Re*Imagine Medical Lake hosting pandemic-adjusted Christmas event

MEDICAL LAKE — The traditional festival hosted by Re*Imagine Medical Lake involving hundreds of children getting their face painted in-person, doing crafts at booths and residents gathering for a tree-lighting ceremony won’t be a go this year due to COVID-19-caused restrictions. However, the organization is still able to put on a modified event Saturday, Dec. 12.

The event, titled Re*Imagine Christmas, begins with a Stocking Stuffer 5K at Coney Island Park from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It begins at the high school tennis courts, according to the Re*Imagine website. The run costs $10 for adults to support Re*Imagine festivals, while children are free with a donation to the food bank.

Participants are asked to pre-register online. In-person registration begins at noon on Dec. 12.

The run is costume themed, with prizes to be awarded. Each participant will be given a staggered start and be asked to follow COVID-19 distancing protocols, as Re*Imagine is calling the 5K a “no-touch event.”

Meanwhile, a drive-thru “Whoville” themed event will occur at the bus loop in similar fashion to the Fall Festival on Halloween. The Dr. Suess-inspired theme returns for a fourth straight year, according to chair Terri Cooper.

While traditional in-person crafts and activities won’t be available, children will be given take-home crafts. Children and adults are encouraged to come in costume. Live music will be provided by DJ Jordan Cole.

“There’s no tree-lighting or parade this year, (but) we’re trying to offer our traditional things,” Cooper said, while acknowledging the restrictions the pandemic has created on the regular event.

The drive-thru event runs from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

Before or after visiting the drive-thru, residents can take a Tour of Lights using an online map. Locals are asked to beautify their homes with holiday decorum and register their home onto the map through a link on the Re*Imagine website. Those interested in taking the tour can then view the map and drive by all the festive homes.

“We usually have 30-40 houses (participate), so it would be fun to encourage people to really decorate this year,” Cooper said.

Prizes in the form of gift cards to local businesses will be awarded to the three best decorated houses, as determined by a panel of judges.

Houses must be registered online by Dec. 10. Judging will occur Dec. 11, and winners will be announced in person at the drive-thru event and online. Cooper said 10 houses have been registered thus far.

While the traditional parade and tree-lighting ceremony is a no-go this year, a fireworks display will still occur at 5 p.m. following the drive-thru event.

Cooper said Re*Imagine Medical Lake wanted to still find a way to have some sort of Christmas event, despite the pandemic’s drawbacks.

“It won’t be a festival, but it’s something fun for the kids,” Cooper said.

Drew Lawson can be reached at [email protected].


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