Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

December 24, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 24, 2013

In 1897, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon was asked by his then 8-year-old daughter Virginia whether Santa Claus really existed. O’Hanlon suggested she write to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time.

Virginia’s letter became the introduction to an editorial in The Sun, and is reprinted here. Merry Christmas one and all!

Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon

115 W. Ninety-Fifth St.
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Mail letters to Santa at community center

December 10, 2013

Children of all ages can now send their wish list, or even a wish for good tidings, to the North Pole from the Issaquah Community Center.

The mailbox for letters to Santa is located in the center’s lobby, 301 Rainier Blvd. N. The deadline to drop letters into the mailbox is Dec. 19.

Letter templates are also available next to the mailbox. Make sure you include a return mailing address so Santa can respond.

Reindeer Festival welcomes new fliers

December 3, 2013

Santa is celebrating this holiday season with new members on his flying travel team and will debut them at the 25th annual Reindeer Festival at the Cougar Mountain Zoo.

Joining the other 10 reindeer at the zoo are Rowley, named after sponsor Rowley Properties, and Issy, named after the town he was born in. Zoo curator, and head elf, Robyn Barfoot said Rowley was born May 9 and Issy came along not far behind, on July 9; both have the same dad.

“Our visitors have a unique opportunity to peer into the joyous world of Santa Claus and learn about his amazing animal friends,” Barfoot said. “It makes for an unforgettable holiday experience.”

If you go

25th annual Reindeer Festival
Cougar Mountain Zoo
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily through Dec. 23
19525 S.E. 54th St.
www.cougarmountainzoo.org

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25th annual Reindeer Festival starts today

December 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 1, 2013

Santa is celebrating this holiday season with new members on his flying travel team and will debut them at the 25th annual Reindeer Festival at the Cougar Mountain Zoo.

Joining the other 10 reindeer at the zoo are Rowley, named after sponsor Rowley Properties, and Issy, named after the town he was born in. Zoo curator, and head elf, Robyn Barfoot said Rowley was born May 9 and Issy came along not far behind, on July 9; both have the same dad.

“Our visitors have a unique opportunity to peer into the joyous world of Santa Claus and learn about his amazing animal friends,” Barfoot said. “It makes for an unforgettable holiday experience.”

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Editorial

November 26, 2013

Shop Small, Shop Local comes to Issaquah

We have all heard the hype surrounding Black Friday, when big box retailers roll out their lowest sale prices of the year to kick off the holiday shopping season. And then there is Cyber Monday, the big day for online shopping orders.

But Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize the storefronts right in their own hometowns.

Building on the theme of Small Business Saturday, initiated by American Express in 2010, the catchier phrase Shop Small has become a nationwide movement. The Downtown Issaquah Association adopted the movement to get things rolling here, literally.

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Issaquah police trade blue for red to brighten Christmas for families

December 25, 2012

Officer swaps blue uniform for red suit to play Santa

Santa Claus delivers gifts to 7-year-old Blanca Gomez and 6-year-old Sergio Gomez Jr. as the Issaquah Police Department delivers Christmas gifts to local families Dec. 19. By Jacqueline Kerness/Issaquah Police Department

Santa Claus traded the sleigh for a police SUV not long before Christmas.

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When did the holidays go up for sale?

December 25, 2012

“Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. Buy now and your cost will be only $9.95.”

Jacob Brunette
Issaquah High School

That is the American holiday season in a nutshell; the time of year in which we celebrate love, peace and incredible savings.

It seems that every year, however, the incredible savings start sooner, and the love and peace get pushed further into the background.

As soon as Halloween is over, the holiday season has begun. Stores start selling Christmas lights and decorations. Santa Claus appears on TV, advertising cars and clothing.

Holiday music loops endlessly in the mall. Every year, the onslaught of commercials starts a little sooner in an attempt to extend the lucrative period of holiday shopping for as long as possible.

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Children unravel mysteries of Santa Claus

December 18, 2012

Santa Claus, the elves and his reindeer are busily putting on the finishing touches of what is sure to be an exciting holiday season.

He’s been hard at work making toys, reading his mail and recording last-minute Christmas wishes from Issaquah boys and girls at the Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah Commons and Gilman Village.

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Off the Press

December 11, 2012

Elusive Christmas wish ignites holiday meltdown

Warren Kagarise
Press reporter

Christmastime means basic cable is awash in the holiday staples I remember from childhood — animated Whos in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a stop-motion Santa Claus in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and, above all else, BB-gun-seeking Ralphie Parker in “A Christmas Story.”

In 1990, at age 6, I followed Ralphie’s lead and trimmed my Christmas list down to a single wish.

That November, I dutifully wrote Santa Claus a letter outlining my desire for a Patch Up Pet, nowadays a long-forgotten toy. I knew if I wanted to score such a hot item, I needed to bypass my parents and appeal directly to the big man.

Santa wrote back. In hindsight, that should have been a big indicator of trouble.

Despite much searching by the elves, he wrote, there were no Patch Up Pets to be had, not at the North Pole, and especially not in Lorain, Ohio, where my parents and I then lived.

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Reindeer fly to Cougar Mountain Zoo for annual festival

December 4, 2012

Rogue, who was 5 months old during the 2011 Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo, checks out visitors through a barn window at Santa’s house. By Greg Farrar

If you saw a deer-shaped figure roaming the night sky in November, don’t be alarmed, said Cougar Mountain Zoo General Curator Robyn Barfoot, it was just Santa’s reindeer getting some flying practice in before their big day.

But now Santa’s reindeer are done practicing and ready to meet with local residents at the Cougar Mountain Zoo’s 24th annual Reindeer Festival.

While the zoo is technically closed during the month of December, the zoo eagerly plays host to the festival that attracts more than 10,000 visitors every year, Barfoot said.

“It provides a really great opportunity for people to do something with their families during the day and kind of get everyone in the feel of the holidays,” she said.

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