Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony Nov. 26: What you need to know

Photo courtesy Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

Here are the details of the Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by Comstock Jewelers from 3-5 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 26.

Come for the free cookies, cocoa and cider, and stay for a magical community celebration of the holiday season. The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, produced by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and presented this year by Comstock Jewelers at Centennial Plaza in downtown Edmonds.

The ceremony will be emceed by Richard Taylor Jr. and will feature music from the North Sound Singers Ensemble, the Seattle Children’s Chorus, and Maplewood Jazz Band; a word from Mayor Mike Nelson; a visit from Santa; and of course, the ceremonial lighting of the tree.

Here is the chamber’s guide to the event:

Time: The event officially runs from 3-5 p.m., but the chamber encourages folks to make a day of it in downtown Edmonds. It is Shop Small Saturday, after all, so fuel up on brunch and browse the many retailers who have curated excellent gift options for your holiday giving (check out the Ornament Stroll coordinated by the Edmonds Downtown Alliance) before gathering with your friends and neighbors at the event.

Event schedule: 

  • 3-4 p.m. – Treats, warm drinks and donation drives on 5th Avenue North
  • 4 p.m. – Program begins, followed by Santa’s visit and countdown to the tree lighting
  • 5 p.m. – Program ends
  • 5-7 p.m. – The Masonic Center at the Old Opera House (515 Dayton St.) hosts an “after party” with more treats, holiday movies and activities, and free photos with Santa.

Location: Centennial Plaza on 5th and Bell. See the map below for street closure information.

Donation drives: Nonprofit organizations will be present collecting items and cash donations for the populations they serve. Bring new items and cash to support your community.

Edmonds Food Bank requests: 

  • Cordless outdoor lighting for distribution days that are in the dark this time of year
  • Pet food
  • Aluminum pans
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially: plantains, sweet potatoes, cabbage, squash
  • Whole turkeys, whole chicken, ham
  • Canned and shelf-stable food items: Holiday must-haves like cranberry, pumpkin, stuffing, green beans, hot chocolate
  • Volunteer hours – speak with a food bank rep to sign up

Clothes For Kids requests new or gently used clothing donations for school-aged children, and their greatest needs are as follows:

  • Winter coats – youth sizes medium, large, XL
  • Boys pants – youth sizes 6 through 16
  • Athletic shoes – youth size 2 through teen
  • Underwear – all sizes (but especially youth large and adult/teen)
Kids who drop their letters into Santa’s Mailbox in downtown Edmonds will receive a reply.

Letters to Santa: While you’re at the event, you can drop off your letters to Santa in the big, red, seasonal mailbox at the Log Cabin Visitor’s Center on 5th Avenue. Every year, a team of dedicated volunteer elves assist Santa in responding to the hundreds of letters from our community’s youth. This year, the Chamber would like to thank Northlight Custom Builders for sponsoring this program, because even Santa has to pay for stamps, paper, ink and stickers.

Important notes for Letter to Santa participation:

  • Return address must be legible on the child’s letter to receive a response.
  • Child’s name needs to be clearly printed or it will be addressed to “my dear friend.”
  • Return times may vary — even by household. The volunteer elves try to respond in the order they come in, but the elves work at different paces as their own lives allow.
  • To get a child’s original letter back: Include a stamped envelope with return address and a note requesting it back.
  • Please note: The elves do not address a child’s gift request to respect caregiver’s choices and financial situations.
  • Each elf creates a few original story templates for reply letters to get through the hundreds received. For more personalized responses, kiddos can ask questions, or a caregiver can sneak in a note about what the child has done that year.
  • Please be patient and practice kindness: This is run entirely by volunteers who put their love and free time into making it happen. They do not get paid and do it for the love of Christmas and delight.
  • The elves love seeing reaction photos/videos! When they are hundreds of letters deep it helps keep the magic alive for them too! These can posted on social media (please tag the Edmonds Chamber) or sent to ryan@edmondswa.com.
  • This is the only mailbox run by the chamber. There may be others around town, but they are not associated with the chamber.
  • The deadline to drop off a letter and receive a response is Friday, Dec. 16.

Other notes for Saturday: 

  • Anywhere between 1,500 and 3,000 people are expected to come out to the event, so please be prepared for crowds and be considerate of your community. Stay home if you are sick, and please sanitize hands before accepting cookies and beverages.
  • The streets around the event close at noon and reopen at 7 p.m. Parking will be scarce; the chamber encourages people to carpool and use alternative modes of transportation where possible.

The Edmonds Chamber wants to thank our event sponsors for making this event possible: Comstock Jewelers (presenting sponsor), Northlight Custom Builders (Letters to Santa sponsor), Puget Sound Energy, Beresford Booth PLLC, Edmonds Yacht Club, Best Western Edmonds Harbor Inn, and Key Choice Commercial. We also want to thank the City of Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department for stringing the thousands of lights on the Centennial Plaza tree and around downtown.

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