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November 30, 2002

Tree-lighting spectacle brings holiday cheers

From: Seattle Times, WA
Nov. 30, 2002

Thousands of revelers took advantage of clear, crisp weather and flooded Westlake Park last evening for Seattle's Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Police were anticipating post-WTO protests might start early. Instead, the crowd was full of beaming children waiting for fireworks and carousel rides.

"I believe this was a bigger crowd than last year," said Lt. Daniel Whelan, Seattle police watch commander. "I was surprised how many people stuck around to sing 'White Christmas.' "

For Sally and Danny Jenkins of North Bend, this year's ceremony was much different from a year ago. Danny Jenkins was legally deaf then. After cochlear-implant surgery this spring, Jenkins was able to hear the Christmas carols — and his 14-month old son, Emmett, who was born Sept. 11, 2001.

"That's something to be thankful for," Jenkins said.

Patricia Losacco of Covington spent the day downtown with her daughter Alessandra, 4. They watched the parade and shopped and snapped photos of family members in front of the brightly lit tree.

"I think it was more crowded this year," Losacco said. "Since September 11, more people realize how important families and traditions are."

Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company