Listed below we keep a list of Christmas tree lighting celebrations in cities and communities around the Puget Sound region.
In case you are wondering where we got the custom of lighting trees in winter, we dug up some history and have summarized some of the key points.
A short history of Christmas tree traditions
The tradition of the Christmas tree evolved over a period of several hundred years. There are a lot of twists and turns to the story. No two historians would likely tell the story the same way. But here is a very brief account of what has occurred:
Evergreen wreaths, garlands, and trees have been a symbol of eternal life in many cultures throughout history. Because they remained green all year, it was natural for people to develop various winter customs: to decorate the house in winter, provide a setting for birds, scare away evil spirits, and recognize the winter solstice as the turning point to spring, among other rites, traditions, and beliefs.
Christmas trees were considered pagan symbols and heathen traditions by some Christians, but embraced by others. In any case, these paths converged in post-medieval Europe. The various customs and ideas evolved further into the Christmas tree tradition most of us know today: an evergreen tree adorned with lights, ornaments, and gifts.
The two most famous trees in the U.S. are The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City with over 25,000 Christmas lights and The National Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington, D.C.
2019 Christmas tree lighting events
Most Christmas tree lighting events have music in some form. Many also have other family-friendly activities before and after the tree lighting. These might include Santa parades, holiday markets, food vendors, and other activities. Check their link for details.
Listed by date, then alphabetically by city
Saturday, November 16, 2019 tree lighting events
- November 16, 2019, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Renton Landing Christmas Tree Lighting & Laser Light Show
Thanksgiving Weekend tree lighting events
- November 29, 2019 Macy’s Star and Westlake Park Tree Lighting in Seattle
- November 30, 2019 Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Tacoma
- November 28 – December 2, 2019 Free Christmas Light displays opening Thanksgiving Weekend
- December 1, 2019, 5 PM, Bothell tree lighting
- December 1, 2019 4:30-7:30 PM Monroe ‘Light Up’ tree lighting
- December 1, 2019, 3-7 PM West Seattle tree lighting
Friday, December 6, 2019 tree lighting events
- December 6, 2019, 4-6 PM Freeway Park Illuminations in Seattle
- December 6, 2019, 5:30 p.m. Ivar’s Clam Lights in Renton
- December 6, 2019, 6:30 PM Mountlake Terrace tree lighting
- December 6, 2019, 6:30 PM Sammamish tree lighting
- December 6, 2019, 6:30-8 PM Mercer Island tree lighting
- December 6, 2019, 6 PM University Place tree lighting
Saturday, December 7, 2019 tree lighting events
- December 7, 2019, 2-8 PM Mill Creek Christmas tree lighting
- December 7, 2019, 4-8 PM Kenmore tree lighting
- December 7, 2019, 4-8 PM, lighting at 5 PM Redmond tree lighting
- December 7, 2019, 4:30-5:30 PM Auburn tree lighting & Santa parade
- December 7, 2019, 5-6:30 PM Gig Harbor tree lighting
- December 7, 2019, 5-6:30 PM Kirkland tree lighting
- December 7, 2019, 5-6:30 PM Merrysville tower lighting
- December 7, 2019, 6 PM Woodinville tree lighting