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Lighted walk along river in Mount Vernon

Participants carry lanterns and luminaries during the Illuminight Winter Walk along the Skagit River in Mount Vernon in January 2015.
Participants carry lanterns and luminaries during the Illuminight Winter Walk along the Skagit River in Mount Vernon in January 2015. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Mount Vernon’s downtown Riverwalk will shimmer next week with a joyful and ethereal celebration of light and community called Illuminight Winter Walk.

Illuminight starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at Tri Dee Arts, a family-owned arts supply and gift store at 215 S. First St. A free workshop to make a simple luminary is at 4 p.m. at Tri Dee.

Participation is free and open to anyone.

“It was really cool last year,” said Kerri Grechishkin, executive assistant in the Mount Vernon Mayor’s Office.

She said the procession will travel from Tri Dee Arts about a half mile along the Riverwalk to Ristretto Coffee Lounge and Wine Bar, where complimentary hot cocoa and hot cider will be available.

Grechishkin said the event is part of the mayor’s Winter Wellness Week of nightly activities for all ages, and especially families. Participants carry luminaries or flashlights along the waterfront. Some of the luminaries are elaborate, held aloft on poles and in the shape of such animals as birds and sea creatures.

“It’s lovely. It’s wonderful when it reflects along the water,” said Richelle Potter of Friends of Illuminated Wildlife, which is sponsoring the walk with Tri Dee, the Downtown Association and the city’s Parks Department.

Potter said Tri Dee offers several other luminary workshops in addition to the one before the Illuminight event. A class to create a “salmon egg” luminary is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, and noon Jan. 24 A minimum $5 donation is requested for the class, which is geared toward children 5 and older. The luminary will be globe-shaped and glow with an LED lamp, Potter said.

For details, call the city of Mount Vernon at 360-336-6211 or Tri-Dee Arts at 360-336-6131, or go online to trideearts.com or mountvernonwa.gov.

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