Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park (FLSSP) will host its second annual Light Up the Night Lighted People Parade and Holiday Beach Party Dec. 1.
Though it is the second Light Up the Night event, FLSSP has hosted an annual holiday event at the park since 2015.
It began as a lighted boat parade.
“The first year we had about four boats, the second year we had, I think, nine boats,” said Debbie Berto, one of the founders of the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park group.
The third year, Berto said, there were no boats due to weather. She said the boats are usually put away for the winter and it takes a lot for the boat owners to get them out and ready for the parade.
It was then the event shifted focus to a lighted people parade.
“We decided to switch it to a holiday beach party with a lighted people parade,” Berto said.
The lighted people parade debuted last year.
“It was great,” Berto said. “I think we had about 1,000 people attend — not all in the parade — but it was wonderful.”
FSSP executive director Jennifer Adut said this year’s event will still have the lighted people parade but will feature a few additions.
The Dec. 1 parade will be led by Santa and his reindeer, courtesy of Cougar Mountain Zoo. Hoop Smiles and his LED Hula Hoops will bring up the rear from 5-6:30 p.m.
“With battery operated LED lights and twinkling sweaters and hats, we anticipate people will get creative and have fun,” Adut said.
Decorated wagons, strollers, tricycles and more are also encouraged. The prize for the most creatively lit participant will be an up close and personal visit with Santa and his reindeer.
The parade will begin at the Sunset Beach parking lot, proceed on the entry road and loop around the playground and past the bathhouse.
There will be festive entertainment by The Liberty High School Jazz Choir and Joyas Mestizas with the music, dance and regional costuming of Mexico. Concessions will be available and bonfires on the beach will take away the chill. Participants can bring their own marshmallows and roasting sticks. A beach chair to sit under the stars and appreciate the holiday lights on display at homes around the lake also is recommended.
Event sponsors include Cougar Mountain Zoo, Puget Sound Energy and Just for Them Gift Baskets. The event is free, but a Discover Pass is required for vehicle entry to the park.