Seattle downsizes holiday tree lighting celebration

KING 5's Chris Daniels reports.

SEATTLE -- The Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration will look different this year, and smaller.

The Downtown Seattle Association said Wednesday it has decided to scale back production this year to allow it to spread resources across Westlake and Occidental parks.

However, KING5 has learned that SeaFair, which had produced the extravaganza the past two years, decided to pull out of the production. 

That followed protests in 2014 and 2015, which disrupted the ceremony and prompted a police response to secure the nearby shopping centers.

James Sido, spokesman for the DSA, said security had nothing to do with the decision, but "the idea is we could take the resources and spread it out, here at Occidental Square." 

He said the DSA will still have a tree lighting, but the production will not be as big.

"We can still have a great night, music and fake snow, a tree that's lighting up, but we're (now) going to be able to do more during the season."

The large stage, fencing and "footprint" -- as Sido explained it -- is going away. He described the difference as "not as much as concert-type event, just a community gathering."

Shirley Acosta, who has brought her young daughter to the show the past couple of years, calls it "pretty fun, brings back childhood memories for myself." She still plans on attending, because it "gets you kind of excited to be around the people you love."

The Carousel should be up and running by November 25, and a new holiday "street fair" should also be open this year at Westlake Park.

Sido says Occidental will have a holiday ship and "snow" as well.

A Macy's spokesperson said the company has not made any changes to it's planned holiday programming. It will still have a parade on Black Friday and star lighting. 


Copyright 2016 KING


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