Edmonds, a gathering place | Mayor's Corner

By Dave Earling | Jun 22, 2017

I think most of us would agree that, for a town that is 127 years old, we look pretty good. We have a vibrant, active community, even in contrast to just five or six years ago.

Over the last 15 years, we have seen our city experience change, mature, and become more influential in the county and the region. The vibrancy can be seen daily, whether in downtown, Westgate, Highway 99, or any other area of Edmonds.

As I talk to folks in our community and in the region, I often hear about, and receive, upbeat comments on the "sense of community" Edmonds has. Yes, I agree, we have that quality about us.

Of course, there are many reasons, but one of our strengths is the unique way in which we stay in touch with one another.

For a town of 41,000 people, we stay in touch with one another very well – and that's in large part due to our gathering places.

Whether coffee shops, restaurants, walking the waterfront, playing at our parks, attending church, the Edmonds Center for the Arts, or special events, we gather and communicate.

We talk to each other one-on-one, in small groups and large groups. We keep up with local news through the Edmonds Beacon and other news outlets and, generally, we know what is going on.

One of the unique ways we gather is with the many special events organized by a variety of community groups. The Rotary Clubs provide the Jazz Connection and the Waterfront Festival.

Our Edmonds Museum provides the Summer Market, and the Edmonds Arts Festival is organized by a group of citizens that has been in business for 60 years.

The addition of the ECA to the community brings thousands of people together many times a year. Remarkable work by remarkable organizations!

The champion of putting together community events, which are important large gathering places, is the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. Besides furnishing traditional and important business services to our business community, they provide many more events that bring the community together.

The Chamber brings thousands of people together through A Taste of Edmonds and An Edmonds Kind of 4th, (which includes the children's parade, main parade, 5K run and fireworks show).

They also organize the Tree Lighting ceremony, Classic Car Show, Halloween Trick or Treat night and their newest effort, the Clam Chowder competition. All events that provide a time for the community to gather and have good, old-fashioned fun.

Oh yes, I do hear some complaints about the three-day Taste, but the event is the chief fundraiser for the Chamber, and without those funds, the 4th of July celebration, tree lighting, Halloween, Clam Chowder and the Classic Car Show would simply not happen. That somehow rings hollow.

So, in the middle of change and growth throughout the region, we have found a way to maintain our small-town characteristic. In the middle of the traffic, congestion and change, we have found a way to retain the sense of community, which we feel so strongly about and committed to.

We continue to feel small-town because we remain close through gathering in so many ways. Maintaining such a quality makes us unique and sets us apart from so many other communities in the region.

So as we transition into summer and all our summertime events, I hope to see many of you at the Summer Market, the 4th of July Parade and festivities, A Taste Edmonds, or at a local restaurant or café, continuing the tradition of gathering, which makes Edmonds such a great community.


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