Bavarian wonderland beckons in Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH – With more than half a million lights and tons of holiday cheer, the first three weekends of December will sparkle in Washington’s Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth.

More than 25,000 visitors are expected each of the three Christmas Lighting Festival weekends. 

Each Friday during the first three weekends of December Leavenworth will be illuminated and feature live music in the Front Street Gazebo from 4 to 9 p.m. Also, Saint Nikolas will arrive on the scene each of the three Friday’s at 4:30 p.m.

Each Saturday and Sunday of the first three weekends of December, live music will begin at 11 a.m. and play all day. Santa, Mrs. Claus and Father Christmas will arrive at the gazebo at noon in a horse-drawn carriage surrounded by a cast of Christmas characters. Food booths and traditional Glühwein will be on hand. At 4:30 p.m. the lighting ceremony begins, with a countdown to illumination. 

New this year, visitors are encouraged to join in the fun.

They are invited to make their own crazy Christmas hat – this year the theme is “Christmas Trees” – on Saturday and Sunday, Dec 13 and 14.

During the weekend of Dec. 20 and 21, visitors are encourated to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater or dress as one of Santa’s elves.

Each of the three weekends will feature a “cookie crawl” for little ones, while grown-ups enjoy a glass of Glühwein or hail a horse drawn carriage and enjoy the smell of roasting chestnuts while brass bands and hand bells ring out the sounds of the season. 

Also planned in Leavenworth during the first three weekends of December are guided winter wonderland nature walks, dog sledding, a giving tree and a Living Christmas Tree.

For more information about the festival or the Leavenworth area, call 509-548-5807 or go on-line and visit


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