The Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival will be visited by “unicorns” this weekend.
We’re at the peak of the unicorn trend, so it’s only fitting that this year’s festival at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park features the mythical creatures. Unicorns have all the makings of a fad: there is an established cultural interest, they match the current zeitgeist and celebrities have embraced them.
While unicorns were a touchstone of the ’90s — thanks, in part, to the “My Little Pony” TV show and Lisa Frank stickers and folders — the rainbows-and-sparkles fad started to make a comeback in 2016 and has since morphed into a pop-culture phenomenon. It makes sense: We’re all craving brightness and happiness in these conflicted political times.
All right, enough about popular culture.
Unicorn rides will be offered from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the lawn next to the Mukilteo lighthouse for which the festival gets its name. Rides are $5 each. Sorry, rides are for children only. The weight limit is 100 pounds.
Three “unicorns” from Seattle Pony Party will be dressed in special regalia. They’ll have colorful ribbons braided into their mains and tails — and a single horn on their foreheads, of course. Applesauce will be in pink, Annie in purple and Pickles will be in turquoise.
“Kids like unicorns,” said owner Eric Johnson. “We get the occasional kid who informs us in an icy voice that these are not real unicorns. I’m like, ‘Kid, these are as real of unicorns as you’re going to get.’ “
Along with unicorn rides, the Lighthouse Festival will also host its first-ever Tea Party by the Sea from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday. A prince and princess from Seattle’s Princesses will preside over the party. They’re not allowed to tell you their names (for legal reasons), but we can tell you that the mermaid princess made a Faustian bargain with a sea-witch in order to meet the human prince on land (more mythical creatures!). As most fairy tales end, the prince and princess are living happily ever. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Tea, lemonade and “fairy bread” will be served at the royal tea — pun intended. There also will be crafts, games and a photo booth. Bring your own camera. Children are encouraged to dress up as princes and princesses. Tickets are $40 and include a unicorn ride.
“We’re really looking forward to it. It’s going to be really fun,” said Jackie Puppe Wotipka, chair of the children’s entertainment at the festival. “This is the first one, and hopefully it will be a tradition for the festival.”
Now in its 53rd year, the 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. Festivities include a parade, carnival rides, beer garden, avenue of food, art market, petting zoo, fishing derby, children’s activities, live music and fireworks.
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 mechanical rides, a bouncy house, an obstacle course and a giant slide Saturday and Sunday. 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.
Mukilteo puts on the largest fireworks show in Snohomish County. Saturday’s show starts at about 8 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 noon to midnight Friday and 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday. There is a $5 cover charge after 5 p.m. 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 TV in the beer garden on Sunday. No cover charge Sunday. 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. The art market of juried works will have a vintage aviation theme.
Teens and tweens can try some niche sports — rock climbing and lacrosse — at this year’s festival. The National Guard will host a rock climbing wall and Mukilteo Lacrosse Club will host a playing field Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There is no Battle of the Bands this year.
The fourth annual Military and First Responders Appreciation Dinner will be 6 p.m. Friday in the VIP tent. Military, police officers, firefighters, search and rescue crews, and their families are invited.
Saturday’s parade along Harbour Pointe Boulevard starts at the corner of Chennault Beach Road and ends at the corner of 47th Place W. Children’s parade is 10:30 a.m. and grand parade is 10:45 a.m. There is no parking along the parade route.
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 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.
5 p.m. — IvyLane, acoustic duo
7 p.m. — MachOne Jazz Orchestra, big band
8:30 p.m. — The Machine, rock ‘n’ roll
Noon — Two Guys and A Broad, blues, rock, country
1:45 p.m. — Scattered Sunn, Seattle rock ‘n’ roll
3 p.m. — Selassie I Soldier and the Special Forces, reggae
5:15 p.m. — Chris Poage Band, rock, folk, world
6:45 p.m. — Legacy, rock, country, pop
8:30 p.m. — Gold Digger, rock, pop, hip-hop
1:25 p.m. — Football on TV, Seahawks vs. Broncos
2 to 7 p.m. — Just Frogs
8:30 p.m. — Family movie, “The Incredibles”
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Just Frogs
Noon to 6 p.m. The Toymaker
2 to 7 p.m. Vuelta La Luna
3 p.m. — KreativMndz Dance
4:45 p.m. — Irish Dance School
5:45 p.m. — The Son of the Reptile Man
7 p.m. — Taekwondo Way
8 p.m. — Breakneck Love
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Just Frogs
1 p.m. — The Parrot Lady
1:30 p.m. — Prince and Princess Tea Party
2 p.m. — Kreative Mndz Dance
If you go
What: Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival
When: Sept. 7-9
Where: Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, 609 Front St., Mukilteo
More: 425-353-5516 or www.mukilteolighthousefestival.org