Christmas season kicks off this weekend in Renton with Clam Lights, tree lighting

Clam Lights kicks off this Friday at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. - City of Renton
Clam Lights kicks off this Friday at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.
— image credit: City of Renton

The Christmas season is kicking off in Renton this weekend, with the start of the popular Ivar’s Clam Lights today (Friday) and the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at the Piazza Saturday.

The annual Downtown Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting at the Piazza and downtown begins at 3 p.m. Saturday with strolling carolers downtown and roasted chestnuts and hot cider at Third and Wells.

The official tree lighting is at 5 p.m. and other festivities continue through 7 p.m..

The City of Renton will hold the official lighting of Ivar’s Clam Lights today (Friday) at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park.

The events begin at 6:15 p.m. at the park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.

This is the 19th Annual Ivar’s Clam Lights that brings thousands of visitors to the park.

The free entertainment includes rides in horse-drawn wagons, an appearance by Santa, entertainment by Erwilian, bonfire and holiday sing-along led by Michelle Bettinger, Rainier Yacht Club’s “Parade of Boats,” and a visit by the Argosy Christmas Ship featuring Northwest Girlchoir Amore Ensemble.

Officiating over the event will be Renton Mayor Denis Law and Title Sponsor Ivar’s and event co-sponsor Puget Sound Energy.

Ivar’s Clam Lights will shine nightly 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 1.

Schedule of events:

• 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. – Erwilian, acoustic holiday entertainment

• 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Ride in Santa’s covered wagon

• 7 p.m. – Welcome and official lighting by Mayor Law

• 7:15 to 8 p.m. – Bonfire and community sing-along with Michelle Bettinger, North Picnic shelter

• 7:30 p.m. – Rainier Yacht Club’s “Parade of Boats”

• 8 to 8:20 p.m. – Argosy Christmas Ship with Northwest Girlchoir Amore Ensemble

For more information about Ivar’s Clam Lights, visit For information about the 2012 Argosy Christmas Ship Festival and schedule, visit

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