City invites all to MLT virtual tree lighting ceremony Dec. 4

A closeup of the lit tree on the Mountlake Terrace water tower. (File photo by David Carlos)

Citizens are invited to pour a cup of coffee, cocoa or tea this Friday, Dec. 4 and join the City of Mountlake Terrace for its first virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. This marks the 38th year of lighting the tree of lights on top of the water tower. The event will be live streamed on YouTube at

Initially, the city had hoped to hold this year’s virtual event in the new Jerry Smith Town Center Plaza, a component of the Civic Campus Revitalization Project. A number of the community’s businesses and organizations made financial contributions, with the idea of establishing a new winter event in the Town Center — complete with a tree for future gatherings. Unfortunately, the city said, the plaza does not have full power yet and is not quite ready for the city to hold a virtual event there this year.

So this year, the city will continue the traditional lighting of the “tree,” which is actually a frame constructed with over 1,800 LED lights and visible from Interstate 5 and for miles around. The virtual event will include a glimpse of the new plaza, sponsor recognition, a visit from Santa, and the lighting of the tree.

“I’d like to express the city’s appreciation to our business and development community for contributing toward this event and allowing us to purchase materials for a big event we are planning for 2021,” said Community Relations Director Virginia Olsen.

The following sponsors contributed toward the future tree lighting ceremony: Landsverk Quality Homes, Lake Cushman Company, Sound Structural Solutions, AFCO & Sons (Yuko Abe), Joe Mustach of Mustach & Jackson, Grand Pere Bakery, David Blau/B Squared Construction, First Security Bank, Steve Hubner, Steve Cox, Wade Heyer, Summit Homes, Chicago Title as well as Mountlake Terrace Plaza and Premera Blue Cross.

Mountlake Terrace Plaza has sponsored this event for the past several years and Premera Blue Cross re-allocated their annual sponsorship for National Night Out Against Crime toward a community year-end event after COVID-19 did not allow summer events to happen. Tour de Terrace volunteers look forward to serving cookies and cocoa next year at the event they founded in 1983.

For now, the city encourages the community to stay home and stay healthy, as recommended by Snohomish Health District, given that COVID-19 is currently surging at unprecedented levels.

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