The Lights of Christmas Festival
Enchanting! Magical! Unbelievable!
What started out as an idea for the slower season in 1996, has become the largest Christmas festival in the Pacific Northwest, with over one million lights and over 1,179,000 people since the annual event started in 1997.
One of Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center’s Board members had been concerned that Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center could better reach out to the community during our slower season (Thanksgiving--New Year’s Day). After experiencing Nashville’s Opryland Theme Park's lighted event "Christmas in the Park" in Nashville, TN, he began envisioning how Warm Beach could import some of those concepts. In 1996, a team of four staff members visited "Christmas in the Park" to answer the question: "Is there something Warm Beach could do to more effectively reach out during the holiday season?” Stemming from that visit and many staff and Board meetings, the Board of Directors adopted the program model we now know as The Lights of Christmas, which they launched in 1997.
Over 1,179,000 people have experienced the magic of The Lights of Christmas over 23 seasons. The event now averages about 72,500 people a year. Community groups, schools, and local artisans come to show their talents at the event. Through Pay-What-You Can Nights, all people in the community can experience the event, regardless of economic hardship. Local volunteers work 13,000 hours each year. The Lights of Christmas has a global reach too. Past visitors have included guests from Europe, Australia, South America, Africa, and Canada! The festival is a Puget Sound event with international appeal.
Over 1 million lights are used throughout the festival. That’s enough light strands to stretch from Stanwood to Qwest Field Stadium in Seattle! The light hanging and installation crew of about seven people begins setting up for the event in early September and works five days a week until opening day. One third of the lights used every year are new LED lights helping conserve energy and protect the planet. After the event a group of staff and volunteers carefully take down and store the lights in various areas around the Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center campus.
Give the gift of camp! When Warm Beach Camp is not hosting The Lights of Christmas we are serving our community with camping and retreat opportunities.You can make a camp experience possible for people with economic hardship by donating to the Kids 2 Camp scholarship fund. Donation are tax-deductible. If you would like to learn more visit sendkids2camp.com.