By LILY KATZ
UW News Lab
At Brier Park, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
This Saturday, Dec. 7, Brier will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting. The event, which is put on by the city, will take place at 6 p.m. in Brier Park.
To kick off the occasion, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck to welcome the community and ring in the holiday season. After they count down to the tree lighting, they will turn it over to Brier Elementary School for caroling by the children’s choir, a tradition that started 15 years ago. Volunteers will move risers from the school’s baseball field near the tree to provide seating. Hot chocolate, cider and Christmas cookies will be served, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos.
This is the second year the city will light a new tree, instead of the former tree, which has grown old and misshapen. The tree is decorated by a Brier Parks and Recreation volunteer committee.
The lighting is one of the city’s most attended events, usually bringing in 200 to 300 community members.
“It’s pretty small, pretty low key, but it’s fun for our community,” said Paula Swisher, Brier’s city clerk and treasurer.
Swisher added that next year, the city hopes to have a performance by a choir from another local school, in addition to Brier Elementary’s choir.
Ken Overstreet, a volunteer on the city’s park board, said he isn’t sure how long the event has been going on for, but he assumes it is a longstanding tradition, as he has been attending the lighting since he moved to Brier 30 years ago.
“It’s really just a nice community gathering,” Overstreet said. “Neighbors see neighbors out on a cool, winter night, welcoming the holiday season.”
To see photos from past holiday tree lightings, click here.
(LILY KATZ is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.)