Updated at 8 p.m. with additional details
With lightning strikes observed nearby and high winds threatening to topple vendor tents, the A Taste of Edmonds annual festival was shut down around 4 p.m. Friday — the first time in its 33-year history — to ensure the safety of customers, performers and vendors.
However, the festival plans to reopen Saturday morning at the usual 11 a.m. starting time, and organizers expect a brisk business from those who weren’t able to come on Friday.
“Safety is paramount,” said Festival consultant Craig Cooke, who works with the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce to put on the annual event. At first, organizers thought they could continue, but it was clear as the weather got worse, the risk to all of those at the event was too great. “A couple of times we had to stop the bands and warned people not to touch metal,” Cooke said.
About half a dozen vendor-supplied tents were blown over and will have to be set up again, and two fences were also toppled by the high winds.
Cooke, who has been assisting with the festival since 1992, said it isn’t the first time he’s experienced bad weather but nothing before that forced closure. “We’ve had torrential downpours before but not the lightning and the high winds,” he said.
Entertainers scheduled for Friday night have been cancelled altogether, as there is no room in the festival’s full schedule to accommodate them, Cooke said.
Festival organizers will be on the grounds first thing Saturday morning to ensure that all repairs are made and that vendors get the assistance they need to reopen. “Tell everyone we’re open for business as usual tomorrow and to bring their appetites,” Cooke said.
You can find more details, including hours of operation, a map and shuttle service, here.