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As you may have heard, Mill Valley’s annual Winterfest holiday celebration, will be a bit different in this ridiculously strange year.

Winterfest 2020 comes into two components this year. One is a film that highlights the spirit of this landmark event, featuring local arts organizations, a pre-recorded tree lighting and, of course, appearances by Santa Claus at locations around town. Marin filmmaker Norm Hunter, who has spearheaded our ongoing EMV Films series highlighting some of the myriad creative businesses, organizations and people in Mill Valley, is helming the Winterfest film. We’ll unveil it to the public here on the EMV Blog via YouTube on Sunday, Dec. 6, the usual arrival of Winterfest.

The other half kicks off Nov. 27 with the Winterfest Holiday Hunt, a three-week, scavenger hunt-style contest at more than 40 businesses throughout Mill Valley. Kids accompanied by a parent can travel around town, preferably by bike or on foot, to take photos of silver stars, as selfies in front of the stars they choose, in at least eight of the 40 participating businesses, including some amazing local restaurants and retail shops.

Rules for entry:
1. Kids, accompanied by a parent, must go to at least eight participating businesses and take photos of silver stars, as selfies in front of the stars they choose.
2. Email a minimum of eight photos as attachments to info@millvalley.org to be entered into a raffle to win one of 20 $40 gift cards at participating businesses. One gift card awarded per raffle winner.
3. The submission that includes the highest number of silver stars at participating businesses will automatically win a $50 gift card at a participating business of they choice. Include the name, age and telephone # in the body of the email.

Perhaps the most important part: ​While kids and their parents scurry around town looking for the Silver Stars, we hope they’ll do plenty of #ShopMV holiday buying.

Here are the clues we promised about the businesses where you can find the stars, in no particular order (Businesses, if you want to participate but haven’t signed up, it’s not too late – email us ASAP at info@millvalley.org):

  • Located amidst the historic Mill Valley Lumber Yard (as are several of the participating businesses hinted at below), you won’t find a more eclectic, sustainability-minded business in town. 
  • Floral creativity is on gorgeous display at this Watershed neighbor in the Lumber Yard.
  • This MVLY shop takes e-bikes to a completely new level of innovation and panache.
  • Creation and curation are at the heart of this custom jewelry business that counts Mill Valley’s movie house among its neighbors.
  • Just a few steps from Good Earth in Tam Junction, this tiny shop is packed with lovely orchids that will beautify any space.
  • This downtown jeweler shares part of its name with a 1997 film starring Cher. It’s just up the hill from Vasco.
  • If you walk too quickly on Throckmorton and find yourself at a shop selling delicious beverages, you’ve missed this family-run jewel of downtown.
  • This arts and crafts hub moved out of downtown to the Lumber Yard not too long ago, so you can still find a little of a lot of things to spark your imagination.
  • This multi-talented artist has a studio at the Lumber Yard, perched above many of its shops and eateries. 
  • Located just south of (the) Equator, this space is home to unique gifts, vintage finds and sooo much cashmere.
  • Also a neighbor of the Sequoia, this downtown shop oozes creative cool and likes to celebrate the slow, the unique and the exceptional.
  • The owner of this shop is at the forefront of many of Mill Valley’s biggest events, including the Memorial Day Parade and the Community Block Party. He’s also got you covered, men and women, if you need the right attire for that holiday Zoom party.
  • Just across the street from Mill Valley Market, this sleek, sophisticated shop could also be called The Home of Beautiful Things.
  • Whether you like to rock out or get your groove on, this is Mill Valley’s hub for recorded music.
  • What’s it called when you close one eye and keep the other eye open? This shop makes sure you can see well out of both eyes.
  • This MVLY handcrafted marketplace celebrates artists and creators who make cool things.
  • Wedged between Watershed and Makers Market at MVLY, this tiny shop has oodles of gorgeous clothing. 
  • Whether it’s their greeting cards or entertaining store windows, this shop boasts the best sense of humor in town.
  • In the heart of downtown Mill Valley, this women’s boutique lets you follow clothing trends without being trendy. 
  • Need to get geared up to ride the waves or hit the skate park? This iconic shop’s got you covered.
  • Just across from the Mill Valley Inn, this downtown boutique is a sight for sore eyes.
  • Offering essentials for healthy skin, this renowned business does it better than most. Home of the best-smelling hand saniizers.
  • This eatery serves up some of the most delicious baked goods in town, from cookies and pastries to fancy toasts – all without gluten.
  • The silhouette of a Bengal Tiger is the logo for this purveyor of deliciousness.
  • Classic, kid-friendly Mexican cuisine? This Miller Ave. mainstay has been churning it out for nearly 25 years.
  • This Mill Valley institution created the Kiddo! Pizza to benefit local schools.
  • This restaurant’s numerical address is in its name, and is also home to a gorgeous outdoor tent that allows people to eat outside, safely, during the winter months.
  • The name of this incredible restaurant means “beach” in Spanish and serves some of the best chips and guac in the Bay Area.
  • This tasty eatery pays homage to the creek running throughout parts of Mill Valley, including right underneath its Lumber Yard location.
  • The magnetic alphabet tiles at this Tam Junction breakfast joint keep kiddos busy as they wait to be seated for homestyle organic comfort food.
  • This new bakery in town draws its name from one of Marin’s most famous campgrounds and is neighbor to Avatar’s and conveniently across the street from Endurance.
  • This restaurant’s name celebrates Mill Valley’s restaurant railway history – it also has several brother and sister locations in the Bay Area.
  • Especially during King High Tides, this restaurant and its surrounding areas need to break out the sand bags, so you can always get to one of the hottest spots in town.
  • The moniker of this Miller Ave. restaurant combines the name of the mountain looking down upon us and a word synonymous with pizza.
  • This relative newcomer to Tam Junction has a gorgeous backyard patio space that has been a refuge for many hungry surfers in recent months. 
  • Many longtime local residents consider this local institution with familiar faces their dining room away from home.
  • A gorgeous hotel with quite possibly the best view in Mill Valley.
  • A cornerstone organization on Camino Alto is also known as “the church with the sign.”
  • New to town but long-established in Marin, this colorful space is the new neighbor of a guy they call “the Hat.”
  • This is the home base of one of Mill Valley’s favorite Winterfest performances every year.
  • Want to be inspired by the power of collective creativity and girl power? This landmark local business is buzz worthy.

Questions? Email us at info@millvalley.org.

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