‘Grinch’ Vandal almost ruins Snoqualmie Tree Lighting Festival, hundreds of lights cut

If you make to the City of Snoqualmie’s Tree Lighting Festival on Saturday, November 26th – admire the thousands beautiful lights that adorn Railroad Park each holiday season – and realize only some last-minute hard work from city employees and local businesses made it possible.

You see, the city discovered something heartbreaking midweek – a ‘Grinch’ vandal almost put a damper on this year’s Tree Lighting. The Snoqualmie Parks Department – which takes holiday lights pretty seriously – discovered midweek that a vandal(s) had cut almost all of its lights that employees had spent the past two to three weeks installing.

According to Parks and Public Works Director Dan Marcinko, it took A LOT of hard work from city staff and even downtown businesses to get new lights installed in time for Saturday’s festivities. Marcinko said, “Moreso than the cost of replacing some of the lights, it’s more of the aggravation and emotions tied to this as the guys pour their hearts out for this event knowing it’s for the community.”

But as they say, the show must go on – AND it did.  Although it was pretty stressful for the whole parks department, they got the lights replaced and kicked the holidays into high gear on November 26th.

As far as catching the vandal(s), Marcinko said they currently have no leads. Without security cameras downtown, there is little to go on. If anyone saw anything this week, they are urged to call Snoqualmie Police at 425.888.3333.

Tree Lighting Festival Info

Santa will light up the tree in the Railroad Park gazebo of downtown Snoqualmie at 6:30PM. Then the kiddos can visit with Santa and have their picture taken. Stay for hot cocoa, apple cider, cookies, carolers, and more. New this year – Kids can bring a letter to send to Santa and pop it in a special holiday mailbox going straight to the North Pole

During the event you can also visit downtown stores and restaurants for complimentary treats, live music, activities for children, and specials for holiday shopping. The open house starts at 5PM and runs through the holiday tree lighting event until 8PM.

[** Correction: An earlier version of this article indicated a replacement cost of $15,000. That cost estimate made by a city official was too high and it ended up being much less. According to the city, the primary investment was the staff hours required to replace the lights.**]


Railroad Park in downtown Snoqualmie is lit up with thousands of lights each holiday season by the Parks Department. Photo: City of Snoqualmie


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  • We don’t need downtown cameras, we have people camped out all night at the new bus stop shelters

  • Again I have to ask what Snoqualmie Police Department are doing about any of the crimes that have been goin on in our city for over a year. Identifies stolen, lots of money, person property damage, lots of theft. What is being done?

  • Living Snoqualmie