Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Celebration in Bellevue

Last week we braved the below freezing weather and went to see Disney World reincarnated in Bellevue, WA. Bellevue is an upscale city east of Seattle with a great mall and downtown area. We first went to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens to see the 'Garden d'Lights.' Apparently a few years ago Bellevue wanted a way to attract visitors to the Gardens in the winter time; they started to drape the gardens in Christmas lights. Over the years this morphed into creating elaborate displays of fake blooms, trees, and scenes using colorful lights. The lights were really quite incredible.

After the 'Garden d'Lights' we headed to downtown Bellevue. I wanted to see the nightly performance on 'Snowflake Lane.' There is a main street in Bellevue that is right next to a huge mall and tons of restaurants. During Christmas time this street is re-christened 'Snowflake Lane.' Christmas music is pumped out through loud-speakers and snowflakes are projected onto the sides of buildings. At 7:00 'Snowflake Lane' becomes even more of an extravaganza. Live toy soldiers lined the streets and handed out lollipops. People dressed as ice princesses, polar bears, and penguins were dancing in the streets. And a toy soldier drum corps marched their way through the crowds and then performed along with the Christmas music. The performance was capped off with fake snow falling. The crowds of families and kids were truly intense. It was a great little performance and such an interesting ploy to get families to come to the Bellevue Square mall for their Christmas shopping!
The night truly felt like the time we went to Disney's MGM studios in December a couple of years ago. Kids hopped up on excitement and sugar? Check! People dressed in costumes and dancing? Check! Outrageous displays of Christmas lights? Check! Fake snow falling? Check! All commercialism aside though, it was a nice way for Robb and I to feel festive and get in the Christmas mood!

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