Kids and parents alike come out to ring in Christmas cheer at the Cannon Beach History Center and Museum holiday party Saturday, Dec. 23.
Adorned with a fully-stocked cider and hot cocoa bar, the holiday open house featured craft making stations to make glittery Christmas trees or reindeers out of candy canes, as well as a yuletide-themed photo booth.
“It’s our way of giving back to everyone who supported us throughout the year,” outreach coordinator Liz Johnson said.
While the museum has had a holiday open house for years, this year museum staff decided to include new activities like face-painting and a Christmas story time for both kids and adults.
“We wanted to make this event more family friendly,” Johnson said. “Last year we had a story time, but only adults showed up for it. So we decided this year to do something for both kids and adults.”
Children at the event were read stories like “Pete the Cat Saves Christmas” and “Bad Kitty Christmas,” while Executive Director Elaine Trucke recounted the tale of the SS Mauna Ala, also known as the “Christmas ship,” to the adults. The SS Mauna Ala, a Matson line freighter, was on its way to Pearl Harbor to deliver Christmas supplies to the troops stationed there. That was the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when swarm of over 300 Japanese warplanes descended upon the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor. In response, the SS Mauna Ala was ordered to reroute to Oregon.
Those who lived on the Oregon coast were startled by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and feared that the Pacific Coast might be the next target. That meant news of soldiers landing on Oregon’s shores was taken very seriously.
Instead of a ship full of soldiers, however, the North Coast had a vessel wash up full of Christmas trees and goodies.