Shocking: Thunder and lightning add more ‘boom’ to fireworks

Welcome to the Mukilteo Lightning Festival

Mother Nature brings her own fireworks to the Lighthouse Festival
By Brandon Gustafson | Sep 11, 2019
Photo by: Debbie Magill

On a night when seemingly all of Mukilteo was down at Lighthouse Park, Mother Nature decided to make her presence known.

The 54th annual Lighthouse Festival took place this past weekend – Friday through Sunday – and Saturday is traditionally the most visited day of the three-day event, especially in the evening.

The reason for the large Saturday crowd? The annual evening fireworks show, always popular, especially for the younger crowd members.

As the crowd waited for the fireworks to light up the Sound, word started spreading of thunder and lightning to the south. In Seattle, the University of Washington football game was in a weather delay in the first quarter, and the weather was heading north. Soon enough, the southern sky started flashing, and eventually, it was easy to see different strikes. There were also some strikes north of Mukilteo.

Question started coming out from the crowd. Where’s the barge? Is the fireworks show happening? Will the weather hold off for the show?

Well, yes, the barge showed up.

Yes, we had a fireworks show – beautiful as always, drawing “oohs” and “aahs” from the large crowd who decided to stick around. It started right around 8:30 p.m.

And, for the last question, not really.

The fireworks show coincided with the lightning, with some photos showing both fireworks and lightning bolts seemingly coinciding. In the hours after, social media was full of great photos of the fireworks, lightning, and in many cases, both.

The Seattle branch of the National Weather Service recorded more than 2,200 lightning strikes in western Washington between 6 and 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Snohomish County had 449 strikes, while Pierce County had 447, Lewis County had 345, Skagit County had 324, and King County recorded 224.

The inclement weather also led to more air traffic in our area, as multiple reports showed some flights heading to SeaTac were diverted to Paine Field. Some also went to Bellingham and Arlington.

In Mukilteo, the weather caused issues with the Festival.

The decision was made for the rest of the evening’s festivities to be canceled. The main issue that arose was in regards to buses.

As in years prior, there was no public parking at Lighthouse Park for the Festival. Unless you lived in Old Town, found parking nearby, got an Uber or Lyft, or got dropped off close by, you likely arrived to the Festival via shuttle busses, which ran from Olympic View Middle School and Kamiak High School.

The problem? The buses weren’t running during the fireworks show.

“It wasn't our directive, but the drivers would not drive during the fireworks as if it was some long-standing safety issue,” Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival President Candace Felt said.

As far as the decision to shut down the rest of the Festival, Felt said that was easy.

“Kandace Barnes (Festival logistics member) made the decision to shut it down for safety reasons right before the police/fire told her to. Great decision,” Felt said. “She said the hardest part was that people were enjoying the show so much and having such a great time they didn't want to leave. It worried her a lot because it was a safety issue.”



(Courtesy of: Lynne Miller)
(Photo by: Debbie Magill)
(Photo by: Debbie Magill)
(Photo by: Debbie Magill)
(Courtesy of: Dylan Grube)
(Courtesy of: Amy Jordal)
(Courtesy of: Jessica Rohwer)
(Photo by: Trygve Oye)
(Photo by: Brandon Gustafson)
(Photo by: Brandon Gustafson)
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