jewelry making provides her with a creative outlet.
"I'm self-taught,GÇ¥ said DeGon. "It's my art.GÇ¥

DeGon, who has been making jewelry for about five years, also does custom work.
Snohomish County Fire District #5 was Winterfest's most substantial sponsor this year. Several District #5 firefighters manned a donation booth, where Jason Gwilt was dressed in full fire gear while walking on a StairMaster to spread awareness for the upcoming Big Climb for Leukemia event.
The Big Climb event, which is held in downtown Seattle at the Columbia Tower, raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Firefighters will navigate the tower's narrow stairwell in full fire gear, climbing 69 flights of stairs, which amounts to a total of 1,311 steps with 788 feet of vertical elevation. Two climbing events are organized annually; one for firefighters and one for anybody else who wishes to brave the tower. The firefighters' Big Climb event takes place in March every year, with an additional Big Climb event typically following two weeks later for the general public.
To make a donation to help support their endeavor, please visit:, click on the red "donateGÇ¥ button, and search under the team name: Snohomish County Fire District #5. The team captain is Jason Gwilt.
Sultan's tree lighting event was primarily organized by a group of volunteers including former Sultan councilmember Ken Marshall.

Snohomish County District #5 escorted Mr. and Mrs. Claus to the event, who are portrayed each year by Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick and her husband, Chuck Donaldson.
In Monroe, the Chamber of Commerce presented the city with a holiday extravaganza including an artisan bazaar, music, Santa Claus, bonfires and a petting zoo.
And although the temperatures were pleasant and mild, Monroe Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Una Wirkebau-Hartt managed to transform one corner of Main Street into a bona fide winter wonderland filled with drifting snowflakes.
Parents, teens and children alike had fun in the "snowGÇ¥ which was produced by Monroe Parks Director Mike Farrell using a snow machine.
The eclectic, all-day event even included a special performance by Monroe Chamber of Commerce Board President Mike "Mr. DizzyGÇ¥ Buse, who set himself on fire on Main Street. Onlookers watched as the renowned racecar driver and stuntman was set ablaze, after which he ran down the center of Main Street.
Nearby, at the Junction, the artisan bazaar was ongoing throughout the day, and photos with Santa Claus were also available. Craftsmen included candle makers, jewelry makers and much more.
Baked goods were also on hand, including freshly baked cupcakes and cookies made by Andrew Felger, a 16-year-old junior at Monroe High School.

Fegler started his baking business, Andrew's Bake Sale, to help fund his dream of attending pastry school in Paris. He specializes in cupcakes, and also creates cakes, cookies, cake pops and other decadent treats.
He is currently getting a jumpstart on his degree by taking classes at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology in addition to his classes at the high school.
Many elected officials stopped by to enjoy the holiday event including Washington State Senator Kirk Pearson, Monroe City Councilmembers Ed Davis and Jeff Rasmussen and others. At 6 p.m., Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas said a few words and led the crowd in a jaunty rendition of Jingle Bells, accompanied by Santa and Mrs. Claus, after which there was a brief countdown and the Christmas tree, located on Lewis and Main Street, was lit.
For more information on Andrew Fegler, please visit his Facebook page at: For more information on Lisa's Designs jewelry, please email her at or visit:


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