Backstory: Why Glowing Monkeys Are All over Phinney Ridge and Greenwood

Cheery LED animals are more than mere holiday decoration
Greenwood Hardware on Phinney Ridge

This article appears in print in the December 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

The Landmark. Holiday monkeys
The Location. Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhood businesses

The Backstory. Strolling down Greenwood Avenue during the holidays, you may notice some unusual decorations: glowing monkeys swinging from buildings and storefront windows. The multicolored LED-lit monkeys can be spotted on the PhinneyWood GloCone (N 67th Street and Phinney Avenue N), which is the neighborhood’s take on a Christmas tree; hanging in the storefronts of businesses, such as Greenwood Hardware and Seattle Recreative; and even dressed in tutus at American Dance Institute.

In addition to bringing a little funky seasonal cheer to the area, the monkeys, touted as “runaways” from the popular annual WildLights festival at Woodland Park Zoo, contribute to funding the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s business membership program. The PNA debuted 150 zoo escapees in 2014 as a way to promote local businesses and provide a neighborhood holiday display; this year, nearly 200 monkeys (which cost businesses $35 per monkey to foster for the season) will light up the neighborhood from November 30 until early January.

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