The Orchard celebrates Christmas early with 7th annual lighting event

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Hundreds gathered at The Orchard on Monday, Nov. 14 to celebrate the 7th annual orchard lighting event hosted by University Place. During the event, guests had the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun events.

Visitors at the event anxiously waited for the 100,000 Christmas lights to illuminate the park that night as the Grinch counted down the seconds.

Work on the project requires extensive planning each year and hundreds of man hours, as the lights are programmed and hung for the event in November.

“We do have to start months in advance, so that everything can fall into place,” Event Planner Jared Mower said.

The goal of the event is to celebrate the holiday season with a variety of colorful lights all across the orchard.

“My kind of vision for here in the park was I want it to look pretty. I want it to look elegant. I want it to just be kind of a calm place,” Lighting designer John Chapman said.

Mower said the best part about the event is finally seeing all the hard work pay off for the first time.

“To be able to see the light display actually come together and then everything turn on and actually work is like, yes, that worked,” Mower said.

In addition to the light display, visitors had the opportunity to see a first-time firework show new to this year’s event.

Guests also had the opportunity to grab hot chocolate and play with the large Lite-Brite toys found around the park.

“We strive for having it be family friendly and free to the public just so that people can come out and have a good time together and make memories,” Mower said.

Chapman said he appreciates the impact the event has on its visitors.

“The young people who have never seen something like this, it’s got to be pretty magical,” Chapman said.

University Place said visitors will have the opportunity to see the light display each night from now until the end of the year.

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