Now that it’s two weeks until Christmas Eve – we’ll be showing West Seattle Christmas lights nightly unless pre-empted by big breaking news. We welcome your suggestions (with or without photos), and we’re out looking around too. Above, Jeff and Ardith Burns shared the photo of their home in the Seola area:
We have decorated our home with lights and would like to share them with our West Seattle neighbors. There are over 18,000 lights and include 31 blowmolds, 3 fence scenes, and 5 standing/sitting deer. Our address is 3216 SW 114th St. [map] The lights are turned on from 5 pm to 10 pm each night through Christmas.
Next, another view from the crane-borne Christmas lights at West Seattle development sites; we noticed tonight that yet more lights have been added to the crane over Spruce (the former “Hole” at 39th/Alaska/Fauntleroy) – blue lights over the lower half of its vertical structure, punctuated by this:
More lights tomorrow! firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions and/or a photo. To find them after we’ve published them, you can look in the archive or the WSB Holiday Guide as well as our Pinterest gallery of West Seattle Christmas lights, which includes an extra view of the Burns home.
Right before emceeing the Our Lady of Guadalupe tree lighting tonight, broadcaster Brian Callanan told us it just might be the coldest one yet, with temperatures in the 20s. Yet hundreds of people still showed up to carol and cheer, right after the tree was lit:
After some truly brisk caroling, people flocked into the warm gym at OLG’s Parish Life Center for cookies, cocoa, and mingling:
In the giving spirit of Christmas, eventgoers answered the call to fill this handmade (by Dave Fitton) sleigh with food donations:
The OLG tree holds the distinction of being at the crest of the city – since 35th/Myrtle is at the highest elevation in the Seattle city limits, 520 feet above sea level.
Two days after Christmas lights appeared on the crane for The Blake south of The Junction, the crew at The Former “Hole,” officially Spruce, decked theirs (which has been up for six months already!). Christopher Boffoli spotted the work in progress Thursday morning; after leaving the Design Review Board doubleheader chronicled in two stories here Thursday night, we checked out the resulting lights:
Will the crane at 4730 California be joining them? We’ll wait and see.
P.S. All season long, we’re happy to get your tips on more down-to-earth Christmas lights – email@example.com for photos and/or addresses.
We’ve already featured the official start of the season at West Seattle’s two best-known Christmas-lights displays (here and here) – now, it’s time to show off even more! Tonight, our first reader-contributed photo – above, TJ shares that photo from the 7900 block of 32nd SW. Below, we just noticed and photographed this home on 42nd SW near SW Raymond tonight:
We welcome photos and tips – please e-mail either (or both!) to firstname.lastname@example.org. And something new this year – in addition to archiving our Christmas-lights coverage here on WSB, we’re also featuring photos on a board on the WSB Pinterest page. (By this weekend, we’ll launch a map in the West Seattle Holiday Events/Info Guide too.)
Could it be a preview of things to come sometime this winter – maybe even later in the week? “Snowfall” graced the holiday wonderland known as the Menashe Family Lights on their first official night of the season. It’s a new feature this season, according to Josh Menashe; if it’s on, you’ll see the flakes flying from the south side of the front yard. Walking by is the best way to get a close look at so many of the megabright display’s features including the bear:
(This photo and the next four are by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Look closely between the lights for an unlit decoration – the St. Nick statue:
And look up to see the many stars … including these, on the south side of the house:
Look toward the house to see these nutcrackers standing watch by the front door:
Here’s an opening-night-only scene – Menashe family members posing for group photos under the lights – at center, your hosts for the light show, Linda and Jack Menashe:
Last but not least, a step back to see the show in all its splendor, thanks to Jeff Pond of JP Images:
You can see the Menashe Family Lights at 5605 Beach Drive SW (map) nightly.
Video: Opening night for 2013 edition of West Seattle Lights / Helmstetler Family Christmas SpectacularNovember 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm | In West Seattle Christmas lights, West Seattle news | 10 Comments
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.
You might THINK you’ve already seen this year’s edition of the Menashe family’s legendary Christmas lights if you have driven by this past week or so, but everything up until now has been a partial test. We took that photo last night; tonight, we stopped by late in the day, and they were still out working on it. Tomorrow, we’re told, is when the Menashes expect to officially throw the switch on the finished 2013 edition of the display, around 5 pm. 5605 Beach Drive SW (map) if you don’t already know it by heart.
Way up on a steeply pitched roof across from the Charlestown water tower, Jim Winder was hard at work today with finishing touches on the 5th edition of West Seattle Lights / Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular, which debuts with a ceremony Saturday night.
We dropped by to catch him in action after he sent the official announcement about what’s new this year:
On Saturday, November 30th, West Seattle Lights will have their 5th Annual Lighting Ceremony at the home of Corey and Taylor Helmstetler at 3908 SW Charlestown. The public is invited free of charge, but attendees are asked to bring a food or cash donation for either West Seattle Food Bank or The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.
This year the Helmstetler Christmas Spectacular will have a NEW Master Of Ceremonies … a talking and singing 8 Foot Tall Snowman!!! Along with his two talking/singing Christmas Trees, Jaeley and Jaxton!
Earlier in the year we had a Name The Snowman Contest and we will be announcing the winner and the Snowman’s new name!
Christmas might be four months away – but there’s only three more months for Jim Winder, the mastermind of the West Seattle Lights/Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular synchronized light show, to get ready, and today, he’s sharing news of a contest for this year: Name the new animated MC – and the contest (simple to enter!) is NOT just for kids. Play the minute-long video above for details, and/or read on for this and other announcements about this year’s show:
(11/24/2012 photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
Bright lights and big hearts! We’re talking about not only West Seattle Lights mastermind Jim Winder and the hosting Helmstetler Family, who put on the famous music-synched Christmas-light show for free, but also about the show’s fans, who donate money and food to designated beneficiaries – Jim has just sent this season’s official announcement:
West Seattle Food Bank:
Cash: $1315 – up $421 from 2011′s $895
Food: 1100 lbs – down 333 lbs from 2011′s 1433 lbs
NW Parkinson’s Foundation:
Cash: $1194, up $329 from 2011′s $865
Total for the three years:
West Seattle Food Bank:
Food: 3599 lbs
NW Parkinson’s Foundation:
Cash Total For Three Years: $7,173!!!! This includes the $1,200 for the Kingstons, $500 for Teachout Family, and $391 for Pushing Boundaries.
Thank You West Seattle, and see ya later this year!!!!
West Seattle Lights
If you didn’t get around to donating to this year’s beneficiaries, but appreciated the light show, you can still use the direct links from the WS Lights page – just go here.
View West Seattle Christmas lights, 2012 in a larger map
We’re bringing out the West Seattle Christmas Lights map tonight because we just got word of one more home to add. From Ken and Cora:
We have another light show up and running. Its one that’s inspired by the Helmstetler family show and we use similar equipment, although a much more modest display (this year, at least). Our light show follows a number of Holiday songs and we broadcast on FM at 101.9 MhZ and have a small set of speakers set up, too.
We are located at 4120 38th AVE SW (just a few blocks away from the Helmstetler family display).
Currently our shows occur at 6:00PM, 6:40PM, 7:20PM, 8:00PM and 8:40PM. The program lasts about half an hour.
For those planning to go out looking at Christmas lights, we’ve added a few more stops to the map, including the home above (3726 Belvidere – thanks to Logan for the photo), Fauntlee Hills (the west side is most brightly lit – turn onto 41st SW from Barton, and both 41st and Concord have sights to see), and the home in the 7900 block of 32nd SW that we featured last year (Kevin says it’s all lit up again).
View West Seattle Christmas lights, 2012 in a larger map
Any more updates tonight, please let us know – then the map’s a wrap for the season, since we’ve observed over the years that some turn their lights off after Christmas Eve.
P.S. One of the spots on the map, the Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular/West Seattle Lights, will have free hot chocolate 6-8 pm Christmas Eve.
Since the weather is suddenly lovely – we know some may go out for a walk or ride tonight to look at Christmas lights, and we’ve mapped some of West Seattle’s most brightly lit homes, as in years past. Among them, the home you see above – 4152 46th Ave SW, where Duane Davis explains that they “have been decorating the home for 17 yrs and now have 10,000 lights – half are the energy efficient LEDs. Drive by and enjoy the cotton candy trees, our home, and our well lit neighborhood. Merry Christmas, West Seattle!” We expect to add at least a few more after tonight, but here’s what we have so far:
View West Seattle Christmas lights, 2012 in a larger map
To make the map printable, we left off the descriptions, but note that a few spots have multiple homes – in particular, the vicinity of 4043 Fauntleroy Way SW, which is the stub of Fauntleroy that is something of a frontage road along the southwest end of the bridge – that house is great, and even more of the neighbors have joined in this year.
Meantime, if you have other homes/apartments to suggest, please comment, or e-mail us the address to check out (photo/s welcome too if you have them): email@example.com – we’re adding this map to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide so you can find it if you need to, in the nights ahead.
Continuing the annual WSB Christmas-lights spotlights – we photographed two of note along 36th SW south of the Admiral area last night. The house above is on the east side of 36th just north of Hinds (map); next, barely a block away, a unique “tree” outside a house that gets its annual dose of fame during an earlier holiday:
Our photo does not do justice to the tree of lights and plastic illuminated Christmas characters that rises outside the house on the southwest corner of 36th and Hanford (map), known for “Skeleton Theatre” every Halloween. This too is a must-see – we’ve never seen anything quite like it.
From a little ways directly west of there, Valerie shares this photo of the shining McKean House at 3431 48th Ave SW (map):
Working right now on a map in time for weekend Christmas-lights driving/riding/walking – stand by! And whether you have a photo or just an address to share – please let us know about your display, your neighbors’ display, something you drove by … firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks! (Meantime, our archived Christmas-lights spotlights, including past years, can be seen here, newest to oldest.)
Thanks to Nicole for sharing the photo of bright Christmas lights at 1315 SW Trenton (map) in Highland Park. We’re working tonight to build our traditional annual map of West Seattle’s dazzling decorations, as the peak time for light-viewing approaches. Also in the spotlight: A great collection of photos by High Point resident Wendy Hughes-Jelen, who is again photographing the light-decked porches in HP – you can see more than 50 photos in her album on Facebook; find it here.
If you have a Christmas-lights photo to share – here are all the ways to get it to us. Or, if you’ve seen or heard of cool lights in West Seattle, White Center or South Park, but don’t have a photo, please e-mail us the address (or even add it here as a comment) – email@example.com!
When we stopped by Jack and Linda Menashe‘s Beach Drive home last Sunday to see how the first day of decorating was going, the family was planning to ceremonially turn on their dazzling display tomorrow night. Then we spotted a post on the Menashe and Sons Jewelers (WSB sponsor) Facebook page this afternoon announcing it would happen tonight instead. The actual “lighting” is generally casual anyway – the lights were on when we pulled up around 6:45, and then there was a quick off-then-on lighting just after 7 to make it official.
If you’ve seen the lights but never met the family – here are Linda and Jack Menashe, stopping for a moment in tonight’s rain to pose under the light show that went up as usual with so many family and friends:
(added) Some new features this year – can you spot them in this closer look?
(If you’re going to see it, the house is in the 5600 block of Beach Drive – no close cross-street; it’s a little closer to the south end – Lincoln Park Way/48th SW intersection – than the other end.)
The Sunday sunshine was a boon to many who wanted to get their Christmas lights up – including the small army of family and friends working on West Seattle’s biggest and brightest display at the Menashe family’s home in the 5600 block of Beach Drive. They started work at 8 this morning, Josh Menashe told us, and by the time we stopped by about five hours later, they’d made a lot of progress. We got to meet two exuberant helpers – two of Jack and Linda Menashe‘s grandchildren, Jacob Menashe‘s daughters Sophia and McKenna, who were riding in the cherry picker:
The girls helped show us some of the new/newer decorations waiting in the yard – including candy canes taller than they are:
Here’s the biggest of the light-laden stars waiting to be put up around the property:
And while some of the shrubbery already was decked with bulbs, more lights – in boxes and tubs – waited to be added to the mix:
The Menashes will continue working on their display throughout the week, and they’re expecting to officially turn the lights on at 7 pm this Saturday (December 1st) – if you want to be there, that’ll give you (and us!) time after the West Seattle Junction Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, (5 pm Saturday). Another date to note – the evening of December 15th, Santa will be at the house for photos, as a benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank.
A special event tonight at West Seattle Lights/Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular, designer Jim Winder‘s music-synched light show at a little house on SW Charlestown across from the water tower: Singer Judy Pancoast flew cross-country for a free concert to open her holiday-season tour, visiting homes with animated Christmas-lights displays that incorporate her music. In our video, two versions of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” – and you’ll notice the dancing during the second one, since the audience was in the street, closed one night only so the concert, followed by the light show, could be enjoyed block-party style. Photos to come!
ADDED 1:53 AM: Scenes from the show, by WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams:
That’s WSL mastermind Jim Winder with a wave for the crowd. Among those watching, Mike and his dad:
After the concert, the colors:
13 more scenes, ahead:
Good news for West Seattle Lights-lovers … Monday’s mini-windstorm didn’t wreak too much havoc with designer Jim Winder‘s setup at the Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular HQ on SW Charlestown, across from the water tower. Just one star was damaged, Jim told us last night. In fact, despite the resurgent rain, he kept an early-evening appointment with WSB to run through one lights-synched song, which you can see in our clip above. (The audio’s somewhat muddied by the rain and wind, but the lights are big and bright!)
Some things you’ll want to know, especially if you missed our November 1st preview report:
-The lights launch Friday night; the schedule is on the official website – note the “special shows” for Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve (which is the final night of the season).
-The official lighting ceremony is Saturday night, with the free Judy Pancoast concert, at 7 pm. DIFFERENT THIS YEAR: Charlestown will be blocked off, that night only, for that block only – so come enjoy the block-party atmosphere! And bring donations for the West Seattle Food Bank; you can also make cash donations, which will be split between WS Food Bank and NW Parkinson’s Foundation (as explained on this webpage – where you also can donate $ any time).
How many lights? Jim is STILL adding them. You’ll find plenty of numbers on the website’s “Fun Facts” page, but there might not be a final tally till showtime! This is the fourth year we’ve covered this extravaganza, which keeps getting literally bigger and brighter.
Less than a week till Thanksgiving and the holidays are rushing in. Our annual WSB West Seattle Holiday Events/Info page will be up soon as a one-stop shop for all the events/dates you’re looking for (have you sent us YOUR holiday event/s yet? thanks! firstname.lastname@example.org) – and in the meantime, we now have a slate of holiday lighting ceremonies you can plan on attending:
WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS/HELMSTETLER SPECTACULAR: Just a reminder that, as first reported here two weeks ago, the popular synched-to-music light show on SW Charlestown will debut with a concert and free coffee this year – 7 pm November 24. (Bring a nonperishable-food donation!)
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION HOMETOWN HOLIDAYS: The 9th annual Tree Lighting is set for 5 pm December 1st in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) – with music and special guests as always. (Here’s the full slate of Hometown Holidays events.)
WHITE CENTER TREE LIGHTING: 5 pm December 1st is also when the official White Center tree at Veterans’ Triangle Park (Roxbury/Delridge/16th) will be lit in a festive ceremony.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE TREE LIGHTING/FOOD DRIVE: Just out of the WSB inbox, Our Lady of Guadalupe School and Parish invite you to “mingle and jingle” December 7th while helping them fill a sleigh with canned-food donations. Caroling, cocoa, cookies, and Santa too, as the event continues in the new OLG gym after the tree (the city’s highest-elevation tree, at 35th/Myrtle) is lit at 7 pm.
We’ll also be featuring West Seattle’s best and brightest again this year – once yours is up and running, share the location (and a photo if you have one, or we’ll go check it out) – here’s how. Not just blazingly lit homes – creative/unusual outdoor decorations, too – can’t wait to see ‘em.
(WSB photo from the show’s first night of this past holiday season, November 26, 2011)
The music-synched Helmstetler Family Christmas Lights Spectacular is dark till next November, but mastermind Jim Winder has a postscript – a final report on the donations made by visitors/fans:
Thank You West Seattle for another great Season of Giving
TOTAL GIVING FOR 2011!! $2960.86
1433 lbs of food
If you just can’t wait till next holiday season – there’s already a countdown calendar on the show’s official site!
Merry Christmas! We’re suddenly running out of holiday time to show you the great displays people have sent tips about, so this time around we have three, all in the greater Admiral area – two from tips, one that we spotted near a tipped location. Above, the red-and-green-lit skyline is in the yard that every Halloween is transformed into the stage for the amazing animatronics of Skeleton Theatre, 36th/Hanford (thanks to the person who texted us about it today). Not even a full block south, we found this home, where the lights (adorning its side as well as its front) are even grander than our photo suggests:
And then a mile west, we checked out a cute sight – a candy cane in lights, on and in a tree in the 2700 block of 48th SW:
All three are now added to this year’s WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map.
Whimsical is the word that came to mind when we checked these out, on the recommendation of Thad – so much, we needed to take photos from two angles.
The house is on the west side of 32nd SW, south of SW Cloverdale – and that stretch of 32nd has several other nice displays. We’ve of course added it to the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map. Still a few more to check out before Christmas!
It’s been four years (and one day) since we previously featured this display – the Santa-hat tree at 36th/Roxbury. But hey, four years feels close to forever, and two people sent us tips about it this week, so we couldn’t resist. It’s now on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map along with more than 20 other sightings, all of which we have archived here – still taking tips, since it’s not Christmas yet. Thanks to everybody who’s helping make this season truly bright!
View West Seattle Christmas lights, 2011 in a larger map
Almost up to two dozen sights to see on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map. It came in handy for the second annual West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor)-organized Christmas-lights run last night, Tim McConnell tells us:
He shared that photo of what he declared “a great turnout,” adding, “We stopped by 6 of the displays from the map, ending the run at the Helmstetler house and heading to Prost! for post run beverages. Everyone had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the lights.” And of course tonight we are adding another display:
Thanks to Susan for sharing that photo of her home’s display at 5106 SW Stevens! We’ll be adding to the map at least through Christmas, so more suggestions are welcome – email@example.com!
We had set out to check an Admiral District tip “around 37th/Hanford” but might have been too early – didn’t see the lights in question. However, we found these two homes nearby, at Belvidere/Hanford, and though neither is completely awash in lights, each had a distinctive feature – the luminarias above, and the non-plastic, non-inflatable creche scene below:
We’ve added that corner to the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map – and will keep adding at least through Christmas Day; tips still welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks to everyone who’s helped so far (especially the display creators themselves!)
Two Christmas-lights updates tonight – first, this evening’s featured display:
Not only does the Campbells’ home at 7915 31st SW have plenty of lights – it has a dozen snowmen, too! That’s a cheery sight given this snowless and relatively rainless almost-winter. Thanks to Paul Campbell for sending word of his home’s bright display, which is now added to the others on the WSB West Seattle Christmas Lights map (which you can also find on the Holidays page).
Second – Tim McConnell at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) says they’re leading a Christmas-lights run tomorrow night, based on some of the displays highlighted here. The run will leave WS Runner (California and Charlestown) at 6 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) and finish up at the Helmstetler Family Spectacular display (just a few blocks east of WSR). Tim says, “It’s a 3.5 mile course, we are going to go slow so everyone can see the lights … should be about 45 minutes or so. Holiday attire is encouraged, having some way of seeing and being seen is mandatory. All are welcome. Pets included.” (Not related to lights, Tim says WSR also is launching another “Get Fit West Seattle” series that’ll get you to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, first info night at WSR 7 pm Wednesday.)
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