I started this column the day after our annual chaotic, yet fun-filled, Halloween celebration. As usual we had thousands (estimated 8,000) of kids, parents, grandparents and “innocent bystanders” here to enjoy. The festivities of that evening, during and after the event, were detailed on various forums like My Edmonds News, the Beacon and Facebook, as well as on our cameras and phones. The happy kids in costume, the fabulous annual “flash mob,” Larry the famous chained-up ghoul at the fountain, and the devoted merchants who have provided treats for decades, all captured in photos and posts!
One photo among the hundreds of photos in particular stuck in my mind… not so much the photo itself, but the caption, which read, “I love this town”.
From my perspective as a store-front owner who participated in the first Halloween celebration (we had maybe 300-500 participants), the sheer delight we had with our first “success” and now the transformation these many years later, is simply rewarding!
Ironically, last Friday morning after the Halloween festivities, while heading to the office from the nearby coffee shop, I ran into a young couple (guessing in their 30s) and their two young children. As newlyweds several years back they lived in the apartments in the Leyda building at 5th and Main and observed a much slower “pulse” in Edmonds than we have today. Today, they are excited with the changes in activity from 10-15 years ago and the noticeable change in our demographics… more young families all year long threaded throughout the city.
The fabulous Halloween celebration, the photo with the “I love this town” caption, along with the happy conversation I had with the young couple, brings me back to thoughts I know I have shared with you before; our community has a stronger bond than many others in our region and, we are watching our demographics change before our eyes.
The reason for the bond is simple; we live in a stunning community, with endless amenities, and a dramatic seaside setting. We have gathering places throughout the community — churches, schools, coffee shops, and restaurants, along with several community-wide celebrations. We care about and participate in the community. And bottom line… through that interest and participation we often come to agreement on what the “next best step” is for our community.
We all know our region is a “hot spot” nationally for growth and change. And yes, the city has grown and changed too, most notably our demographics. But with the influx of younger families, comes more opportunities and activities for all of our citizens, the young, our valued retirement community, and everyone in-between, to engage with one another, adding a richness to our community that others envy.
As the photographer’s byline said… “I love this town” and I hope you do too!
— By Dave Earling