Leavenworth Christmas festivities expected to lead to highway backups

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Even though the official Christmas lighting ceremony won’t be part of the festivities, big crowds are expected to make their way to Leavenworth beginning this weekend.

The Washington State Department of Transportation sent out word this morning to expect longer than normal travel times on Highway 2 from both the east and west sides of town. Be patient and especially mindful of pedestrians when driving through town, WSDOT advised.

Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said troopers will be working the area, possibly even on foot.

The city’s “Village of Lights: Winter Karneval” festivities run through December and include more than a half million lights decorating the town.

With no “flipping of the switch” on Saturdays and Sundays, the lights will shine bright every day of the week, the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce said.

There also will be music, entertainment, holiday characters for photo ops, carolers and more.

In past years, traffic backups for people making their way to Leavenworth have led to delays of up to hours.