Local ceremonies, events light up the holidays

Nothing says holidays like carols, cocoa, and tree lightings. This month, cities are gearing up for the holidays with events and ceremonies galore.

Dec. 1 - Renton Tree Lighting
This event takes place at the Piazza and features Santa sightings, holiday food, and all kinds of family entertainment. The tree lighting ceremony takes place at 5 p.m.

Dec. 1 - Redmond's 13th Annual Winter Festival
The event begins at City Hall Plaza with activities for the little ones and the tree lighting. Then join in on the Luminary Walk between City Hall Plaza and the Redmond Town Center where you'll be greeted with holiday treats, crafts for the kids, and holiday entertainment. Ceremony takes place noon - 8 p.m.

Dec. 1 - Tree Lighting Ceremony at Salish Lodge
A 20-foot tree is lit and then the celebration includes hot chocolate, cookies, live entertainment, discounts at Salish Lodge, and contests. Ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m.

Dec. 6 - Kenmore Christmas tree lighting
Enjoy Santa sightings, caroling, and a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree all while donating non-perishable food to Hopelink, serving Northshore and Kirkland residents. Ceremony begins at 6 p.m.

Dec. 7 - Mercer Island Holiday Tree Lighting and Firehouse Munch
Meet at Mercerdale Park to enjoy the community tree lighting ceremony; carol with friends and family before parading to the local Firehouse to sample tasty treats and children's entertainment. Don't forget to get your picture taken with Santa! And don't forget to bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots drive and bask in the holiday spirit. Ceremony takes place 6-8:30 p.m.

Until Jan. 1 - WildLights at Woodland Park Zoo
WildLights features wild animals and wild places recreated in thousands of sparkling LED lights. Experience amazing indoor and outdoor displays, ride the zoo's Historic Carousel (additional fee), see a few of our animal friends, including visiting reindeer, and enjoy family fun and live entertainment. Open 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 24 and 25).

Dec. 7 - The Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition
Carolers compete to find the best carolers in town. Funds raised benefit Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank. Caroling beings at 5 p.m. at Westlake Center. Free to listen, $75 to register a team.

Dec. 14- 15 - Magical Strings 34th Annual Seattle Celtic Yuletide Concert
Magical Strings is a musical group made up of harpists armed with harps of all types and sizes. Dec. 14 at Urban Grace Church in Tacoma. Dec. 15 at Town Hall in Seattle.

Dec. 29 - Victorian Christmas: Traditional Carols for Choir and Brass
The Tudor Choir and Players put on a musical performance sure to whisk you back in time to the Victorian Era with songs popular during the latter half of the 1800s. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church in Seattle. $30 general admission/$20 students and seniors.