The Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival wouldn’t be what it is today without its landmark lighthouse at the shore.
To go with this year’s theme, Light up the Sound, there will be lighthouses galore at the 52nd annual festival Sept. 8-10 at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park.
Check out 11 made-to-scale lighthouses with working beacons installed around the park. In addition, the Mukilteo Light Station, built in 1906, will be open for tours during the festival.
“We have three-dimensional lighthouses with beacons on top of them, a vendor in the park will be selling glow sticks beyond belief, and then there are the fireworks,” said Marilyn Langdon, executive director of the festival. “There are many ways to light up the Sound.”
The theme was the brainchild of Liz Myers, founder of the Everett-based art co-op SugarShak by the Sea. Though she wasn’t thinking of the lighthouse when inspiration hit.
She was thinking of the festival’s two fireworks shows.
The Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival puts on the largest fireworks show in Snohomish County. The Friday and Saturday shows start at about 8 p.m. The fireworks are shot off a barge in Possession Sound 800 feet from shore.
“They were looking for a theme, so I said, ‘How about Light up the Sound?’” Myers said. “That was it. Brilliant ideas don’t usually just pop into my head.”
Ten wooden lighthouses, ranging in size from 3 feet to 10 feet tall, were built by Kyle Langdon, a set designer who graduated from Kamiak High School in 2011. He now lives in San Jose, California. He came home to Mukilteo to help design and construct the lighthouses.
As a technical director, Langdon has built sets for such theater productions as “Annie,” “Mary Poppins,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “A Moon for the Misbegotten.” The closest he ever got to making a lighthouse was when he helped create a working windmill for the set of “Oklahoma.”
“The goal wasn’t to replicate any specific lighthouse,” said Langdon, who has a theater degree from Santa Clara University. “Inspiration was drawn from ones around Connecticut, Puget Sound and Nantucket, so some of them might look familiar. They were built the same way I would build scenery for a play or a musical.”
The model lighthouses were built in pairs to mark each gate to the festival’s marketplace, where artists and artisans will be selling a variety of handmade arts, crafts, snacks and goodies. Some of the artists featured in the market also painted the lighthouses.
“They look fantastic,” Kyle Langdon said. “I think people are really going to like them.”
The 11th lighthouse is a Lego replica of Mukilteo’s landmark. Members of the Seattle Lego Users Group designed and built the one-of-a-kind scale model with more than 100,000 of the toy bricks. Don’t miss it. The lighthouse features a working beacon and incredible interior and exterior detail based on the actual light station.
The group also will show replicas of the Point No Point lighthouse, a Maersk Triple E container ship, Scooby Doo’s lighthouse, a 3-foot ferry and a charming lighthouse and ferry scene. All in Lego.
Want one of the 10 wooden lighthouses? With a donation to go toward next year’s festival, you can take one home. Call 425-353-5516.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @sbruestle.
Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival
The free three-day festival will be 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, 609 Front St. Festivities include a parade, battle of the bands, fly-over air show, beer garden, avenue of food, art market, fishing derby, children’s activities, live music, fireworks and more.
There is no parking on the festival grounds. Park for free at Olympic View Middle School, 2602 Mukilteo Speedway, Kamiak High School, 10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd., or Travis Industries, 12521 Harbour Reach Drive, then take a shuttle bus to Lighthouse Park. The shuttle is $1 per person.
Festival attractions include mechanical rides, bouncy houses and a giant slide. Tickets or all-day wristbands are required. Prices were not immediately available.
The park’s band shell will feature a variety of bands with tent seating for listeners. Free performances will run from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. The tent turns into a beer garden from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The cover charge is $5. Wear your Seahawks, Sounders, Storm or Mariner gear on Blue Friday to get in free. Military and first responders also get in free on Friday with ID. Watch the first football game of the season on an 80-inch flat-screen TV in the beer garden on Sunday. No cover charge on Sunday. Drinks are $5 each.
Tweens can try some niche sports — rock climbing, badminton and lacrosse — at this year’s festival. The National Guard will host a rock climbing wall Friday and Sunday, Harbour Pointe Badminton Club will have a court set up Saturday, and Mukilteo Lacrosse Club will host a playing field Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The third annual Military and First Responders Appreciation Dinner will be 6 p.m. Friday in the VIP tent. Military, police officers, firefighters and search and rescue crews and their families are invited.
The 11th annual Battle of the Bands will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave. Four bands will compete for a $500 grand prize and to add their names to the Kamiaxe, the competition’s trophy. The bands are: Blinded by Color, School of Rock, Terrace Funk Combo and Counterproductive. Jeffrey Graham and Muskaan Swaroop will open the show and past winner Esoson will close it. Tickets are $10. This is a teens-only event.
Watch the Parade of Planes from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday. Planes from NW Beechboys, the Historic Flight Foundation and the Blackjack Squadron will fly in formation, looping around the festival grounds.
A petting zoo will be open all day Sunday with a variety of animals to pet, from familiar barnyard favorites to fascinating exotics. Animal Encounters Petting Zoo features goats, sheep, wallabies, bunnies, chickens, guinea pigs and more.
A fishing derby sponsored by the Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club will be 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the ferry dock. It’s open to kids ages 5-14. There’s no registration required. Just show up with your fishing pole and gear. Prizes awarded.
For more information, go to www.mukilteolighthousefestival.org.
5 to 6:30 p.m. — IvyLane, acoustic duo
7 to 8:30 p.m. — MachOne Jazz Orchestra, big band
8:30 p.m. to midnight — Gold Digger, rock, pop, hip-hop
Noon to 1:30 p.m. — Sheri Roberts Greimes, blues
1:30 to 2:45 p.m. — Black Jack Kerouac, rock, alternative, funk
3 to 4:45 p.m. — Jimmy Free’s Friends, reggae
5:15 to 6:30 p.m. — Kickin’ Dust, country
6:30 to 8 p.m. — The Charlies, rock, country, pop
8 p.m. to midnight — The Machine, rock ‘n’ roll
1:25 p.m. — Football on TV, Seahawks vs. Packers
7:30 p.m. — Taekwondo Way
8 p.m. — Family movie, “Secret Life of Pets”
Noon to 6 p.m. — The Toy Maker
2 p.m. — The Parrot Lady
3 p.m. — KreativMndz Dance featuring Bratz
4 p.m. — Storyteller Simon
4:45 p.m. — Magic Rich
6 p.m. — The Reptile Man
7 p.m. — Vibe Dance Studio
8 p.m. — Breakneck Love Band
1 p.m. — Ashram Yoga
1:40 p.m. — Story time, “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake”
2:30 p.m. — Battle of the Band winners