4:18 PM: It’s happening now in The Junction, where California and Alaska are closed to traffic and open to winter fun at the expanded Hometown Holidays Festival, culminating with the tree lighting in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska, scheduled to follow the lights-costume contest, which is around 6 pm). Here’s the schedule:
4:00 – Festival begins. Night Market and Beer & Wine Garden are open. Endolyne Choir, School of Rock, and Mode Music Studio perform on stage.
5:00 – G.L.O.W.S. Costume Promenade on streets. Elvis performs on stage.
6:00 – Costume Contest on stage.
6:30 – Lighting of the tree in Junction Plaza Park, followed by Santa reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and leading a carol sing-along.
7:00 – Dancer and Prancer perform on stage.
8:00 – Night Market and Beer & Mulled Wine Garden close.
Our preview, which includes more info on the contest, is here. See you there!
5:24 PM: The Night Market and light-costume promenade are happening on California.
The beer/wine garden is happening, and Elvis is performing, on Alaska.
(added) He was preceded by community musical groups including the Endolyne Choirs:
The tree lighting is an hour or less away!
6:50 PM: The tree is lit, and the festival continues:
(added) Here’s how the countdown went – first Jack Menashe, members of his family, and Santa took the stage:
Then, tree time:
The band Dancer & Prancer is closing out the entertainment, and the market and beer/wine continue until 8.
8:41 PM: We’ve added photos and video inline above (and still adding). One more highlight – the costume contest, with winners chosen by audience acclaim, after attendees were nominated by the light-costume artists who had been chosen to stroll, Here’s how it went, starting with the artists themselves onstage:
Winners got Junction gift cards – $500 for group, $250 for individual, $100 for pet. Junction Association executive director Chris Mackay promised the new feature – GLOWS (Glorious Light of West Seattle) – would be even better next year. As for this season, the next Hometown Holidays event – next Thursday night’s Art Walk, enhanced with holiday extras including carolers and Santa.