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Glen Ellen Telegram

Glen Ellen Telegram
Holiday elves decorate the Glen Ellen Bridge every year.Photo by Paul Goguen

By Shannon Lee

Ho Ho Ho

You may have noticed that the Peace of Earth lighted sign is up at the SDC, which is at least something to smile about. Interesting that it has taken up residence in a new location, on the other side of Arnold Drive. Closer to the road but without the majesty of being backdropped by the historic main building and the mountains. The lights and garland have also returned to the Glen Ellen bridge, a beautiful small-town, long-time tradition made possible by the work of volunteer elves, who prefer to remain anonymous.

After a pandemic year off, our town is so excited to learn that Santa is returning to Glen Ellen! The annual Wagon Ride with Santa is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 19, from noon to 2 p.m. Meet at the Saloon parking lot if you’d like to take a turn. This is a great event for the kids (ages infant to 100).

Bah Humbug

It’s sad but true. The Birkland Bridge will not be lit this year, and it’s ok to grouse about it a little. Community members worked extraordinarily hard last year to push through red tape and regulations, not to mention mounting an impressive 24-hour fund-raising campaign, and they pulled it off (barely). This year, unfortunately, the hurdles were too high to overcome and there was a lack of person power/energy to make it happen.

“The expense of the project and the risks and complexity of securing power for the lights from the State of California, as well as the lack of a community member readily available to manage the project, sadly made it impossible to light the bridge for 2021,” said Melissa Dowling, former president of the Board of Directors of the Glen Ellen Forum (and publisher of the Kenwood Press). Her sentiments were echoed by current board president Amanda Shone, who added, “The community certainly hopes to find a way to make it happen in future years.”

The fight to make it happen for the holidays in 2020 was not without controversy, as some in the community felt that the money spent for bridge lighting would be better used elsewhere. Of course, the money was raised specifically for this purpose and donated by folks who wanted to see the bridge lighted. Unfortunately, in-fighting can erode the will of volunteers to go through that same gauntlet in a future year. So, yeah, bah humbug.

The Buzz from Around the Bend

On Nov. 14, the Jack London Yacht Club held their Grant Recipient Event at B. R. Cohn. Twenty nonprofits were handed checks while Tommy Smothers and Squire Fridell entertained the crowd. Local groups who received grants include the Glen Ellen Forum, Glen Ellen/Kenwood Rotary Foundation, Sonoma Ecology Center, Glen Ellen Village Fair, Glen Ellen Historical Society, and Marine Conservation Institute.

Transcendence Theatre Company will be holding its annual holiday show in the Valley of the Moon this year. The performances will take place at the unique Belos Cavalos venue in Kenwood on these dates: Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12. For information and tickets visit www.

The Glen Ellen Forum will be holding its monthly meeting on Monday, Dec. 6 from 6:30-8 p.m. via zoom. The agenda is still in flux but may include presentations about mountain lions and ecological soundscapes, as well as the standard committee updates, announcements, and some special holiday flare that has become expected for the December meeting each year.

Thank you for reading this column. If you have any news to share or Glen Ellen-centered good news you’d like me to cover, please reach out to [email protected] com or call 707-996-3352.