49th Lighthouse Festival to get a fresh look

By Sara Bruestle | Aug 06, 2014
Photo by: Sara Bruestle Deveny Nunez and Nico Nunez watch a wiggling magic worm at last year’s Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival. This year’s festival is set for Sept. 5,6 and 7 at Lighthouse Park.

This year’s Lighthouse Festival will be like you’ve never seen before.

The 49th annual festival at Lighthouse Park is set for the weekend after Labor Day, Sept. 5, 6 and 7. Admission is free.

The three-day festival has been revamped to give the event a clear focus, fix logistical issues and provide a better flow from feature to feature. Nothing will be where it was before.

“I’ve come into this with a fresh set of eyes,” said Jim Goettler, executive director of the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Association. “I haven’t been doing it for 15 years. I looked at the site and said, ‘Wait a minute – there’s no focal point.’”

The festival features live music, family entertainment, art and food booths, a parade, fly-over air show, beer garden, fishing derby, teen battle of the bands, a salmon bake, hot dog eating contest, fireworks – and much more.

The event runs from 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at 609 Front St.

The festival main stage will move to the park’s band shell – so that it can serve its purpose. It will be the focal point of the event.

“You all spent good money to build that beautiful structure, so I say, let’s use it,” said Goettler, who has directed community festivals for more than 20 years.

“There’s power, there’s toilets – it’s wonderful. We’re going to put the bands in the band shell.

“There are no bad seats. They’re going to have the water, everything, and at night this will all go dark for the fireworks.”

The shell will feature a variety of bands all three days, with tent seating for listeners. Free performances will run from 11-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday.

The tent will turn into a beer garden from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The cover charge is $5. Drinks are $5 each. Wear your Seahawks gear on Blue Friday to get in free.

The Avenue of Festival Food will be set up next to the band shell and where shuttle buses will load and unload.

The food booths are scheduled to run from 3-10 p.m. Friday, 11-10 p.m. Saturday and 11-5 p.m. Sunday. Many booths will stay open after 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where the main stage/beer garden was previously will now be the artist and artisan booths.

There, the artists won’t be flooded in the parking lot, and they won’t need to shout over live music. Those were issues when the booths were set up next to the main stage.

A “Kids Korner” will be near the lighthouse, with some events also on the grounds. It will include a kids’ stage where “kids play for kids,” arts and crafts, and other children’s activities. A schedule of performances for the kids stage is not yet available.

“The kids have the prime spot of the entire event,” Goettler said. “They have a cool building, they’ve got green grass and they’ve got the Sound. You can’t beat that.”

Nearby will be five festival attractions: two obstacle courses, a giant slide, a bouncy slide with a play area and a swinging ride.

The slides, ride and obstacle courses will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $1.25 each. Activities require 1-4 tickets. All-day passes are $12.

The VIP tent, which had been on the lighthouse grounds, will be moved to Rosehill Community Center at 304 Lincoln Ave. The sponsors’ thank you dinner, catered by Arnies and with an open bar, will be in the Point Elliott Room.

New this year will be a program that includes musical performances, recognitions and awards. The emcee will be the KSER radio station, which will also play music synchronized with Saturday’s fireworks in the park.

“The move to Rosehill will give it more of a VIP feel,” said Kevin Witte, city liaison to the Lighthouse Festival Association. “It’s a beautiful facility and gives a higher-end feel than some tent on the grass.”

“The sponsors will get a great view of the fireworks from up on the hill.”

Goettler said this year’s festival will test how well the association’s fixes will work out. After all, the 50th Lighthouse Festival is next year, and he wants that one to be better than ever.

“It’s an event that brings the community together,” he said. “It’s a time to celebrate why they live here and that their town is able to throw a darn good party.”

No parking is available on site. Parking and shuttle buses are available at Olympic View Middle School (2602 Mukilteo Speedway) and Kamiak High School (10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd.).

For more information, call 425-347-1456 or go to www.mukilteolighthousefestival.org. See a complete event schedule and more stories inside the Sept. 3 festival issue of the Mukilteo Beacon.

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