Your thoughts about A Taste of Edmonds?

jennifer diehlDenise Cole, owner of the Cole Gallery, posted the following on her Facebook page Monday, and gave us permission to repost, and ask the question: What do you think?

Whew… another “Taste of Edmonds” is over! I would like to encourage anyone who feels the same as I and MANY Edmonds residents feel about this event. It’s just NOT an Edmonds caliber event… As I worked this weekend talking to our merchants and locals… we REALLY wish this event could morph into a quality event. Imagine no fast food, etc. But rather, high quality food offered from our many fine eateries, people walking the streets enjoying live music, sitting in the cafes, sidewalks overflowing with new visitors and locals, alike?! If you would like to see the bar raised… please join me in writing to the Edmonds Chamber President~Greg at: greg@edmondswa.com (painting by Jennifer Diehl)

 

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64 Comments

  1. I totally agree that the bar should be raised. The way this event is run is the main reason I left town this weekend. It needs to be more in the spirit of the the name of the event. Local restaurants only. Small portions and prices so you can sample more food! Just my 2 cents….

  2. Greg and Denise, I agree that the bar needs to be raised I will email Greg with my thoughts.

  3. I have not gone to the Taste in 10 years, for the reasons Greg mentioned. I think it would be a great project to enhance the quality of the event.

  4. I live in Lynnwood but shop/dine/vsit Edmonds regularly. Have only attended this event once…too seedy for my tastes.

  5. Brava Denise and thank you My Edmonds News for posting! The Taste has become just another drinking fest and kiddie carnival, and the latter is a stretch! The Chamber really pushed it this year .. I’m so sorry because I truly want to love all our the Edmonds events, have these events showcase/support *our* businesses and restaurants – and – be proud of the impact.

  6. Agreed! I went with my husband and two young children last year and we walked away so disappointed! It was not at all what I had experienced several years before. The only thing this event has to do with culture and community of a Edmonds is the location. There are so many gems in Edmonds to experience and a festival or ‘taste of’ is a great option to showcase that. The current format is unappealing and in no way unique to the community of Edmonds.

  7. I think the $3000 exhibit fee is excessive for a small town venue and discourages many great vendors from participating.

  8. I think the Saturday market far surpasses the bite of Edmonds. We paid $4 each for entry and then weren’t even tempted to by anything to eat

  9. I have lived in edmonds since 1973 I haven’t been to the taste in yrs.its a joke.one thing the food is no good and way over priced.we need to involve businesses in Edmonds.also the beer garden is a drunken mess,if I lived near the taste I too would leave town for the weekend.lets involve the restraunts and bars in town so people can walk around the town and enjoy the day in Edmonds.

  10. It’s an endurance contest.

  11. I totally agree. I went for the first time and found it awful. I won’t ever go back. The quality is way below other events Edmonds does.

  12. We fully agree with the above comments. Very little about Edmonds. Could only identify two Edmonds food merchants. We assume beer garden is sponsored by one of the national beer gulping companies. Also assume this weekend is a mess for Edmonds police as many beer garden participants then head to local bars…and away we go. Honestly, take a year off and give the Taste a redo that gives us more local and less beer garden.

  13. As the Arts and Crafts committee, I strive to get as many local vendors as possible every year as well as getting different types of vendors. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I’m not sure what the $3000 fee is someone mentioned. All of us that plan this event are volunteers. We give up our paying jobs to volunteer for this event. We work 16+ hour days for 4-5 days this weekend. Speaking for myself, I get no perks for this weekend, no free food or drink. I am also staff photographer, I have to purchase any and all equipment needed for that, too. I do all of this because I love Edmonds, I love this event and I want to do my part to make if the best it can be. There are always ways to improve, and I value all suggestions. Whether it is a chamber or rotary event, keep in mind that ALL of these events are put on by volunteers who have to take time off from their paying jobs to ensure that everyone has a great experience. I appreciate all of you who came by this weekend, shopped, ate, listened to bands and especially those of you who let me capture those moments with photos. See you next year!

  14. The Taste of Edmonds is maybe about 30% “taste”, and only some of that taste seems to be “Edmonds” – perhaps the event is misnamed. The majority of the event doesn’t really seem to be about local food (and in a small town with at least two breweries and many others just a few miles beyond, why does Anheuser-Busch seem to run the beer garden?)

    While there is definitely a place for a town fair for Edmonds, I agree with the commenters above that something called a ‘Taste of Edmonds’ should be both more about food, and specifically about food from the area. It should highlight and focus on local restaurants, breweries, and other food vendors with a ‘home base’ or at least a regular presence in town (so I can visit after the event is over, of course!) A different, perhaps much smaller event with a narrower focus that spotlights the local culinary scene would better serve both the community and its cuisine.

  15. Janine – thanks for posting with your thoughts and observations, it certainly is a large event to plan as a volunteer. For those who would like to be part of the process and contribute their efforts to its success, how do you go about volunteering?

    Also, do you think there is anything the larger community could do to help encourage more local restaurant / food vendor participation,?

  16. I went to the Kirkland event instead of the Taste. They offered local coffee and restaurants stores “free” booth space. Great idea. They set up there event all over the Kirkland area. Beach, downtown, side streets. Etc. Prices were moderate. That way people walked in the local stores too. I remember when I had a store it was not good for our business. Most people were at the taste and not “shopping” in the stores and took all of our parking so regular shoppers couldn’t find a place to park.

  17. The “taste” used to fund the Chamber of Commerce for a year. They hired a company to run it at a huge fee. I always wondered why they paid the company so much money to put on the event because nothing changed year to year. Usually these events take on a life of their own and not to difficult to do set up year after year. Especially when even the entertainment so often doesn’t change. The gates fees were given to different charities. I have no idea if any of these things still apply, that was 7-10 years ago. I agree they need to change or hire a different company. Do they still have the same company who sets it up? 10 years ago their fee was about $10,000. Maybe the Chamber does it for themselves??

  18. My husband and I came to Edmonds 4 years ago. We went to the BOE that year expecting to try local foods so that we could get a feel for our new community. We found only a couple. The next year we tried again…only to be disappointed at all the vendors we saw and lack of food…especially local establishments. If felt more like being at the Evergreen State Fair but without all the livestock and rides. So with that, we now avoid the event. To Janine, we know what it is like to be volunteers and we truly appreciate your efforts. We appreciate that it brings in money to the City of Edmonds. My husband and I just don’t think the title “Bite of Edmonds” is an accurate title for the event.

  19. The noise element and beer tent need to be seriously reconsidered. This event is not like the Bite of Seattle where the Seattle Center is used and local residents are not disturbed, this venue is in the heart of our City and takes over our town. Most locals leave town or stay away. I can’t understand why the Chamber has this much power to not ask it citizens what they would like the event to be like, or not happen at all.

    • I would like to echo what Janine said about how hard all the volunteers work to put on this event. It’s amazing what they accomplish. I don’t know the particulars of the money but I do know that it is a fundraiser for the chamber, which puts on every major in event in town — from the Fourth of July to the Halloween trick-or-treating to the Tree Lighting. Without the chamber, we would not have any of these events. I am certain that Chamber officials are appreciative of all feedback regarding the Taste, which is why I posted Denise Cole’s original comment. I hope that all here will be respectful of the chamber’s contributions to the community while voicing their opinions about The Taste.
      Teresa Wippel, Publisher

    • It’s not that easy to make money for many local causes and keep an event high quality. So much of any local event relies on volunteers. Of course people organizing an event hope for high quality-easier said than done.
      It is quite an effort to have all the businesses benefit , keep it festive and still make money for worthy causes.
      Many young families enjoy the Taste because of a variety of events and food places.

    • I think more “local” restaurants can’t afford a booth. The cost is high, and add more employees. I would like to know if they are still paying an outside source to run the event and don’t live here maybe that is why it’s so not Edmonds.

  20. We went to the Taste one time and would not go back because it was so seedy. Talking with other Edmonds residents that we know., it appeared that long time residents purposely do not attend this event…….ditto for the Waterfront Festival. When local residents feel they have to double lock their doors at this time., this would not be considered a venture of CULTURE……..Hopefully the Art Walk isn’t dumbing down CULTURE in the same way and becoming just a drinking event. I sat in one business recently during that event and it was obvious very few came for the ART……just the refreshments…….We shouldn’t have to get people to come here using this type of incentive…….CULTURE and ART stand ON THEIR OWN. If they don’t, something is wrong and needs to be changed.

    TASTE OF EDMONDS should be just THAT……a TASTE of Edmonds. The ART Walk should be just THAT, an ART Walk…..not something that local businesses are USING to sell their products……..PATRONS of ART will not be fooled.

    Edmonds has EVERYTHING here that we need to be a DESTINATION for any number of fine events of CULTIURE. We just need to make it BE about CULTURE, not business first and then EVERYTHING will fall in place.

    • “TASTE OF EDMONDS should be just THAT……a TASTE of Edmonds. The ART Walk should be just THAT, an ART Walk”

      dog·mat·ic adjective \dȯg-ˈma-tik, däg-\
      : expressing personal opinions or beliefs as if they are certainly correct and cannot be doubted

  21. I recognize this event is a revenue gain for the Chamber. I know volunteers work hard to put it all into action. I imagine, at one time, it was a more community focused event. I’ve just had my business here only 17 years, so that is all the time I’ve got to go by. Walking to work on Saturday, the 9th, I saw how someone had ripped a lot of flowers from the hanging baskets on Main street. Then turned away with a grimace at a puddle of vomit on the sidewalk. In years past I have had a large flower display stolen and pots broken in front of my store. One Sunday morning, quite a few years ago, I witnessed a young man “sleeping if off” on the front porch of the law office next door. My own store’s revenue drops greatly during the Taste. My regular customers stay away during this time. Many have said they leave town. I don’t have an answer to this challenge. I want to build community here. I don’t think the Taste is an event which builds community.

  22. Come on Edmonds, let’s have a little fun.
    We love the taste of Edmonds. If you want more local restaurants, maybe more should join. We look forward to it every year.
    Edmonds resident of 18 years.
    Toni Young

  23. I had to pay to get in the beer garden and the taps tasted like salmon and banannas. Is this the taste of edmonds?

  24. “The Taste” is definitely NOT Edmonds. Very honky tonk and overpriced food that is no good. I went 3 years ago and will NEVER go again. It ruins the whole weekend. Surely it can be changed to better reflect our community – with taste.

  25. What an awful event for the city! We leave town every year just to avoid it! Why not raise the bar or do away with it!

    How about a street type event like the car show or the art walk? Move it to the streets of our city and allow the local shops downtown to love it! Close off the streets and invite the other Edmonds restaurants that aren’t downtown to participate, like Scotts, Café Neo and Celtic BBQ. Use the parking lot at 4th and Dayton as a music venue and why in the world would you charge? Make it free, why do we always have our hand out at events like this? Do we really need the money? I’m sure you have plenty of people volunteering to do the work (pick up trash etc..) so does this just become a money grab? Raise the Bar and do away with the cheesy fair food and fair atmosphere!

  26. The Taste of Edmonds is a great idea if we can get small, inexpensive portions from local restaurants highlighting their specialties. As it is now, the potions are too big to try more than one or two items and seems like half the vendors are not local restaurants but rather fair vendors that show up at every community event. The entry fee should be donation based rather than mandatory. I spent $10 between my entry and purchase of one taco. Would have preferred 5 small samples at $2 each.

  27. Close friends from Lake Forest Park said it left a “bad taste” in their mouths. Upon arrival they witnessed an accident that sent two volunteers to the hospital. Everything was overpriced, including a bottle of water for their puppy–$3– plus $9 to buy an iced tea for a container large enough to serve the water to the dog!

  28. My friend this morning told me he dropped $40 for not good food (not his words), and rip-off rides for the kids. I laughed because we haven’t bothered to go to that money pit for years. Not to mention, no where to park and I don’t want to walk 5 miles. Make it downtown and we would be back!

  29. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Chamber board member of many years and a Taste volunteer of even more years. I am NOT writing this as a Board member but as a Chamber member, business owner, volunteer & resident.

    The Taste, as pointed out by Teresa, is one of many chamber events put on every year. The 4th of July parade & fireworks, the Edmonds Classic Car Show (my favorite & coming up on September 7), Halloween Trick or Treat downtown & the Christmas tree lighting. As with all these events, The Taste is volunteer driven. Thousands of hours of Edmonds residents’ time is involved. All of these events are possible not only through the efforts of volunteers & through sponsorships & entry fees but with the help of funds raised by The Taste.

    I agree 100% that the food at the TOE should be better & local. However, if you ask the few Edmonds based restaurants that have participated, it is incredibly expensive to have a booth there. I am NOT referring to the fee the Chamber charges but the investment in staff time & special equipment. Most of the food vendors make their livings from traveling from one such event to the next and ‘have it down’ (whether their fare is good or not is not my point).

    Lets say one of your favorite Edmonds restaurants decided to be a vendor. They would spend a ton of money to rent (or buy) all the necessary gear. Since they are doing this just for the TOE (because if they went into Lynnwood for their festival the local version of MEN would light up with venom toward this out of town business encroaching), they have 3 days to recoup their investment and hopefully make a profit. NOW, lets say the weather is not as good as we had last weekend and it rains. OY!

    (Just as an aside, I have lobbied for years that we should change the name to A Taste IN Edmonds.)

    I can understand some people not liking the crowds coming to town but the TOE brings in lots of potential future customers to our business. Lots of others too, I agree.

    Since I am on my soapbox and revved up, I would like to address a few other things the TOE does. Thousands of $$ goes to the Boys & Girls Club every year from the beer garden. EVERY single dollar of the tips the beer volunteers receive is given to the B&G club. The local service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis etc) help with the Taste and also receive a lot of $ from the chamber for their help.

    Where else can you for $4 gain entry to an event where you can enjoy live music from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members? Think of it as a mini Woodstock – 3 days of fun & music (without the rain & mud).

    • Chris:
      Thank you for presenting some actual facts. It’s now been said that attendance was lacking. Is that really true? From having been there Friday evening, and closely observing it on the other days, I expect that the attendance was very good.

  30. Great Idea, Tom Schofield. This can be an event that will benefit the whole city and bring patrons that will come back for all events. I was at an event recently where the “Main Street” was PART OF the event……..an orchestra just happened to be set up playing Swing-era music which appeals to ALL (I spoke with them and have their card!….that’s how good they were). This event was attended by EVERY age group one can imagine…….Our Main Street could easily be closed and a new “Taste of Edmonds” easily envisioned by all these volunteers that work so hard to put on some of these events. Yes, the bar can be raised easily.

    Make it FREE, make it CULTURAL, and patrons will come, shop, dance, eat, buy, etc. And they will COME BACK.

  31. I agree with raising the bar. Also, make booth fees affordable so our many fine restaurants can afford them. We don’t live that close to the venue, but even with all the windows closed, the music sounded as though it was two houses away.

  32. Our (older age group) “Woodstock” is now old school and young people are not interested in this type of old school event. We need to make sure we are also tuned in to people under 60 and what appeals to THEM, not necessarily just OUR generation……..This is the age group that we need to encourage to step up to the plate to help bring funding for everything in to Edmonds and this will not happen having “mini Woodstocks”…….

    We need to have open minds, be objective, and willing to try new things and look to the next generation for their new ideas.
    I keep hearing that 80 percent of business dollars come from over on 99 and not from Main Street…..Well, maybe we need to look at NEW, forward looking ideas, rather than the same old things that don’t seem to benefit our businesses on Main Street.

    I know some of the people that work the Taste and the WaterfrontyFestival, and I know they ALL work very hard. We just need some new forwarding reaching ideas

  33. The Taste fails to have local restaurant fair. That’s what it should be about, not carnival food. Also, I get tired of the hot tub sales, telecom sales, and home improvement sales booth. No wonder attendance is lacking.

  34. I would like the Chamber to think of replacing this money raising Event with a different event that represents Edmonds!
    Serving Bud at the beer garden…Cmon! The Music is way too loud…can hear it all the way upto at least 5th and Pine.

  35. The $3000 vendor fee amount came from a local reputable food vendor that wanted to attend but found it cost prohibitive. If the fact amount is inaccurate I apologize. I did not want cost to hold quality local participants from attending. Thank you also to the many volunteers for the event and your time.

  36. I don’t see that this event is helping Edmonds as much as it is itinerant food vendors and a management company that has a vested interest in the status quo. The Boys and Girls Club, the Kiwanis and Optimist clubs can raise funds just as well with local restaurants participating – I like the idea of no rental fee charged to local restaurants and breweries that participate perhaps even a small stipend for their first year of participation. People from surrounding communities don’t come away impressed with the Taste as it is currently being operated. It looks no different from a thousand food events around the country. Let’s raise the bar! I think the volunteers that work so hard deserve more – all that hard work would be better rewarded by a higher quality event!

  37. Well said! Tom Schofield for Mayor!

  38. I certainly understand that TOE is a major fundraiser for many non-profits and community events AND I for one appreciate all the efforts of the Chamber and volunteers. I know it makes a big impact for the community. As someone that has lived in Edmonds since 1986 I have to say that these types of festivals just don’t do it for me anymore. But having said that, I also like Tom S.’s way of thinking. Every city in King and Snohomish County seems to have a “taste” and I’m pretty sure that most of the food vendors just rotate to the various cities to offer their dishes. I feel the downtown core of Edmonds (whether it is food or hard goods) could showcase their wares and goodies like an Edmonds Street Fair but maybe a two day event…. like an “Experience Edmonds” Just my two bits..

  39. They need to separate the two. The music and beer gardens is cool but totally drowns out the food aspect. Why not just god food without the noise and drunkards? Then a taste of Edmonds that is more focused on the food. Personally I enjoy hearing the music down the street and it’s shut down reasonable early.

  40. Good food! Amen. He he.

  41. My husband and I moved here last year and decided to take the kids to taste of Edmonds as we had enjoyed so many other events in Edmonds. We were totally shocked by The quality of the event. It seemed like there was only junk food stalls and other vendors that were of no interest to us. I would love to see this event elevated to something nice. I personally stayed away from the area for the entire weekend, and discouraged other new friends to Edmonds from going.

  42. As my wife and I were making our way through the non-food aisle and into the “Taste” on Friday a voice called out from a booth and said “How’s your retirement plan”. Right, as if walking up to a company located in a carnival tent on a dirt path would seem like a good place to discuss finances. I said to my wife “This reminds me of Tijuana. I happen to have a business in the events (trade show) industry providing exhibits for shows in Las Vegas, Orlando, L.A. etc. You can walk down an aisle at the NAMM (National Association of Musical Merchants) Show in Anaheim and you’ll find booths for companies like Yamaha, Fender & Gibson. Musicians will be playing. However, and this is the big difference and thus the source of my complaint, there are standards with regard to volume so as to not infringe upon one’s neighbors. At the Taste the music was so loud in front of the stage that I was concerned about hearing loss. It was so loud that we could hear it up on Pine St until 10 p.m. It was so loud that we’re planning to leave town next year. I’m all for business and promoting businesses. But in the interest of the community as a whole there needs to be a little sound engineering.

  43. We have only lived in Edmonds for 2 years so do not know the history of the Taste. However I must admit that it felt like a carnival or fair rather than what the name implies. We live only a few blocks away so definitely get all the loud music and drunks for free. There are a lot of other cities that have similar events so perhaps should do some comparisons. If a family with children wants to attend it becomes an expensive event with very little being included in the admission fee. Definitely needs some evaluation of format as the event moves forward.

  44. A lot of people seem to like the Classic Car Show, including merchants because the attendees aren’t hermetically sealed off in a pay-for-access area. Food trucks are a big phenomenon right now — they’re all over Seattle on weekdays, and young people like them because the food is innovative and different, not standard carnival-midway fare. And everyone likes food competitions (see Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef, etc., etc. on TV).

    Why not combine all three and do a two-day Edmonds Food Truck Throwdown?

    Park 50 or 75 food trucks all through the Main / Dayton / 5th zone? Charge the truck operators a modest parking fee, and give them advance publicity and promotion in exchange. Have all the Edmonds restaurants and cafes in the zone take part by granting them “virtual truck” curb space in among the real trucks, and charge them nothing. Let the public in for free, but sell voting ballots or blank NCAA-style brackets for $1.00 people can use to vote for their favorites. (Incentive: purchase of a ballot puts you in the running for free dinner at Bar Dojo, or set of Calphalon cookware, etc.) Set regular voting deadlines and have ever-smaller groups of competitors advance, March Madness-style, throughout the weekend — announce the survivors at the roundabout fountain every four hours. Maybe when we get down to a Final Four on the Sunday, the finalists compete head-to-head in some kind of staged, timed contest. Winner gets on Evening Magazine or something by prearrangement with KING5.

    Deemphasize the beer; $6 for a Budweiser is a poor deal anyway. If people really need a beer, fence off multiple smaller enclosed “beer pockets” here and there that are well-separated, have good visibility, and cannot accommodate crowds. Sell the Salish Sea Brewing and other local pints for $6 or $7. This will discourage people focused on overconsumption which is all to the good anyway.

    Multiple small music stages could be erected out of earshot of one another at 5th and Dayton, in front of City Hall, and at 3rd and Main. Fun, family-friendly, not too loud. Perhaps there could also be an evening concert at the Civic Center playfield with those or other bands, but with a $2 or $3 admission, and wrap it up by 900pm.

    Publicize via social media (which is how roving food trucks connect with their clientele).

    Mix the whole thing into the community instead of sealing it off, find practical ways to involve attendees (including having them affect the outcome of the Throwdown via their votes) instead of just charging them for everything, keep prices reasonable, make sure local businesses benefit instead of pitting them against the event, and wrap the thing up at a reasonable hour without the drunk-and-noisy factor. Bingo. It’s less generic, more Edmonds-ish, and probably still a good charitable fundraiser.

  45. Fun to see how A Taste of Edmonds evolves each year. It is definitely getting more crowded each year. I go there for the music more than anything else. In my opinion it should be called something like Celebrate Edmonds or something similar, as many have stated here, most of the food is not from local establishments. Also think they should find some way to make the beer garden larger and with a tent to keep the sun off everyone and would also tone down the noise for the local residents. If you have ever been to A Taste of Edmonds on a Saturday afternoon, you would probably agree with me. It gets very hot (in mid August) and overcrowded. But I have been going to A Taste of Edmonds for a long time and have only missed it maybe 2 times in their 30 year history. And will go next year and every year after that.

    • Received this note from a volunteer who worked in the Taste Beer Garden this weekend:

      Over the 3 day festival our volunteers poured over 165 kegs of beverages (near all time record) AND raised $6,600 in tips (all time record!) for the Boys & Girls Club of Edmonds!

  46. You would need to figure out some way to make some money..advertising costs are huge..plus the taste does fund Haloween and Christmas and Fourth of July …that money would need to get replaced somehow? But I like your ideas of putting it in downtown, iffy on food trucks, only because to rent space in Edmonds costs as much as downtown Seattle. (Very expensive) trucks get to by pass this..not to mention all the taxes businesses pay. But I like the idea trucks vs local restaurants..idea very interesting. The chamber starts out with contest to judge ideas like this of what we need to improve the event. Or, a group of talented individuals throwing out ideas.

  47. The 32nd Annual A Taste of Edmonds has continued to give back to our community. It is the third largest 3-day festivals in Washington State, with 75,000 people attending the event. People come from all over and are exposed to every facet of Edmonds. Some attend the Taste and then explore Edmonds to visit shops, restaurants or just take in the sights.

    A volunteer committee runs the Taste of Edmonds with the assistance of Chamber staff, as well as a paid contractor. It takes a whole year of planning to pull off this event and we are beholden to weather and attendance for its success.

    I don’t think people truly understand what it takes to produce an event such as the Taste. The costs are astounding when you factor in insurance, permits, electricity, rentals, music, security/police, waste removal, stages, lighting and facilities. You cannot put on any event (even FREE ones) without paying the insurance, permits, waste removal and security.

    As Chris Fleck points out, many local vendors do not have the staff or equipment to produce the same quality of food offered in their restaurant. We did have a number of local restaurants this year, including: Scott’s Bar & Grill, Demetris Woodstone Tavernas, Arnies Restaurant and Copper Pot Indian Bar & Grill to name a few. Vendors pay a fee to be in the Taste and they set their own portion sizes, if we required smaller portions it would limit their ability to cover the costs associated with attending the event.

    Edmonds is a diverse community and I hesitate to believe that I know what everyone wants for our city. For as many letters we receive about how the Taste of Edmonds is not right for our community and doesn’t embody the spirit of Edmonds we receive just as many letters in support of the Taste and desire for it to continue year after year.

    What I take from the Taste of Edmonds is all the good that it does for Edmonds. The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is able to give back over $16,000 to a host of local non-profit organizations and community groups. These groups rely upon the funds to support their efforts and the Chamber is also able to produce other community events with the funds we raise. Without the Taste of Edmonds we would not be able to produce the 4th of July, Edmonds Classic Car Show, Candidates Forum, Edmonds Trick-or-Treat Night, Tree Lighting Ceremony and the upcoming Edmonds Home, Garden and Design Show. These events are put on for the benefit of the whole community and have helped to shape the fabric of Edmonds.

    I say to those people who have voiced concern about the Taste of Edmonds to become part of the conversation and volunteer your time alongside our others great volunteers. Bring your ideas and help shape the future of the Taste of Edmonds or perhaps a new event will spring forth from these ideas and provide a new way to delight the greater Edmonds community.

    The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce thanks the community for their support and we look forward to serving Edmonds for another 107 years.

    Sincerely,
    Greg Urban
    President & CEO
    Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

  48. Because I have worked on the Taste, chaired the Christmas and Haloween events, I know what work goes into the taste. However, I too believe we need to change up or evolve the Taste to accomplish both new and old ideas. Do the people on the payroll that help set up the event (that Chamber pays) ever come up with new ideas? It would be interesting to see the numbers on how many attend. The local restaurants would be able to “afford” the booth if the space was free. I think any business who wants to be in the taste it should be free, if they have a store front somewhere in Edmonds. Or at least are members of the Chamber..

  49. I’m sure a lot of people come to the Taste and do not return to Edmonds for other events……I’m sure there are many more enlightening ways of raising $16,000 which is a very small amount of money if indeed “75,000” people attended this event. I think a refigured event would bring in a lot more money than that……I would pay attention to the comments that people are saying……Doesn’t reflect well on our city

    I know a lot of people that would volunteer for this if not presented as is…..

  50. I would love to The Taste reflect the food and culture of our community. Instead, it is a seedy little carnival and caramel corn event you could go to in any town in any part of the country. Does the Chamber want to attract tourists? Long term, returning tourists who will bring others? Offer them something they could not get anywhere else. Any town could put on this event. If it is just quick cash the Chamber is after, I am sure that this and the remarkably similar Waterfront Festival are just fine.

  51. I have been involved with A Taste of Edmonds for 27 years, I chaired the event for 10 years and continue to work with the team today.

    1. There is no booth fee at A Taste of Edmonds that is $3,000.00, so the reputable source either was providing total participation costs or was sorely misguided.
    2. There was a very diverse menu available to guests this year to include; Hawaiian, Afghan, Chinese, Russian, Indian, American, and Greek to name a few. I did not see any Fair Food booths unless you consider a hamburger to be fair food as those were available if you looked for them.
    3. The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce has made multiple attempts to engage local restaurants, offering many different ways for them to participate, with little response as their operating expense exceeded their ability to recover costs even when we offered no booth fee for shared time in a booth.

    A Taste of Edmonds may not be the most appropriate name for the event going forward, that is a question for the Chamber and the Taste Committee to take up. The demographic of the attendees is definitely much larger than just Edmonds or Lynnwood. I would suggest from experience that for every one of the stories provided here about out of town folks vowing not to return to A Taste of Edmonds, there are more that will and do make this a regular event on their summer calender.

    Edmonds needs more than just the Arts Festival and classical music playing on Main Street. The Chamber of Commerce needs A Taste of Edmonds to remain viable and the Service Clubs of Edmonds rely on A Taste of Edmonds for needed funding of their programs.

    I strongly encourage those with suggestions on how they would like to see A Taste of Edmonds to change, get involved with the committee. Making suggestion from the outside is easy, making the suggestions workable is another thing all together.

  52. Bill, Your comments are well stated and provide a perspective from a hard working volunteer . At one time the Taste tried to tie in the merchants but as a merchant I dont see that any more. How are you and Jan doing thanks for all that you and Jan have done for Edmonds

  53. After reading the long list of comments. I am in the camp that does not go and would consider leaving for the weekend. Yet I understand what it provides to the Chamber and a few select nonprofits. I also value the music and not the sound engineers. It would seam that the way to keep each stages sound away from the other is to turn up the volume.

    Per my training required by the federal government if you can’t have a normal conversation within five feet you must be wearing ear plugs. Now as I did not attend this year I can not attest to the levels.

    I will encourage all those that commented above to get involved with the Taste of Edmonds committee in planning next year.
    We in Edmonds need man power to change the status quo. We need people to stand up and say I will help change that.

    For too long I have heard the negatives of A Taste of Edmonds and have not seen it change in 20 years towards what the community desires. A Taste of Edmonds is making money and is successful; why should anything change and make it harder on the few that make it happen?

  54. That is exactly why it will not change.

  55. We need EVERY age group participating in many of the events in this town. This isn’t about denigrating the volunteers that run almost all of the events here. It’s about those that have been around for many, many years here opening up everything here for change and looking at NEW IDEAS with an OPEN MIND and WELCOMING new people, particularily younger people. We have been involved and it is (being from a metropolitan area) incredible how closed to new ideas many entities here seem to be and how few young people are involved. When you go to an event and almost ALL sitting in the audience and RUNNING the event are over 60, something is wrong. I’m 65, so I’m not denigrating older people, just stating a fact……

    Time for a lot of people running things here FOREVER to LISTEN to NEW IDEAS and be ALL INCLUSIVE …….including this newspaper and the other news source around town……

    The above are NEGATIVES about the event, NOT the volunteers…..”carnival, seedy, carmel corn, leave town, would not go back……” SAYS EVERYTHING……

  56. Well said, Bill.

  57. Well said Tere

  58. Wow, what a great conversation! I am so happy to hear our community speak out on a topic that we all care about. I know how hard the Chamber and the Taste’s volunteers work and it is my hope that through increased volunteerism and grass roots efforts we can help transform the Taste into a first rate community event. Yes, the fundraisers are important but think of how much more successful this festival could be if some of the ideas discussed were implemented. I’ve read some amazing ideas and really hope people follow through and work with the Chamber to get involved!

    We wanted to grow and develop the Art Walk so we gathered together a group of people who were willing to work hard, volunteering tons of hours to grow our event. We just received our first grant and we are on our way. It really can be done!

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