Noah Edwards (left), then 12, of Mukilteo, checks out a crab he caught with his grandfather, Steve Edwards, of Snohomish, during the 2016 fishing derby at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival. (Herald file)

Noah Edwards (left), then 12, of Mukilteo, checks out a crab he caught with his grandfather, Steve Edwards, of Snohomish, during the 2016 fishing derby at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival. (Herald file)

Lighthouse Festival could go dark without donations

The Mukilteo fest’s 53rd year kicks off this weekend. Better go if it’s on your bucket list.

MUKILTEO — It’s not all fun and games.

The Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival will go on pretty much as usual this year, its 53rd, but needs more money and volunteers to continue lighting up the waterfront.

“We are reaching out for help,” said Julie Martin, festival association president. “Over the last three years the cost has doubled and tripled in some areas. Sponsorship is on the decline.”

The three-day festival includes a parade, music, food, art, fireworks, fishing derby, beer garden and appreciation dinner for military and first responders. It also sponsors Run-A-Muk, a 5K/10K.

“The overall budget is about $260,000,” Martin said. “The deficit was about $15,000 last year.”

Luckily, a grant from the Mukilteo Lodging Tax came through to pay that bill.

Martin said the cost of buses, portable toilets and fencing has increased.

“We have to have buses to shuttle people in. There are public safety issues,” she said.

Charging admission isn’t possible because of the layout of the park, she said. An online fundraiser has brought in $1,575 of a $25,000 goal.

“We’re having to make some tough choices to keep the festival running as in the past,” Martin said. “Is it important to have the parade? The large children’s area? Are the fireworks necessary?”

Fireworks will be one night this year instead of two.

There also will be fewer toilets.

More people are needed to pitch in. The association consists of an all-volunteer board and committees.

Martin is hopeful that with public support the festival can be saved.

“I don’t think this will be the last year,” she said.

“I knew all these things when I took over as president, but I’m passionate about the festival. It’s really my favorite weekend of the year other than my birthday.”

The festival is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks are Saturday at dusk. More at https://mukfest.com.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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