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The 39th Annual Tree Lighting is set for Friday, Dec. 2, at the Jerry Smith Town Center Plaza next to City Hall.
Festivities start at 6:30 p.m. with the Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Band, followed by a choral concert by Terrace Park Elementary students, a visit from Santa, and the traditional lighting of the tree. Volunteers will welcome guests with cookies and cocoa.
A 20-foot artificial tree will be installed in the plaza, a new tradition that started last year. However, this will be the first time the tree is lit up in front of a live crowd, due to several years of pandemic restrictions and Civic Campus construction.
Roads will be closed around the event, and attendees should plan time to find street parking or alternative means of transportation. Only those with disabled parking placards will be allowed vehicle access to the Civic Campus parking lot, and they must approach from the south. Guests also should dress for the weather. Bathrooms will be open inside City Hall.
In addition to the new plaza tree, the enormous water tower "tree" will be lit as well. That “tree” is actually a frame constructed of 1,800 lights on top of the city's water tower. These LED bulbs use only 25% of the power as the old lighting system. Last winter, the water tower was undergoing maintenance and couldn’t be decorated.
“The Tree Lighting brings our community together in holiday spirit,” said Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Betz. “We’ll introduce the City Council and sponsor before Santa’s entrance, so please get your treats as you arrive. Thanks so much to the Mountlake Terrace Plaza for sponsoring this year’s ceremony. We’re also grateful for support from South Snohomish County Fire and Rescue and our wonderful and dedicated volunteers.”
The event is free. However, cash donations will be accepted for the Michelle Ringler Youth Recreation Scholarship Fund at the concession stand. This fund has helped hundreds of children register for programs at the Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion since 2002.
The city looks forward to resuming this Mountlake Terrace tradition, while adapting to a bright and merry future.