Winter may not technically begin until late December, but the holiday season is already upon us, and it’s looking like the Plateau is going to be busier than ever.
From the traditional tree lightings and Christmas gift drives to the Expo Center’s new “Christmas Experience”, here’s your guide to what’s happening around Enumclaw, Buckley, and Black Diamond during the most wonderful time of the year.
SMALL BUSINESS WEEKEND
Nov. 25 – 27
Forget Black Friday — support local businesses and vendors instead by coming to downtown Enumclaw after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Friday’s big draw will be the first Snow of Cole event of the season, starting at 5 p.m. (more information below).
On Saturday, Cole Street will also feature local vendors and crafters underneath the big tent on Cole Street, plus there will be fire pits and beverages available all day, as the street will be closed to traffic.
The Grinch will also be present from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., spreading his own particular holiday spirit — make sure to stop by and grab a free photo with him.
The night rounds out with the Enumclaw tree lighting (more information below) and another Snow on Cole event (starting after the tree lighting).
And on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., families can grab photos with Elsa and Olaf (from the movie “Frozen”), and feed real reindeer while they shop.
SNOW ON COLE
Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 25 – Jan. 28
It’s not quite cold enough yet for the real thing to be falling from the skies, but Cole Street will be seeing its own small snowstorms at 5 p.m. every Friday and Saturday from Nov. 25 through Jan. 28, 2023, so long as the weather holds.
The event, organized by the Enumclaw Business Owners Collective, is free to attend — grab a hot meal (or cold beer) and sit around a pit fire and enjoy the spectacle.
Rumor is, Santa may be occasionally visiting Cole Street while the snow falls, so it’s best to come prepared and on your best behavior.
BUCKLEY TREE LIGHTING
Buckley will be holding its annual Christmas tree lighting event from noon to 5 p.m. on Nov. 26.
A holiday market will be open at Buckley Hall from 12 to 6 p.m.
Kids have the opportunity to write and mail a letter to Santa from noon to 2 p.m., or even visit the big man himself at 3 p.m. under the gazebo near the Christmas tree, located at the intersection of state Route 410 and Main Street.
Fire pits will be put out on Main Street for s’mores starting at 4 p.m., and the tree lighting follows at 5 p.m.
ENUMCLAW TREE LIGHTING
Enumclaw will be lighting its Christmas tree, located right next to City Hall, on Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m.
The ceremony will feature the Cascade Foothills Chorale singing carols until 6 p.m., which is when Mayor Jan Molinaro will give a short speech. There will also be free snacks, beverages, and a take-home activity kit for children.
Rainer Foothills Wellness Foundation’s biggest fundraiser event of the year is Dec. 2, started at 6 p.m. at the Thunder Dome Car Museum.
Money raised at this fundraiser accounts for as much at 30% of the nonprofit’s budget (the goal this year is about $70,600), which funds programs like hot meal deliveries for seniors, weekend backpack food programs for local students, free meal programs every Thursday, in-school mental health counseling, and more.
Tickets, which are $95 per person or $675 for a table of eight, are already sold out, but you can put yourself on a waitlist at secure.qgiv.com/event/holidayfantasy.
ENUMCLAW SANTA RUN
Dec. 4 – 8
Santa will be partnering with the Enumclaw Fire Department to visit Enumclaw neighborhoods from Dec. 4 – 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. every night. Santa will be hanging out candy canes, but more importantly, he will be collecting new, unwrapped gifts and food for the Plateau Kids Network; donations go to local families in need of a little extra holiday spirit.
On Sunday, Ol’ St. Nick and his helpers in red will be hitting up homes in the south-east portion of Enumclaw, south of Roosevelt Avenue and east of state Route 410.
On Monday, the crew will be driving through neighborhoods between 244gh Avenue SE and Semanski Street.
Homes around Byron Kibler Elementary (between McHugh Ave. and Griffin Ave., west of Division St.) will be hearing fire sirens and hearty laughter on Tuesday.
The streets south of Griffin Avenue, east of Semanski Street will be filled with joy on Wednesday.
And finally, homes east of Division St., including downtown Enumclaw, will be visited by Santa on Thursday.
To track Santa, head to the Santa Run event page on Facebook for a live link.
Enumclaw’s 56th annual Christmas Parade will start rolling down Cole Street at 6 p.m.
If you haven’t already signed up, it’s too late — the parade is already totally full.
STOCKING STUFFER BAZAAR
More than 30 vendors will be descending on the Buckley Fire Department on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to put on a hobby bazaar. In addition to crafts and Christmas decor, raffle tickets for various prizes will be sold to benefit the Buckley Firefighters Association.
Santa will also be appearing at the bazaar from noon to 2 p.m.
PACK THE TRUCK
The Plateau Kids Network, which collects new, unwrapped gifts and food donations for local families in need of extra holiday cheer, is hosting its third annual Pack the Truck event at The Casting Iron on Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Santa will be setting up inside the restaurant/ax throwing venue for photos.
The Black Diamond Historical Museum is hosting its annual Hometown Christmas on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum. There will be train-themed treasure hunt with prizes, s’mores, activities with the King County Library System, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause.
There will also be a Christmas bazaar at the Black Diamond Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
BLACK DIAMOND TREE LIGHTING
Black Diamond’s Ten Trails is hosting its Christmas tree lighting event on Dec. 10 from 3 to 6 p.m.
The event starts out with carolers parading from the Welcome Center to the Village green from 3 to 5 p.m.
Santa arrives at 5 p.m., and the lights will be lit at 5:30.
There will also be a D.J., yard games, food and dessert trucks, and an ugly sweater contest.
Black Diamond’s Community Center is not organizing its own tree lighting this year.
EXPO CENTER’S “CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE”
Dec. 10 – 11
The Enumclaw Expo Center is organizing a brand-new “Christmas Experience” on its grounds this year. On Dec. 10 (4 to 9 p.m.) and 11 (4 to 8 p.m.), visitors can walk around the grounds to enjoy Christmas lights; duck inside the Les Schwab Hall for photo shoots with Holiday Barbie, Buzz Lightyear, Ana and Elsa, Buddy the Elf, and Santa, enjoy story time with Ms. Claus and dance performances from Dance It Up, and make take-home crafts; or head to the Rocking Bar H Livestock Barn for an interactive Live Nativity walkthrough organized by Grace Point Church.
There will also be a gingerbread house lighting and caroling event each night at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $5 per person (ages 2 and under are free), and can be bought at enumclawexpo.com.
You can also buy VIP tickets for $50 total, which includes a 40-minute s’mores session at a fire pit for you and five guests.
CAROLING PARTY AT FILL’S
Fill’s Growlers is hosting its second-annual Caroling Party on Dec. 2; First Track will be leading the carols on the front porch starting at 2 p.m. Make sure to dress warmly.
SNOW PLAY ON COLE
The Snow on Cole events are fun to attend, but if you want the real thing, the Enumclaw Business Owners Association is planning on bringing snow down from the mountain (via dumptruck volunteers) for snow play in the lot behind the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce and Arts Alive! on Jan. 14.
This event is extremely tentative on weather and conditions on the mountain, so keep your eyes and ears open for updates.
WINE AND CHOCOLATE
Feb. 3 – 4
Christmas may be over and the weather getting warmer, but we’d be remiss to not include the Expo Center’s annual Wine and Chocolate festival on this list.
The event, held on Feb. 3 – 4, from 5 to 10 p.m., features more than 15 wineries, local chocolatiers, and other craft and food vendors selling their wares.
General admission tickets are $40, but two-day tickets are $60. Both include a commemorative glass and eight tasting tickets (you can buy more at the event).
New this year is a VIP package for $135, which includes an hour in the VIP lounge, three additional tastings at the VIP wine bar, a charcuterie box for two, a box of chocolates, and more. Tickets will be available at enumclawexpo.com on Dec. 1.