Anacortes students will celebrate National Bike to School Day today by walking or biking to school as part of the district’s ongoing Walk and Wheel program.
After the mortarboards have been thrown, family pictures taken and probably a few tears shed, Anacortes High School graduates have a safe place to celebrate their milestone with the alcohol- and drug-free grad night.
Parents spend four years planning, fundraising and volunteering to make the night happen for each class.
Graduates have no idea what is planned for their special celebration.
“I meet up with some lady friends on Friday nights,” Jackie Necco says. After dinner, on the first Friday of the month, they’ll take a stroll up Commercial Avenue and visit the art galleries, “if the weather’s not too horrible.”
In April, Necco was one of about 200 guests participating in the monthly First Friday Gallery Walk, which has been a staple of the visual arts scene in Anacortes since 2004.
The event draws 200 or more people from around Anacortes and out of town to tour venues, see what’s new and talk to the artists.
Walk organizer and Scott Milo Gallery owner Kathy Khile said some people come every month, while others make it when they can. The walks started as an extension of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce’s June and December art walks that date back more than 20 years.
“We saw that twice a year people really enjoyed coming out for the arts,” Khile said.
So in December 2004, Khile started organizing the walks every month. Galleries in town debut their new exhibits on first Fridays, bringing artists and patrons together for an evening. The galleries buzz with chatter and bustle with guests touring through the exhibits, often with a snack or a glass of wine in hand. Artists chat about their work or present demonstrations.
Students from San Juan Montessori School helped plant a 15-foot red oak tree at Causland Memorial Park on Thursday in celebration of Arbor Day.
Anacortes was named a 2012 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is the 12th year Anacortes earned this national designation.
Under the direction of Tina Roney and Holly Goss, the children sang songs around the tree and presented Mayor Dean Maxwell with a “We love our park” card.
The May First Friday Gallery Walk is 6-9 p.m. Friday.
The 10th annual Island Hospital Foundation Gala of Hope April 20 raised a record $240,000 to support services at Island Hospital.
Foundation Development Director Bernadette Stanek said the event exceeded the foundation’s goals.
“It was just absolutely phenomenal,” she said.