How a Taste of Edmonds lasts more than just one weekend

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The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce donating Taste of Edmonds beer and wine garden tips to the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club last year. (My Edmonds News file photo)

While A Taste of Edmonds takes place over the course of just three days each August, the impact of the annual festival has a much broader reach that many don’t realize.

Each August, the sight of the fencing lining the streets near 6th and Bell and the multitude of tents springing up signals that the annual A Taste of Edmonds is upon us. And whether you visit the festival or not, chances are good you may be enjoying the Taste all year long.

That’s because the Taste serves as the main annual fundraiser for the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. Revenue generated over the weekend funds free community events throughout the entire year — community events that thousands of families participate in and enjoy.

Each September, the chamber hosts the Edmonds Classic Car Show. This annual free event draws a crowd of over 10,000 to our downtown core to ooh and ahhh over the 300-plus beautiful classic cars that line the streets. The car show takes place this year on Sunday, Sept. 10.

In October each year, the chamber puts on the Halloween Trick-or-Treat Night. Streets are closed to traffic so that over 5,000 costumed kiddos (and pets) can safely roam as they collect bags full of goodies. There is also a costume contest, music and fun for the entire family.

The holiday season kicks off each year with the Edmonds Tree Lighting hosted by the Chamber. Families gather in the streets around Centennial Plaza to enjoy singing, Santa and the countdown to lighting up the giant tree.

And the largest free community event by far is the Edmonds 4th of July celebration, which the Chamber has sponsored for 110 years running. An Edmonds Kind of 4th features something for everyone, from the 5K and 1K races and two parades, to the firefighter’s waterball competition and even a mustache contest. The event culminates in a big party at Civic Center Field with food, music and glorious fireworks. An estimated 15,000 watch the parade and 10,000 watch the fireworks at this old-fashioned community celebration each year.

Altogether, these events cost over $90,000 to produce. Money generated through the Taste allows thousands of people to enjoy community events through the entire year — for free.

Additionally, A Taste of Edmonds provides over $24,000 to local non-profit and service clubs. For example:
· Tips collected at the beer and wine gardens are donated to the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club. The highest amount collected was $6,600. This money supports the Boys and Girls Club in their mission to provide youth between the ages of 5 and 18 a safe, positive and fun environment with a variety of activities.
· The friendly folks at the entry gates are from local service clubs. A Taste of Edmonds donates $1,500 each year to help fund their programs, which serve local families.
· Incoming seniors from Edmonds-Woodway High School volunteer to collect trash each year in exchange for a $4,000 donation that helps with their annual graduation party.

A Taste of Edmonds takes place Aug. 11-13, at Civic Center Playfield. Daily entry fee is $5, and children 12 and under are free. A free shuttle runs every 15 minutes from Edmonds- Woodway High School. For more information, visit www.TasteEdmonds.com.

— By Kelsey Foster, Edmonds resident

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