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The Lights of Christmas festival celebrates its 20th year

20thYearTheLightsofChristmasTwenty years ago, The Lights of Christmas was nothing more than an idea. The hope was maybe Warm Beach Camp could better serve the community in December through a holiday festival rather than a handful of small group events. Today, The Lights of Christmas is regularly voted into top ten lists for things to do or places to go during the holidays. Warm Beach Camp went from serving a few hundred guests in December to hosting tens of thousands who come not only from the Puget Sound region but points all over the country and world.

The Lights of Christmas has lived through Y2K, 9-11, and even the financial meltdown of 2008 with an epic amount of snow. Wars, presidents, disasters large and small, have come and gone. The Lights of Christmas continues to welcome guests and shine with the promise of a holiday-dream-come-true.

What makes The Lights of Christmas so enduring and special? We believe The Lights of Christmas builds community by being a spectacular light display festival and so much more! The “more” is found in the hospitality felt throughout the event. Volunteers provide heartfelt warmth and enthusiasm as they park cars, greet guests, host venues, assist in shops, drive the train, don costumes, drive courtesy carts, provide security, and serve behind the scenes. Everywhere you turn, a community volunteer is making The Lights of Christmas hospitable.

The mission of The Lights of Christmas has always been to create a family-oriented event that celebrates the love, joy, and hope of the Christmas season. Woven throughout the light displays, artwork, music, theater, and hospitality is the spirit of Christmas that brings the community closer together. May this 20th year of The Lights of Christmas be one that further strengthens and encourages the community by speaking love, joy, and hope into each person.  

Patrick Patterson, General Manager/C.O.O.
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center

Interested in being a volunteer? Learn More
Learn about The Lights of Christmas: Overnight Getaways | Holiday Theatre | Nightly Festival

The Lights of Christmas 2015 – a season of blessing

“Welcome to a Christmas wonderland!” exclaimed one young guest in describing The Lights of Christmas, at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. The annual holiday festival held in December, treated guests to magnificent light displays,grand Christmas music, fun children’s activities, live theater, hot fresh donuts, and much more. Friends and families gathered around the warming fires kindling relationship. Children laughed with delight at Bruce the Spruce the talking Christmas tree. Grown-ups and kids alike waved at strangers as they took the train around the event. The Lights of Christmas celebrated the faith, love, and hope of the season with beauty, pageantry, and joy.

The weather has been fairly mild and dry for the past six years – not so for 2016. Rain, wind, or showers graced us 10 out of 19 nights. However, the spirits of guests were not dampened as just over 68,000 people attended The Lights of Christmas, making 2015 the third highest attendance on record!

“We are thankful for hundreds of staff and volunteers who gave one or more nights to make The Lights of Christmas possible.” said Patrick Patterson, Warm Beach Camp General Manager. Intrepid parking attendants braved the night-time weather directing thousands of cars. Security staff walked miles each night. Greeters, ticket sellers, and retail clerks welcomed thousands each night. One of the truly distinguishing features of The Lights of Christmas is the staff. Over and over again, guests comment about the heart-felt hospitality that makes The Lights of Christmas a welcoming, encouraging, and blessed event.

Many gifts are given at Christmas time. Perhaps, some of the best are memorable times– love, laughter, and life together. Our prayer is that God’s Spirit would use The Lights of Christmas to do His work of healing, reconciling, and redeeming. The hospitality, beauty, and fun experiences lay the groundwork for the deeper message of Christmas to take root in people’s hearts.

Plans are underway for this year’s 20th year celebration for The Lights of Christmas! Registration for Overnight Getaways and Holiday Theatre opens on May 3, 2016. 

The Lights of Christmas, a community event

JoylandConcertHall atTheLightsWhen The Lights of Christmas began in 1997, it set out to lavishly celebrate the message of Christmas in a way that welcomed the community. And what better way to welcome the community than by reaching out to the community for participation in this event! The response has been wonderful!

Local theater artists and Northwest playwrights produce the Holiday Theatre plays. Local music groups perform on several Nightly Festival entertainment stages. Hundreds of community volunteers give their time, and dozens of civic organizations and churches bring groups to help staff the event each night. “I enjoy volunteering at The Lights of Christmas. It puts me in the Christmas spirit.” shares one volunteer from last year. Local businesses donate goods and services or give counter space where brochures are displayed. Northwest artists produce artwork for display or crafts and merchandise for sale in the gift shops. Even local food vendors get in on the celebration, providing food that fills the tummy and warms the heart.

The Lights of Christmas has become a heart-warming holiday experience through the generosity and participation of the entire community. Our prayer is that the 2015 season will be one of joy, togetherness, and rest from the weariness of an overly-busy season. May we, as a community, join together and bless our community and make it a truly “Merry” Christmas.

American Bus Association names The Lights of Christmas one of North America’s 100 best events for 2016

2016Top100Event web150The American Bus Association (ABA) announced that The Lights of Christmas, held each December, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2016 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee. Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicated The Lights of Christmas offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travellers from around the world, according to ABA.

With the release of the American Bus Association's 2016 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 34 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

ABA's 2016 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected The Lights of Christmas from hundreds of event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event's broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

The Top 100 Events list is available online at www.buses.org/Top100.

Subcategories

Nightly activities

Nightly activities

Live music, story-telling, crafts, food, pony rides, a petting farm, and Polar Express Train rides. Learn More
Performance schedule

Performance schedule

A variety of choir, band, dance and drama performances, carolers, storytelling, acoustic sets. Learn More
Food & snacks

Food & snacks

Mini-Donuts, Joyland Café, Tinhorn Town, Coffee House, CaribBean Cuisine and other food vendors. Learn More
Driving directions & event map

Driving directions & event map

Only 1 hour North of Seattle! Learn More
Wheelchair accessibility

Wheelchair accessibility

The majority of the event area is either concrete, asphalt or a 'chip sealed' gravel which has a surface nearly Learn More
Volunteering

Volunteering

Share the hope and joy of the Christmas season as a volunteer. Each year, over 800 volunteers make The Lights Learn More
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