The song list for West Seattle’s biggest synched-to-music Christmas-lights show, West Seattle Lights/Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular, always includes fun as well as tradition – and our first clip from tonight’s lighting ceremony qualifies. It’s “What Does the Hawk Say?”, the Bob Rivers Show takeoff on Ylvis‘s international megahit “What Does the Fox Say?”
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before that and other light-show songs, tonight’s event began with caroling, and then the announcement of the name of the new “emcee” – “Sir Charles” the light-up snowman. Two people suggested “Charles” (as in Charlestown, the street the show is on) in the summertime naming contest, including Tim VanLiew, whose name was drawn by WSL creator Jim Winder for the honor of pushing the button tonight.
In that photo, Jim’s on the right, Tim’s on the left, holding his baby daughter Lucy, who helped with the button-pushing. The first song was sung live by Jim’s own daughter, Julie:
West Seattle Lights isn’t just a 32,673-light labor of love for family and friends – the Helmstetlers are the family who live in the house, and Jim is a longtime friend who makes the show happen every year – it’s also, with your help, a community fundraiser and foodraiser:
That’s the West Seattle Food Bank donation bin you’ll find out front; last year alone, more than half a ton of food was donated by WS Lights visitors. You can also donate money to the show’s designated charities, WS Food Bank and Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, on this page of the official website. It all goes to charity, Jim points out – the time and money it takes to put on the show is 100 percent donated.