Northwest NEWS

December 3, 2001

Front Page


North Pole luminary to attend Light Festival

by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   City Hall Festivities
   Yes, boys and girls, Santa is coming to Woodinville early this year. In fact, he'll be at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, just in time to help Mayor Randy Ransom light the 80 foot Sequoia at the east end of City Hall, thereby launching the fifth annual Woodinville Light Festival.
   Coming from the North Pole, Santa needed expert advice about how to best to get here, so he consulted three local wise men (TV weathermen). Jeff "this is going be the big one" Renner told him to bring his sleigh and reindeer. Steve "break out the bumbershoot" Pool told him to bring his Bayliner. And Harry "this is normal for this time of year" Wappler advised him to ride his helicopter.
   But the advice Santa sought only confused him. In the end, he decided to take Mrs. Claus' advice and come in on the Elf Express, a covered,lighted, miniature train Santa likes to use for unpredictable climes. Besides, riding the Elf Express means Santa can offer train rides to children the evening of the festival (from 6 to 9 p.m.) free of charge. Catch the train at the "Train Depot" signs at the front entrance to Brittany Park Retirement Community Center or under the canopy at the front entrance of City Hall.
   Dickens Carolers dressed in old-fashioned attire will be on hand to herald Santa's arrival. They'll sing in the City Hall lobby after the tree lighting from 6:45-7:15 p.m. and will carol later at Brittany Park (from 7:30-8:15 p.m.).
   "We tried to bring people indoors more this year," said Brenda Eriksen, festival organizer. We even have coat racks at Brittany Park so that people can remove their wet coats."
   Also in the City Hall lobby will be a Teen Art Show, planned by teens for teens, showcasing the work of local 13- to 17-year-olds. Categories of original work include Painting, Drawing, Photography, Sculpture/3D, and Other. Awards will be given for 1st-3rd Place in each category and Best in Show. Pre-registration is required.
   The Woodinville High School Jazz Band performance promises to be snappy. The band will play Christmas tunes and some of their other favorites in the Council Chambers from 7:30 till 8:15 p.m.
   The city also invites the public to pick up a tag from its HopeLink Giving Tree located in the lobby. The tag taker is requested to buy a gift suitable for the age and gender written on the tag.
   Gifts (unwrapped, please) and tags must be returned to City Hall prior to Dec. 19.
   Two Woodinville Fire & Life Safety fire engines (depending upon calls and availability) and a city police car will be parked in the lot outside City Hall. Kids are invited to check the vehicles out and talk to the firemen and policeman.
   Pronto Express will sell hot drinks and cookies outside, as well. Pioneer Popcorn will also be available.
   Brittany Park Festivities
   Over at Brittany Park from 6-9 p.m. there will be an area for children to create kids' crafts. And the Lions Club will help with Santa Photos from 7 to 9 p.m. At 7 p.m. the East Ridge Elementary Fourth-, Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Choir will perform. The Dickens Carolers will follow from 7:30 until 8:15 p.m. They've even promised to do a sing-along or two! The Islanders, a steel-drum playing group, provides a change of pace from the standard holiday fare from 8:30 till 9:15 p.m.
   "Everyone who's heard them loves their energy," said Eriksen.
   Hot dogs, chips and soda will be for sale at Brittany Park for hungry holiday revelers.
   Of course the rooflines of City Hall, the Community Center and the gateway structure to Wilmot Park are all trimmed with white twinkling lights, thanks to the efforts of Brian Meyer, parks maintenance superintendent, and his parks crew. According to Meyer, they strung 1,400 linear feet of lights in recent weeks, all without a hitch.
   "It was really uneventful," said Meyer. We started early so that we could pick our days and avoid the rain. This was the first time as a city crew we hung the lights. In the past the city had contractors do the job. But it went very smoothly this year, I must say."
   The crew is also responsible for putting up the light display across the river at Wilmot Park. All city holiday lights will shine from 7 to 9 p.m. every night from Dec. 7 until Dec. 24.
   A Word about Parking
   The night of the Light Festival, disabled parking is available at City Hall with a disabled parking pass. Two light towers will illuminate the Woodinville Community Center parking lot and guests are asked to park there, or in the back lots of the 175th Street Station business park (or across the Sorenson fields). There will be no general parking available at either City Hall or Brittany Park.
   Country/Swing Dance
   and Kid Zone
   Holiday fun will continue from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Northshore Senior Center, 10201 East Riverside Drive in Bothell. A 'Tis the Season Country/Swing Dance in the ballroom for ages 12 to adult will feature the Mary Wiles Show. Tickets cost $5.
   And while parents dance (or sneak out for a little Christmas shopping of their own), kids, ages 5-11, can romp in the Kid Zone next door to the ballroom from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The Kid Zone is supervised and provides activities like watching videos, playing Nintendo, and making arts and crafts projects. A snack will be served. The cost is $7 per child.
   Santa Skate
   Then from 11:10 a.m. until 1:10 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, get ready for the Santa Skate at Kingsgate Ice Arena, 14326 -124th Ave. NE. Skating is free of charge for those who bring a donation of two canned food items (per person).
   Food donations will benefit HopeLink. Skaters will glide to the music of the Islanders. Skates are available for children's size 6 and up, though the city encourages those who have their own skates to bring them.
   "The Santa Skate has been a huge success in the past," said Eriksen. "In fact, the arena was kind enough to extend the skate time this year so that more people can have a chance to skate.
   "We'd like to extend a special thank you to GC Construction, who donates the power to light our displays across the river from Wilmot Park each year," said Eriksen. "And once again, Brittany Park has graciously opened its doors to the community during the Light Festival. We'd like to thank them as well. And the Woodinville Lions Club, the Northshore Senior Center, The Atrium, Kingsgate Ice Arena, and LaValle Printing Services. Thank you."
   For more Holiday Event information, visit or contact Parks and Recreation at (425) 398-9327.