'Blowing up’ the Taste: Major changes in store

Something new – including name – for Edmonds’ biggest event
By Brian Soergel | Jan 31, 2018
Photo by: Brian Soergel Taste Edmonds will have some changes beginning this year.

This year’s A Taste of Edmonds in August may be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced or seen.

It starts with a new name: It’s now Taste Edmonds.

That’s according to the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual event at Civic Field, to be called Civic Park after its redesign in the near future.

Details were scarce, but the chamber’s Jan Nicholas told members the following during the 2017 annual report meeting Jan. 26 at the Edmonds Yacht Club: “We’re making a huge commitment. We will be completely blowing up the Taste. We want (locals) to love to hear that the Taste is coming, not dread it.”

Contacted after the meeting, chamber President Greg Urban didn’t want to give too much away, but suggested that Taste Edmonds will be “revamped” with a new emphasis on improved vendors and more of a family experience. Whether that means more representation from Edmonds restaurants – a frequent request from Taste-goers – remains to be seen.

“We will try, but those decisions fall to the restaurants,” Urban said. “Last year we pushed for more local, and the number of people was lower than we wanted.”

Urban did say the Taste has to adjust to the forthcoming Civic Park, which will have fewer areas for the Taste to set up.

In addition, the Taste will have to find a temporary venue while the park is being renovated, probably in 2021, Urban said.

The Taste isn’t the only event that could be different this year, with Urban saying more changes could be on the way.

He said that 2017 was a very good year, as far as attendance goes. Attendance was up at most major chamber-sponsored events, including An Edmonds Kind of Fourth, Clam Chowder Cook-Off, Classic Car Show, Halloween and tree-lighting ceremony.

But he called the chamber’s finances “stable but fragile,” with expenses slightly higher than income in 2017. The biggest fundraiser of the year remains the Taste, but Urban said that event’s budget is still recovering from 2015, when the first day of the event was cancelled due to bad weather.

He said more than $70,000 in reserves was needed to cover the cancellation. A benefit concert in January 2016 did help to raise funds to help offset the loss.

At last week’s meeting, Marilla Sargent of HomeStreet Bank was named chamber executive committee board chair. Other members are JC Barr of Beck’s Tribute Center, Ralph Sanders of Sanders Law Group, Nancy Ekrem of Dewar Meeks + Ekrem and Sarah Zabel of Swedish Edmonds.



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