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Lights to brighten the winter darkness illuminate holiday traditions around the Seattle area this weekend, and throughout the holiday season.

Dancing clams, light sculptures and decorated park greenery flash to life at Friday’s Clam Lights lighting ceremony and brighten Gene Coulon Beach Park in Renton nightly through Jan. 1. Rainier Yacht Club and the Argosy Christmas ships boat parades glow along the park’s Lake Washington shores after Friday’s lighting event.

Redmond Lights’ celebration of diverse traditions and cultures Saturday includes a lighting ceremony at City Hall Campus with music and kids’ activities, along with luminaria and light displays on a walk along the Sammamish River.

Woodland Park Zoo WildLights returns for its second season with last year’s favorite Northern Lights, The Water Hole and Jungle Lights joined by new Monkey Business, Glow-rillas, Komodo Crossing, Eagle’s Nest and Grizzly Creek displays with twice as many lights as last year. The nightly event includes indoor “snowfalls” and faux-snowball play, carousel rides, music, food and a pair of reindeer. Most zoo animals are tucked in for the night, but the Day Exhibit of reptiles and amphibians, and the Adaptations Building with meerkats and nocturnal animals are open during the event.

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Garden d’Lights — a winter wonderland of light displays inspired by gardens, flowers and fanciful critters including Charlotte in her web, Will the Slug, Snap d’Dragon and the Aquarium in Lights — fills Bellevue Botanical Gardens through Jan. 4. This year’s event has a new layout and entrance because of major construction at the garden, a short distance from downtown Bellevue.

ZooLights, a longtime tradition at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, features light sculptures of animals and Northwest landmarks, with new displays including Polar Bear panorama, Eagle’s salmon chase in 3-D and a Reimagined Flame Tree. Animal exhibits include Stingray Cove, sharks and other creatures in the aquarium, goat feeding, meerkats and other small animals and carousel rides, nightly through Jan. 5.

Advance tickets are available for WildLights, Garden d’Lights and ZooLights; tickets are usually available at the gate, but some nights at the popular events may sell out in advance.

One of Seattle’s favorite holiday traditions, Pathway of Lights holiday music and luminaria along the 2.8-mile path around Green Lake, is coming up next weekend, Dec. 14.

Madeline McKenzie:

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