Volunteers saved the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival this year. It almost didn’t happen for the first time in 54 years.
Last year’s carried over a $24,000 bill. And a shortage of volunteers and sponsors didn’t help.
“We put this thing together by the skin of our teeth. We thought, ‘It doesn’t make this year any less special,’” said Candace Felt, president of the festival association. “It’s definitely special — because it’s happening.”
You won’t see a parade at this year’s festival, set for Sept. 6-8, but you’ll still have carnival rides, a beer garden, avenue of food, art market, petting zoo, fishing derby, children’s activities, live music and fireworks. This years’ theme? “Sand & Sea.”
New to this year’s festival is the MukFest MashUp. Think of it as a revamped Battle of the Bands, but without the battle. There are no judges, no voting, no prizes — just local music from local bands.
The MashUp, featuring performances by local bands, is Sept. 7 at the Rosehill Community Center. Each band will perform a 30-minute set. Although the event is targeted at the under-21 crowd — the bands are made up mostly of teenagers — all are welcome.
Here’s the lineup so far: Freckle, Crescent Valley, The Coastals, Asterhouse, Counterproductive, Ghosts of the Pacific and Good Job.
Counterproductive — made up of Jacob Curran, Sean Curran and Isaac Ellis — competed in the teen Battle of the Bands two years ago. Sean formed the alternative rock band in 2016.
A seasoned competitor, Jacob Curran, 21, volunteered to revive the Battle of the Bands this year, renaming it the MukFest MashUp, so that it had more of a “mini music festival” vibe. His event is just about enjoying live music.
Counterproductive has had a very productive summer: The band won the 2019 Seattle’s Got Talent, as well as a raffle prize to record with Jared Bridge of XnarcotiX. Members recorded five original songs with that studio time, for an album that will be released in November.
The band also recently performed at the Trail Mix Music Festival near North Bend and The Hive in Seattle.
“This event will put a stamp on everything we’ve done this summer,” Jacob Curran said. “That’s how I see it.”
Shows are 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. — with a break at 8:30 p.m. for Saturday’s fireworks — at the Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo. Tickets are $15 at the door. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Snacks available for purchase.
This year’s Lighthouse 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. Call 425-353-5516 or go to www.mukilteolighthousefestival.com.
There is no parking on the festival grounds. Park for free at Olympic View Middle School, 2602 Mukilteo Speedway, or Kamiak High School, 10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd., then take a shuttle bus to Lighthouse Park. The shuttle is $1 per person. Disabled parking is at Olympic View.
Festival attractions include a carnival with rides, bouncy houses, an obstacle course and a giant slide Saturday and Sunday. Carnival tickets or all-day wristbands are required. Rides require 1-3 tickets. Tickets are $1.25 each. Weekend wristbands are $28, or $16 Saturday only and $15 Sunday only.
Saturday’s fireworks show starts at about 8:30 p.m. The fireworks are shot off a barge in Possession Sound 800 feet from shore.
The festival’s beer and wine garden, right next to the park’s band shell, will feature performances by local and regional bands from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. There is a $5 cover. Wear your Seahawks on Blue Friday to get $2 off. Drinks are $5.
The Mukilteo Marketplace — open 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday — is where artists and artisans will be selling a variety of handmade arts, crafts, snacks and goodies.
Teens and tweens can try some sports — rock climbing, lacrosse and a football toss. The National Guard will host a rock climbing wall and the football toss, and Mukilteo Lacrosse Club will host a playing field.
Pony rides from Perky Pony Parties will be offered from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday on the lawn next to the Mukilteo lighthouse for which the festival gets its name. Rides are $5 each.
A Mermaid & Pirate Tea Party will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Pirates and mermaids from The Painted Palaces will preside over the party. Children are encouraged to dress up as mermaids and pirates. Tickets are $40 and include a pony ride.
A petting zoo will be open noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Animal Encounters Petting Zoo features goats, sheep, wallabies, bunnies, chickens and guinea pigs.
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. No registration required. Just show up with your fishing pole and gear. Prizes awarded.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @sbruestle.