Seattle neighborhoods hope festive monkeys generate business

Amy Moreno reports.

SEATTLE -- The Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods hope an unusual holiday light display will draw visitors to the area. One-hundred-fifty LED monkeys are hanging inside and outside of businesses, and in the trees along Phinney and Greenwood Avenues.

Members of the business association got a grant from the city to help pay for the materials.

"Who doesn't love a monkey," organizer Mike Veitenhans said.

The centerpiece of this unique light display is the historic air raid siren at 67th and Phinney that's been transformed.

"It's a glow cone... some people might say it's a Christmas tree, too," Veitenhans explained.

It's a different way to commemorate the season and organizers say that's the point. It's the first time the community has put together something like this and they wanted it to be unique.

The trail of monkeys are just down the way from the Woodland Park Zoo. Its wild lights event will bring thousands to the area in the next few weeks and neighbors hope the monkeys will help them discover nearby businesses.

Naked City Brewery and Taphouse is one of the spots that has several hanging around.

"We get questions all the time from customers about the monkeys," co-owner Bryan Miller said. "They're kind of perplexed at first but once they hear what's going they're kind of excited."

"Festivus for the rest of us," neighbor Jennifer Newman said. "It's really fun and it's nice the neighborhood is decorating and being more festive."

Volunteers helped put all the lights on the monkeys and then hang them throughout the neighborhoods. Now they hope people come to see their merry monkeys.


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