Here are some good reasons to shop local in Anacortes, WA for the Holiday season. When we spend locally with small businesses we are supporting our community, creating jobs, protecting our environment, and investing in our future. Downtown Anacortes and Anacortes businesses provide shoppers with a diverse and unique selection of gift ideas. Support local businesses, they keep Anacortes thriving.
For Book Lovers
The Waggoner Bookstore
902 8th St
Books for boaters, children's books, cookbooks, and nautical maps
Unique, Fun, and Creative Gift Ideas
The Good Stuff
Gifts for artists, unique gifts, ornaments, holiday cards, and great gift ideas under $20.00
501 Commercial Ave
Cards, fun and unusual gifts
Jewelry, Clothes, and Accessories
Great Food Gift Ideas
Give the Gift of an Experience
What is it like when a little boy sits on the porch and listens intently to his grandfather’s stories, or has a father who teaches him to work hard? When a little boy is taught core values, is shown the stars and the sea, observes what it is like to serve the public and the community, that little boys grows up to become a man like Jon Petrich.
Today Jon is his own man and he practices what he was taught. Married with two children, he is dedicated to providing for his family and being someone they will be proud of. He is also following in his grandfather’s footsteps, wanting to serve his community, by running for Port Commissioner for the Port of Anacortes. And raised in a maritime family, he is also doing what he loves… being on the water.
He is where he was always meant to be.
Jon’s great-grandfather came over from Croatia and started a ship building business in Tacoma, WA. After his great grandfather and brothers sold the shipyard a lot of the family turned to law. But the sea was in Jon’s blood and as a kid, starting at around ten years old, he spent summers in Kodiak, Alaska fishing with his aunt on a commercial fishing boat.
As a child, his family would spend time at a beach cabin his grandfather owned on Fox Island. On the deck was an old signal light from a navy ship and his grandfather would use it to communicate with naval ships as they passed by. This would become one of Jon’s favorite memories, sharing moments with his grandfather as they signaled the ships.
Everything in his life seemed to revolve around the sea. It called to him and it still does.
Born in Skagit Valley, Jon’s family moved to Guemes Island. In 2002, Jon graduated from high school and like most graduates he flew the nest. Jon went to school at Eastern Washington University where he studied Finance and Economics. A career choice he assumed he would make good money in. But being so far from the water made him uncomfortable, he realized the water was really a part of his core and who he was.
He became a financial advisor after graduating from college. After two years as a financial advisor he reevaluated if this was really the career for him, the answer was unequivocally no.
Jon put himself through college working as a commercial fisherman or working for a charter fish company in Alaska. He maintained contact with a lot of the people and went back to doing what his heart and soul wanted to do… work on the water.
“The first day I turned in my suit and tie and put on my XTRATUFs and Carhartt jacket again, it felt like home. This is where I belonged. This is where I wanted to be. This is me,” Jon said.
Part of his decision to make a career change was factored on finding a steadier career choice so he could provide for his family. Being a financial advisor was not always a stable workforce. In the maritime industry if one part of the maritime industry was having a hard time, he knew could transfer his skills to another part of the industry.
But the real truth was the siren call of the sea called to him and he could not longer resist.
Another calling was public service. Jon’s grandfather was someone he always looked up to and had great respect for. His grandfather had a successful law practice but he wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.
“He set a really good example for everyone and was a great example of a public servant. It was always about the people. About giving back,” Jon said.
Like his grandfather, a former U.S. Senator, Jon wanted to serve his community. He wanted to make a difference, do what was right for his family, his community, and himself.
“I want life skill experience, I want to be involved in the community. I have a passion for public service. The idea of public service was always in the back of my head,” Jon said.
The idea for running for the port position started in January. He spent the next couple of months researching what the port was involved in and what their vision for the future was. The more he learned, the more excited he got, and the more committed he became. After much reflection, talking to his father, his wife, friends, and people in the community, Jon fully committed in March to run for Port Commissioner for the Port of Anacortes.
Jon feels that his life was shaped for this position. Being on the water, growing up in a maritime family, working various jobs in the industry, his education in finance and economics, the influence from his father and grandfather in public service, all of this shaped him for this position. He is excited about the port’s future, respectful of its past, and wants to be involved in shaping the part the port’s role is in the community.
Jon Petrich is correct—this is where he belongs, where he is meant to be. The sea is in Jon’s genes. It is who he is. It is his destiny. And, so his serving his community.
Men sporting beard during the Anacortes 2017 Oyster Run
Listen to the ROAR.... Click on the video to play
Every September, Anacortes, WA hosts the Oyster Run. Each year is different and this year was one of the largest attended Oyster Run in history. In this post we captured some of the women of Oyster Run.
First Friday Artwalk in Anacortes, WA is a community affair. This long-running event, supported by the arts, artists, community, and the city, bring art and culture each month to the downtown core of Anacortes. Kathy Khile, with Scott Milo Gallery, organizes the monthly event, keeping the community immersed in the arts.
Art lovers gather in galleries to watch demonstrating artists, listen to music, enjoy good conversations with fellow art lovers, and imbibe on delicious food and drinks. As part of the Artwalk ritual, patrons of the art often enjoy a delicious meal with friends at local restaurants before strolling through the shops and galleries,
This year, the city joined with First Friday Artwalk, closing off two blocks to traffic during the summer months, spilling First Friday Artwalk out onto the streets. Every month locals and visitors enjoy the arts on Anacortes First Friday.
“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
–Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts
The arts are the best insurance policy a city can take on itself.”
–Woody Dumas, former Mayor of Baton Rouge
After years of organizing workshops for photographers, I decided to join them. I like to photograph up close and personal, street photography, straight lines, and unique subjects. I have been a member of the Skagit Valley Camera Club for over 10 years – currently serving as President. I am also chair of the Anacortes Arts Commission. Author of The Blood Stone Queen and other ebooks, Freelance Writer for Stories from the Front Porch and other publications. I like to share my passion of the arts and artists, photography, writing, small businesses, and people who live, work, and play with passion.
Blame it on the Light
Stories from the Front Porch
Short Stories of passion, of life, of people.