The Bothell tree lighting festival for this year is set for Dec. 1 on Main Street in downtown.
In recent years, local businesses in the area have brought back the tradition of lighting the tree dubbed “Lucky” on Main Street.
Festival co-producer Susan Gardner has collected historical clippings of the festival that date the origins of the lighting of Lucky back to 1937. Lucky has survived two fires, including the most recent fire on Main Street in 2016, and a disease that took Lucky’s top some years back. It was for these reasons that the name Lucky was chosen, Gardner said.
The festival will begin at 4:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck at 5 p.m. and the tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. Main Street will be closed to motor vehicle traffic so that festival patrons can enjoy the many sights, sounds and activities that have become a tradition to holiday enthusiasts in the Bothell area.
New to the festival this year is the Holiday Market, which will be located in the parking lot behind First & Main Design Market. The Holiday Market will feature local arts and crafts for sale, and there will be various food trucks next to the market for festival goers looking to fill their appetites.
Also new to the festival this year are the Sons of Norway. The group will be supplying the festival stage, which will be the viking ship float the group uses in parades.
With 3,000 people attending the festival last year, the footprint for the festival has increased as Gardner expects more people to attend this year. She said one reason for expanding was to separate the musical acts a bit more. This year’s acts include: the Canyon Park Middle School band and choir, the Skyview Middle School brass ensemble, the North Creek High School brass ensemble and theater group singers, the Providence Classical Christian School vanguard choir and the John L. Scott musicians.
There will be many activities for children including rock painting at Sherwin Williams, a sticker giveaway at Woodlawn Optical, Santa will be stationed over at Tsuga Art Gallery and Mrs. Claus will be over at First & Main Design Market.
Another place that patrons are invited to visit is Sankara Imports. Store owner Francesca Cohn will have free chai and cookies and she will offer a Christmas card making activity for any children who come to her store. Cohn will also offer henna art tattoos, for a small fee, which will be available from 2-5 p.m.
All patrons of the festival are encouraged to enter any of the stores on Main Street that are open, as many of the store owners will offer holiday activities.
Additionally, Woodlawn Optical and the Bothell Fire Department will also be collecting canned, non-perishable goods for Hopelink and Edward Jones will accept new toys for Toys for Tots.
The festival focuses on local businesses in the Bothell area giving back to the community and celebrating the holidays together.
Every year, Gardner and fellow co-producer Nancy Pipinich, who owns the State Farm Insurance business where Lucky can be found, have put in many hours to bring this festival to life since 2015. Aside from their own time they have donated to the festival, Gardner said, “We get plenty of help from local high school volunteers. It’s the community involvement that really makes this festival such a special event.”
Derek Merryman is a University of Washington Bothell journalism student.