WORD ON THE STREET: Bridge lighting is next month in Sumner

Have I ever mentioned that I am a Broadway musical fan? I like everything from the storyline to the singing and dancing to the sets and especially the costumes. It all comes together to create an entertaining evening out on the town.

This week in my job I am reminded of one of my favorite shows, “Fiddler on the Roof,” and specifically the song “Tradition.” We have been busy at work here in town planning and preparing for what is becoming a new downtown tradition for thousands of families. That’s right, I said thousands. Even as I write this I can’t believe how successful the Bridge Lighting and Fireworks event has become in the last few years. A downtown event that was created and sponsored by the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse has now partnered with Heritage Bank as a major fireworks sponsor and the Windmill Gardens as the final lighting destination for a fun processional down Main Street that attracts folks from far and near.

It’s been amazing to see the growth of this event which started with about 500 to 600 people who came to watch when the Cannery turned the lights on at the bridge. However, once they added the fireworks, it grew to 2,500 the first year to more than 4,000 last year and this year we’re anticipating more than 6,000 people downtown. The Sumner Downtown Associaton is working with Heritage Bank to find 25 $100 cosponsors needed to raise the balance of funding for the fireworks. The Cannery is installing a new sound system on the bridge which can play Christmas carols that so many visitors have requested for sing alongs to kick off the holiday season and enhance the event. And various local organizations are enthusiastically offering to host “warming huts” along the mile and a half processional route to Windmill Gardens for those folks who have started making this event a family tradition. For example, the Daffodil Festival and Sumner Food Bank have offered to host warming huts with music and treats for visitors making the eastward trek.

And we even have businesses like Heritage Bank, Dairy Freeze and the Bicycle Shop agreeing to light their buildings during the processional to brighten the path for walkers. SDA is in the process of creating a free holiday passport for the event encouraging those making the eastern trek to stop at participating downtown stores and the warming huts for a stamp in their passports. Completed passports would then qualify for a drawing of downtown shopping gift certificates during the holiday season and even a guest appearance in the Santa Parade the following weekend.

If you haven’t been to the Bridge Lighting and Fireworks, mark your calendars for 5 p.m. Nov. 27. And if you’re interested in being a fireworks sponsor this year, call Ann Fish at Heritage Bank 253-671-0820 for more information. Stay tuned for more details on this event as we expand the fun to accommodate the growing number of people who are making the downtown Bridge Lighting and Fireworks part of their family traditions. The word is definitely out that it’s fun to bring friends and family to spend some time in Sumner for the holidays.