Covington staff members were finalizing all the details Monday for the city’s annual community tree lighting set for Saturday night.
“The city is putting the finishing touches on this Saturday’s tree lighting event,” wrote Karla Slate, communications and marketing manager for Covington, in an email interview. “We are excited about offering an additional holiday performance by the Dickens Carolers and more kids craft activities.”
Festivities start at 4 p.m. with the tree lighting set for about 5 p.m., Slate wrote. Covington-based service clubs will be on hand to provide treats with Kiwanis serving apple cider, the Lions Club offering popcorn and Rotary handing out cookies.
Slate noted that 168th Place Southeast northbound will close at 2:30 p.m. while southbound 168th Place Southeast will close at 3:30 p.m. and will remain closed for the duration of the event.
Last year’s tree lighting event was marred when an act of vandalism killed the community tree in the roundabout near Fred Meyer. The tree that was vandalized was planted in 2008. It replaced a tree which was previously located on the corner of 168th and Southeast 272nd Street which the city had been lighting up since 1997 — when Covington incorporated — during the holidays.
That tree came down in part to make way for construction of the road expansion needed to carry traffic to Costco but also because it was diseased and dying.
Once the roundabout, which was named after Covington Councilman Don Henning who died in 2007, was complete in October 2008 the new tree was placed. At the time it was 25 feet tall.
A new tree was planted less than a week after someone sawed into the community tree, a 35-foot spruce, the early morning hours of Dec. 1, 2012.
“Last year’s vandalism of the community tree was an appalling and senseless act, but the community spirit that resulted really made the event more meaningful,” Slate wrote. “This year, our police department is adding additional coverage specifically to monitor the area around the community tree.”
If You Go
Dickens Carolers 4-4:50 p.m.
Make your own ornament, mini gift box or greeting card activities 4-6:45 p.m.
Mayor Margaret Harto officiates tree lighting 4:50-5:05 p.m.
Soloist performance 5:05-5:10 p.m.
Community caroling 5:10-5:30 p.m.
Santa Claus arrives via Kent Regional Fire Authority fire truck 5:30 p.m.
Emerald City Ringers hand bell choir 5:45-6:45 p.m.