No Clam Lights as city plans smaller lighting displays at Coulon, downtown

The city was facing both COVID-19 health concerns and financial restraints, but will still be able to provide some holiday lighting cheer

Two annual Renton holiday events Clam Lights and the Polar bear Plunge, are cancelled this year due to health restrictions and financial difficulties the city is facing during COVID-19.

In the place of Clam Lights and the annual downtown tree lighting, the city will be hosting smaller lighting displays at both Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park and the downtown Piazza Park.

Those displays will be lit everyday from Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28 to New Year’s Day 2021, from 4 to 8 p.m.

“We are incredibly disappointed to announce the annual Clam Lights holiday lighting event will not be held in 2020. We understand this event has become a significant holiday kickoff event for residents and visitors of all ages,” Mayor Armondo Pavone stated in his Mayor’s Newsletter this week.

Pavone went on to state that the events were not feasible under the Phase Two Safe Start Reopening guidelines.

The city was not able to find a sponsor for this year’s event. Renton also reduced it’s special events supplies funding back in June by $106,188, and it’s special event contractor services by $14,959, as part of a series of cutbacks it made to offset the financial losses from COVID-19.

The mayor thanked the Lodging Tax Grant Program, Renton Downtown Partnership and Fleming Holiday lighting for making the modified holiday lights events possible this year.