Bright lights planned for the holidays

November 25, 2008

By Jon Savelle

Issaquah’s traditional Christmas tree, aglitter with lights at Front Street North and Northeast Dogwood Street, will be switched on at 5:15 p.m. Dec. 6.Sponsored by the city and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Festivals Office, the lighting ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. with a visit from Santa and a snack of hot cocoa, cider and cookies. Instrumental music and caroling also are planned.

The city’s contribution to the affair is $5,600, which pays for a contractor to rent, install and later remove the lights from the tall evergreen. City Councilman Fred Butler said service clubs used to do the work, but the tree has grown beyond their ability to climb it.

Next year, the city will not fund the lights at all. The expenditure was cut from the 2009 budget by the City Council, which was hunting for places to cut costs, no matter how small.

The action does not affect the nearby menorah that is erected each year for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which uses no public funds. Installed by the Chabad of the Central Cascades, the first electric “candle” of the menorah will be lit Dec. 21. Seven more will be lit over the following week.

Chabad also will mark the beginning of Hanukkah Dec. 21 with an outdoor party at Village Green, in the Highlands, where Mayor Ava Frisinger will be a guest of honor.

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