Contest winners announced
December 31, 2020
Cathlamet and its surrounding area did the town proud, as it decked the halls with twinkling lights, blowup santas, angels and reindeer, dragons and even minions in the Inaugural Cathlamet Holiday Lights Competition.
Sponsored by Cathlamet Town Councilman Robert Stowe and his wife, Elizabeth, and with generous support from The Wahkiakum County Eagle, the two spent Saturday evening pouring through the ballots ensuring there were no hanging chads, no ballots from life-challenged voters and no duplicate votes. After a grueling process, two clear winners emerged, Steven and Celeste Powell on the residential side and Maria's Restaurant for the commercial side.
A resident of Cathlamet for the past seven years, the Powells pride themselves on both the variety and the eloquence of the display. "Not only do we have a great Christmas display, we also do a great Halloween display as well," Steven Powell stated. "But I have to give most of the credit to my wife Celeste, as she does most of the work." In addition to the lights and blow-ups, the Powells also play music and project movie clips on the house.
"People will drive by and stop," said Powell. "They listen to the music as well. It makes us feel good to be able to share with the community."
Maria Zapien was looking for a spot for a restaurant when she encountered a bar to her dreams. The back bar that is. "I fell in love with the bar and the view of the river," said Zapien. "We've been here for about six years and we love it. The town has been very good to us and very positive." Maria's has several strings of lights and a full Christmas Tree inside the restaurant protected by a stuffed bear.
The chef of Maria's is Valente Guitron, Maria's uncle. A veteran of 25 years cooking in kitchens from Georgia to Oregon and finally Washington, Guitron feels a strong commitment to family. "Everyone in my family is in business, and when (Maria) needed help, I came."