The heart of Kirkland will be closed to vehicles for almost nine hours Saturday so Santa can make a visit, carolers can walk and warble, many other musicians can play and sing, and folks can gather around festive fires and watch the city’s holiday tree-lighting ceremony.
Kirkland’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting & Music Festival will officially be from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 1, with the lighting of the 30-foot tree set for 6 p.m.
However, Lake Street South between Central Way and 2nd Avenue South, and Kirkland Avenue between Lakeshore Plaza Drive and Main Street, will be open to pedestrian traffic only from 12:30 to 9 p.m. That is primarily to allow set-up and break-down of stages and other features. But it will be a good time as well to wander downtown to shop or restaurant hop.
“The focal point of it all will be the tree lighting, but we’ll have lots of music, with two stages, fire barrells, inflatable toys for kids, and Radio Disney will have an area on Lake Street,” said Bruce Wynn, executive director of the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce.
Two stages will feature music by several groups during the main festival, including the Kamiakin Middle School Jazz Band, the Lake Washington High Jazz Ensemble and the Kirkland Choral Society. The tree is already in place on Lake Street between Hector’s and Milagro Cantina.
The city is advising commuters to expect traffic delays 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. downtown and seek alternative routes around the downtown core.
The chamber-affiliated Kirkland Downtown Association is organizing the festivities, and Wynn said it has been especially tough this year to raise the money to pay for it all and find sponsors. Donations will be accepted at the main stage, and Wynn urged anyone interested in being a sponsor to contact the chamber, 425-822-7066.
Volunteers during the event are also still needed. If you can help, contact Nancy DeMond at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's your favorite part of this downtown Kirkland tradition? Tell us in the comments box below!