Snowflake Lane returns for its 17th year
The heart of Bellevue once again becomes a majestic holiday destination during the 17th annual Snowflake Lane holiday extravaganza. Enjoy falling (faux) snow, a resplendent, professionally produced light show, nightly choreographed parades and festive dancers. The fun begins on Black Friday and runs through Christmas Eve.
More than 600 people audition annually to become one of the cast members. The show also consists of 50 snow machines. More than 125,000 peppermint lollipops are handed out to kids and adults alike.
The production is held on the sidewalks between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square from Northeast Fourth through Eighth streets starting at 7 p.m. every night. Parking is free. Organizers ask that parade-goers wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Snowflake Lane is sponsored by The Bellevue Collection, comprising the connecting Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square shopping malls.
Largest indie craft event returns to Seattle Center
Urban Craft Uprising is again showcasing the work of more than 150 Seattle-area artisans for the holidays.
The Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall features creative and unusual items including mountain-shaped pillows, candles, illustrated ceramic mugs, feline bow ties, boozy jams and jellies, and jewelry made from skateboard decks. Attendance is free, though organizers encourage a $1 donation.
The show, Seattle’s largest indie craft event, runs only one weekend – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5 – but Urban Craft Uprising, which was founded in 2005 to showcase the work of independent crafters, artists and designers, will also set up shop at the South Lake Union Winter Market.
The market is at Van Vorst Plaza between Amazon buildings at 426 N. Terry Ave. on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. Shows will feature a fresh set of vendors each day. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New app aims to help stressed-out parents
Anyone who’s raised a child understands the term “parenting burnout.” Yoky Matsuoka knows it all too well.
Matsuoka is a MacArthur “genius” award winner and former University of Washington professor who was on the founding team of Google X and led the development of the Nest smart thermostat. She found herself “out of control and juggling a ton” as a mother of four while maintaining a busy and successful career, a challenge exacerbated during the pandemic.
So Matsuoka harnessed her tech background and recently launched Yohana, a tech-enabled personal assistant service designed for busy families, especially moms. A Yohana membership connects parents with personal problem-solvers who help them tackle their busy to-do lists.
The app, which was first available in Seattle but will soon expand to other cities, lets members chat with an assistant, coordinate tasks and track progress. It is available on both Android and iOS.
"As a technologist, I was frustrated that despite the many innovations available, there was nothing specifically designed to help household CEOs maintain their well-being and be the best version of themselves,” Matsuoka says. “It’s a group of people I know well — I’m one of them — so I set out to combine cutting-edge technology and human touch to create a real solution with impact."
Cost is $149 per month. More info at Yohana.com.
Guardians of the Leavenworth Galaxy
Popular city takes steps to conserve nature and the environment
Visiting Leavenworth can be more than just fun. It can also help the planet.
The Bavarian-styled village – known for its German food and beer, Nutcracker Museum, and access to ski areas and wineries – has a renewed focus on recycling and a pilot program for composting. It recently adopted the Wildland Urban Interface Building Code and is launching a program to help owners of low-income older homes upgrade to be more fire resistant.
The 2,500-resident city has also upgraded to smart meters to track usage and conserve water, is adjusting water rates to reflect peak usage and is even working toward implementing a sustainable tourism model.
Leavenworth’s climate-conscious actions were recently cited in a report by The Mountain Pact, an organization that works with local elected officials in more than 80 communities across the western U.S. The report notes that President Joe Biden earlier this year issued an executive order highlighting the administration’s goal to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and water by 2030 (commonly referred to as 30x30).
The administration followed then issued a report, “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful,” which recommends “a 10-year locally led campaign to restore the lands and waters upon which we all depend, and that binds us together as Americans.”
Futuristic Food Hall
New concept is a first-of-its-kind dining experience
A new and unique food hall is coming to the South Lake Union neighborhood.
Culinary company C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) will open its 13,000-square-foot Citizens Food Hall on Amazon’s campus at 2121 Eighth Ave. next fall. All kiosks will operate from a single kitchen with a single point of sale through an app so diners can order digitally and combine items from multiple restaurants. Options will include dine in, delivery and grab-and-go.
C3 opened its first such food hall in New York City last summer and plans to open in Atlanta next year before expanding to Seattle, Miami and California. C3 operates more than 40 brands, including Umami Burger, Krispy Rice and Sam’s Crispy Chicken, and says it may bring local Seattle restaurants onto its digital kitchen platform.
“We spent the last year expanding our delivery-only concepts,” says C3 founder and Chief Executive Officer Sam Nazarian, noting that the company operates 250 digital kitchens across the United States. “With Citizens, we aim to bring fresh energy and variety to these culinary spaces at a time when diners are beginning to look forward to immersive, in-person dining experiences again.”
Company features Seattle artist’s work on its puzzles
A puzzle company has selected the work of an emerging Seattle artist to be featured on two best-selling puzzles.
Jiggy, a puzzle company that says it makes “puzzles worth framing,” chose Emma Repp’s artwork for the “Just A Snack” and “The Astronaut” puzzles. Repp is best known for her illustrative, bright and highly-patterned portrayals of monotony and adaptation. She was originally trained as a printmaker, and works to create whimsical images from a combination of handmade and digital elements.
"It has been fun to know people have been able to use my images as a means to relax during what have been unprecedented times," Repp says. "Social media posts of the finished puzzles brighten my day, and sometimes it will be a post from someone who has been hugely influential to me (like These posts encourage me to keep making. "
Jiggy, based in Albany, N.Y., is a woman-founded company with a goal to champion and support emerging women artists across the globe. The company donates a percentage of every sale to the artists who created it.
"Emma's work stood out to me for all the detail, layers of shapes and patterns," says Jiggy founder Kaylin Marcotte. "Both the pieces we have made into puzzles with her have been customer favorites because there's so much rich texture and detail to enjoy and help put together piece by piece."
Copperworks releases a first of its kind
Here’s the perfect product if you’re a conservationist who enjoys whiskey.
Seattle’s Copperworks Distilling has just released the whiskey in the United States made with Salmon-Safe ingredients. What’s that, you ask? The whiskey is made with a single variety of malted barley from a family farm in Walla Walla. The farm is salmon-safe certified, meaning it uses land management practices that protect water quality and wildlife habitat.
The American single-malt Whiskey Release 039 is a limited release product, with just 2,103 bottles. Copperworks plans to continue experimenting with the single-variety grain to determine how the malt’s flavor changes depending on weather conditions and other factors.
“As it turns out, the varietal from this farm has produced some beautiful whiskey,” says Copperworks President and cofounder Jason Parker. “We’re tasting flavors that reflect cedar and fruity red wine, which are dramatically different from other grains that we use.”
Salmon-Safe, founded by river protection organization Pacific Rivers, certifies farms based on several conservation requirements, including preserving wildlife habitat, implementing biological controls for pests and phasing out harmful pesticides.