Annual Taste Edmonds festival moving to Esperance Park this summer

Esperance Park (Photo courtesy Snohomish County)

Updated with additional details

Food and music festival Taste Edmonds will be moving to Esperance Park for 2023.

Edmonds Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ryan Crowther shared that news with chamber members during the organization’s annual luncheon. In a separate email Thursday, Crowther said that pending receipt of a permit, “we are very excited to move Taste Edmonds to Esperance Park on Aug. 11-13.

“This community talks a lot about the opportunity of engaging the Highway 99 neighborhoods, International District and the other business districts in Edmonds,” Crowther continued. “The chamber believes the best way to engage with the businesses and residents of these other business districts is to include them. By bringing the most recognized festival in the area up to Highway 99, we have the perfect chance to build new relationships with businesses in the area and shine a spotlight on all the great things happening.”

Located at 7830 222nd St. S.W. in unincorporated Esperance, the Snohomish County-owned park “provides more space for the event we hope to deliver this year,” Crowther said. “The chamber strives to create an experience for families while offering adults their own fun, and this location gives us that option. The chamber is actively planning Taste Edmonds 2023, and will be able to share a lot more in the coming weeks on what attendees can look forward to.”

Taste Edmonds has traditionally been held at downtown Edmonds’ Civic Field, but was moved to the much-smaller Frances Anderson Playfield to accommodate Civic Field renovations. Crowther said the chamber was “really proud of what we accomplished this last year at Frances Anderson, and were thankful for the city letting us use the park. There’s a number of limiting factors there that make Esperance a more ideal location, and space for food and vendors is a big one,” he added.

Having Taste Edmonds return to the renovated Civic Park isn’t an option because the event is a major fundraiser for the chamber. “We were told by the city that events requiring paid admission wouldn’t be permitted at Civic,” Crowther said.


  1. This is really fantastic. The only way we are going to solve some of the other nuisance issues in and around HWY99 and the adjacent neighborhoods is to show – through actions like this – that the city and community actually value these areas for business, leisure, living, etc. In addition, practically speaking, this park is a perfect choice for this type of event with lots of flat open space and some actual parking, albeit it small. This is super cool all around.

  2. This is in regards to the EDMONDS Chamber of Commerce correct? Not the Mill Creek or Esperance chamber?

    It would be enlightening to know if this is occurring because of difficulties with securing a location or permitting with the City of Edmonds?

    Would any of our elected officials like to comment on either of these questions?

    1. I’m wondering about this also…The neighborhood is going to be packed with other people’s cars. This doesn’t sound like it was given any thought before announcing it.

  3. What about police for the event? this is snohomish county not Edmonds. Will Edmonds police be around for the riff raff?

      1. this is a pure money grab….larger venue, more revenue….”engaging the HWY 99 neighborhoods?” really? Ill still show up despite…Murph, you get the first couple of rounds…

      2. If the event does not occur in Edmonds, then it is no longer the taste of Edmonds and I will not be attending.

    1. In realty Esperance is not part of Edmonds. Try and get critical services and they will come from the County Sherriff’s Dept rather than the City of Edmonds. When we were burglarized (living in the same neighborhood) it took a couple hours before anybody showed up. I guess we didn’t have enough money to be important.

        1. As resident in unincorporated Snohomish County (Esperance) you might be paying Edmonds Schools District assessments, not The City of Edmonds or the Port of Edmonds assessments. You might want to recheck your statement from the Snohomish County Assessor.

        2. Brian is correct. Here are some details.

          Actually, a resident of Esperance pays more taxes than if you lived in Edmonds. Esperance pays $7.96/1000 and Edmonds pays $6.80/1000. Esperance pays about $.84/1000 more! But Esperance taxpayers pay no taxes to Edmonds!

          Here is the list of taxes paid in Esperance.

          Taxes which are common to Esperance and Edmonds:
          Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, Edmonds School District, Pub Hosp #2, Sno-Isle Intercounty Rural Library, Snohomish County-CNT, Snohomish County Conservation District, State.

          Taxes paid by Esperance taxpayers, but these same taxes are not paid by Edmonds taxpayers:
          South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue RFA, Surface Water, Snohomish County-Roads. There is an additional SCF tax called the Benefit Charge that is not based on the assessed value of a home.

          Because of the different tax rates, an Esperance home valued at $780,000 currently pays $650 more in taxes.

  4. I understand why the city wants to bring it there, but how will the neighbors feel about how loud the music is? What about parking? Will there be a shuttle like there has been in previous years?

    1. I expect there will be many neighbors who will enjoy the opportunity to walk to a great event in their own neighborhood. The festival demonstrates the interest Edmonds has in the Esperance neighborhood, which will be incorporated into the City of Edmonds someday, sooner or later.

    2. Probably the same as the neighbors that surround FA or the Civic Field have felt for years. Both of those locations are surrounded by homes as well and have had to deal with music and traffic – that is going to happen no matter where it is held.

  5. Wow! That is disappointing news. It is the “Taste of Edmonds,” not the Taste of Esperance.
    I wonder if all the downtown Edmonds businesses that would normally benefit from the patronage of the attendees of the event view this as a positive move!

    1. No offense but the downtown business benefit year round from a focus on downtown. Let the other businesses in other parts of Edmonds benefit for a few days.

      1. It seems like the Chamber of Commerce wants to turn their “fundraiser” into a cash cow. The “Taste” was originally to promote Edmonds restaurants and crafts. More of a local thing. The first ones were donations only then $1 then $3 and so on. I think it was like $50 for a 3 day pass to sit it the beer garden last year?. The Chamber wants to turn it into Bumbershoot with 3 day passes and overcharge for everything. We all know how that turned out.
        If they can’t figure out a way to have it at Edmonds play field next year then just let it go.
        It just might be a case of we as a city have become too large for one small town event. Maybe go with the neighborhood block party model for Esperance, Medowdale, Downtown etc.
        The purpose of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce is to promote Edmonds Businesses not to make money for themselves.

        1. Charles, yes the purpose of the Chamber is most certainly to promote Edmonds businesses, but they also have an additional role of funding/producing certain events that in turn help to promote our community and businesses (e.g. the Fourth of July parade and fireworks, the annual car show, the children’s downtown Halloween street party, and the Christmas tree lighting event). The Chamber also donates a portion of their “Taste” event proceeds to local groups (e.g. the local Boys and Girls club). The funding for all of that comes from the “Taste”, hence the need to have this fundraiser. There are also businesses outside of the downtown (including around Highway 99) that could very much use some exposure and promotion – they too are in the Chamber’s mandate of supporting businesses in our community.

      2. Taste of Edmonds belongs in Edmonds not Esperance and should have been run past us to determine our opinion before coming to any conclusion. I doubt anyone would like this happening without weighing in. There are lots of issues to deal with such as massive amounts of people causing a lot of noise, trash issues, parking problems and more.
        Let’s not foist this on us without our approval.

  6. I like it. Parking time to think outside the box time. That is ok. When we are up here we have no place to park down there so what difference does it make. I say carpools ride shares kids that don’t want to attend that live near can watch bicycles Younger take olders who can’t walk far and then park at their house and walk to it themselves. A zillion ways. I like this idea. I do think it encourages a back and forth and I think that will help all of Edmonds in the longterm. I hope they add some craft booths and who knows maybe have it more than once a year!!

    1. I understand that arrangements to get people back and forth, similar to the event when it’s at Frances Anderson, will be made. EWHS isn’t far and there are plenty of other big lots with whom to make parking arrangements. I’ll certainly go there!

  7. Awesome news. I agree with Tom. And excited that for once, my family can attend a city event without having to trek to the Bowl. #Highway99NeighborhoodRepresent

    1. Does the city of Edmonds have parks that are a better size and location that would give a permit? Why move it to the community of Esperence, which isn’t part of the city of Edmonds? Even though we are close to Highway 99, we’re still a quiet residential neighborhood, easily overwhelmed by the type of noise and traffic we would have. Small, quiet Esperance neighborhood park isn’t a great fit for this type of festival.

  8. I think this great downtown edmonds isolates a lot of people from getting to. I’m looking forward to it.

  9. I’m wondering if some of the proceeds from The Taste of Edmonds will be retained to repair any damage that may be caused by having the event there.

  10. I’m pleased to hear this. It’s time for Edmonds to shine a light on areas out side of the bowl. Let’s give change a chance. Happy for the Edmonds that Edmonds forgot.

  11. Businesses were established in downtown Edmonds based upon established revenue expectations. Moving The Taste to Esperance takes away some of the revenue in their expectations and provides it to an area that didn’t have that expectation.

  12. Hope there’s some consideration for people with mobility issues. Also hope there’s something for children. Also, would be great if local restaurants participated. All were absent or really lacking last year.

  13. “A Taste of Esperance/Woodway/Hwy 99” – kind of has a nice ring to it. Give the Downtown Edmonds over-hyping program a little rest for once. Living a block and a half from FAC and about three blocks from Civic Field Park; I can honestly say we won’t miss the commotion too much in our area; although we do enjoy the people watching aspects of it. Elvis and CC Revival tribute music only goes so far as a form of real entertainment. And let’s face it, the food at the event isn’t exactly gourmet fine dining like you will actually find in our downtown and at our waterfront. The Chamber’s job is to sell Edmonds, and they need money to do that, but it is high time to spread the sales pitch around a bit and I commend them for doing that.

  14. I might suggest also that there are MASSIVE parking lots in walking distance of this park. Some examples: WinCo/Dicks lot, lot adjacent to Harbor Freight, lot near 99 Ranch Market, etc. I am assuming the chamber will work with some of these places to allow parking for the event. I am like others though wondering what the security and policing will look like, as this is in fact in the county. I might also suggest that the chamber work with/pressure the city/state/county/etc. to do some substantive cleaning of HWY99 (trash, graffiti, shopping carts, etc.). If this is the impetus for something to FINALLY happen with that, that would be fantastic. For those of us living near and around HWY99, it seems to always be “someone else’s problem,” and is incredibly frustrating. If we are going to have a focus on this part of town, lets go full bore since nothing has been fully baked yet (note – opening of the neighborhood office).

  15. I am SO glad to hear this! As a business owner in downtown Edmonds, I always anticipate, with dread, the loss of business during the Taste. Hooray!

  16. As people have asked questions about policing and permitting, following are our City Laws related to the Taste:

    1. The Taste of Edmonds is described as a “City-contracted event” in our City Code (ECC 4.100.020). A “City-contracted event” means a special event that typically takes places on an ongoing annual basis and for which the city and the event organizer/sponsor enter into an event contract to apportion responsibility for the event, thereby eliminating the need for the event organizer/sponsor to obtain a special event permit under this chapter. Such events may be sponsored in part by the city. Examples of city contracted events include the Garden Market/Summer Market, Edmonds Arts Festival, 4th of July celebration, Oktoberfest, and Taste Edmonds.

    2. ECC 4.12.055.(P) states:. During special events held within the city where food providers are required to pay a fee to participate (such as the Edmonds Art Festival and Taste of Edmonds), no mobile vending units may be allowed to operate within one-quarter mile of the special event.

    1. Esperance is not subject to the Edmonds City Code. No enforcement possibility in the county. This appears to be a precursor to attempting to incorporate the Esperance neighborhood which has been strongly resisted over the years by the residents of Esperance. Is there any compensation being considered for the residents of teh Esperance area who are not citizens of Edmonds for the noise and parking issues that will obviously befall the neighborhood during this three day event? And who polled the Esperance neighborhood to determine if they were even interested in hosting this City of Edmonds Chamber of Commerce event? Shades of a pseudo dictator’s invasion of a neighboring country.

      1. Thanks Dan. Edmonds City Code does not contemplate holding the Taste of Edmonds outside of Edmonds City Limits.

        City of Edmonds contracts for “City-contracted events” typically cover all kinds of important details.

        Proposed contracts for the Summer Market and the Edmonds Spring Fest Event are scheduled to be reviewed by the City Council Parks and Public Works Committee on February 14. One can review these proposed contracts on the City’s website to get an idea of all the requirements typically addressed in these contracts. The Event Agreement contract for Edmonds Spring Fest is six pages long plus Exhibits for Site Map, Traffic Control Plan and South County Fire’s Food Trucks and Special Events Standard.

  17. The following is found on Packet Page 729 for the December 20, 2022 Council Meeting, a discussion related to the 2022 PROS Plan:

    Will the permitting be different for events that will be allowed at Civic Park when it is completed?

    o Civic Park was designed in conjunction with several large festival producers; things like fireworks
    show and Taste of Edmonds. The park has been designed to accommodate larger festivals, and the
    expectation is that they will return to Civic Park.

  18. Esperance is not really a place it’s more a state of mind…. Unincorporated Snohomish county…. I’ve searched 40 years for Esperance.. I think it’s similar to The Twilight zone..

  19. Esperance: Stand up for your FREEDOM!
    This is a backdoor attempt at ANNEXATION!

    Just kidding. Maybe.

    I know that Edmonds has been trying to rope in Esperance for many, many years to get access to that strip of 99 for taxing the businesses there. Trouble is, they would need to spend money on the rest of Esperance to bring it up to City Code. The biggest money sink would be the area around Chase Lake and Chase Pond, both of which leak into the homes nearby and also undermine the roadways.

    When we fist moved into Esperance in 1997, in a home on the west side of Hwy 99, just up the hill from Whirly Ball, we received a note from Edmonds, welcoming us to the City. Folks from Esperance asked their friends in Edmonds to vote on whether or not they wanted to take on the responsibility and expenses, or just let the City Council dictate the terms. The Citizens said NO.

    What do you think, Esperance residents? Could Edmonds actually serve the neighborhood? Or would they just get the revenue from Hwy 99 and forget about the rest?

    1. Edmonds has been trying to annex Esperance for at least the last 33 years….Probably longer.
      They need the tax-dollars so they can afford to put sidewalks into some of the more affluent neighborhoods rather than any of the area east of Hwy 99. We would end up paying higher taxes and getting nothing for it.
      This big party could be held at Edmonds City Park.

  20. Upon reading about Esperance Park being the location for the 2023 Taste of Edmonds, my first thoughts were: “I am glad this popular event has a home, and that my community has the energy, talent, and drive to host events,” and “I am glad the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce has popular fund-raising tools that generate funds for community services and events such as the annual fireworks show.” For this article, I tally readers’ comments as 15 positive, 18 negative, and 5 neutral/informational. Why the acrimony? By nature, festivals are noisy, congested, and chaotic…and temporary. Upon arriving in Edmonds 11 years ago, I joined an Edmonds community Facebook group…but after a while left the group due to what I perceived to be persistent negativity. I want to be proud of my community, and a community’s culture/vibe, while intangible, are important. Best wishes to all.

  21. I’ve been in Esperance for 14 years now, I lived in downtown Edmonds for 2 years before that. I for one would appreciate it if we were part of the City of Edmonds so we could have Edmonds Police patrol our houses, Snohomish Sheriff never comes by unless someone calls the police on an issue (robbery, shooting, death.) So I for one would like to be part of Edmonds for that reason. But, after reading all these responses about not having the Taste of Edmonds at Esperance park, it sounds like our Edmond neighbors don’t want us to be part of them!

    1. Hi Sheila, I don’t read the comments as Edmonds folks do not want the have you good folks as part of Edmonds. the remarks are just about the Taste. Taxes would go down for ESP folks and police services for example would go up. ESP is actually an island inside Edmonds. And to the county they do not have a service area adjacent to to ESP so they treat you like you are on an island.

      One other added area that belongs to the county is South County Park, in the Perrinville area. Great park, but does the county deal with it in the same way that Edmonds would if it were in our limits? There are other folks living in this area that would benefit by becoming part of Edmonds.

      Good news is you already have an Edmonds address and zip code.

  22. So interesting. I have been fighting for Esperance to be part of Edmonds I thought Esperance would like this. I thought all of the UP Hill areas like 5 corners would like this too. As the bowl fills and its pretty full now…It would be nice to have additional space and new residents. I would also love to think that Edmonds would serve the neighborhood and not just concentrate on revenue from 99 and forget about the rest. This is what we need to become one. Many cities as they grow become separate areas. AND I know my vote for politicians etc in Edmonds would be based on whether they plan to make Esperance just as nice as they say they are going to do all over our city, clean up with Chase Lake and places that leak into your homes. SO many use the streets in Esperance that are from Edmonds it seems like the same town to me. I hope Esperance will consider joining us and that we will stick up for what we say and what our Mayor has said. I’m with you Esperance. Welcome.

  23. If taxes are higher (as Darrol asserts) and police services are problematic as (Greg J. seems to indicate); living in unincorporated Esperance seems somehow less desirable than living in Edmonds for those two reasons. I realize this is a bit off subject but what am I missing? For example, I understand why Woodway residents want no part, of being part of, Edmonds except as parasites of Edmonds and Shoreline’s good services (provided them at relatively low cost), great High School, and real town amenities without having to deal with Edmond’s problems. However, I don’t see how not being part of Edmonds is any real advantage to the Esperance population.

    1. I don’t think you are missing anything, Clint. This is what I love about you. Fearless you are! You seem totally transparent to me and I love that so much. Thank you.

  24. Make no mistake about it, Edmonds has their sight on annexing Esperance. Sooner, rather than later. It’s becoming clearer every day. The Taste of Edmonds moving to Esperance. The PROS plan needing more parks in that part of the city. The fact that at the City Council retreat, one of their priorities was “annexation”. You can read between the lines as well as I can. I just hope this is an open and transparent process and not done in “executive session” where I’m seeing more time being spent (which could in itself be the subject of another full discussion). The relatively recent change in state law makes annexation easier too. So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. A hostile takeover, or a friendly acquisition, beneficial to all parties.

    1. Annexation of Esperance is not a foregone conclusion Jim, at least not anytime soon. When I brought this up with Mayor Earling a few years ago, he pointed out it’s a bad deal financially for Edmonds~ the City will spend more servicing the area than it gains in tax revenue. That said, Esperance won’t stay unincorporated forever. It will get annexed some day, and Edmonds is the only place it can go.

      There’s every reason in the world it should be a friendly arrangement. The City should initiate a conversation with the citizens of Esperance, about what the City can offer when annexation occurs. City resources are obviously limited, and we need to be realistic, but we should listen to the people, as indeed we should be doing citywide.

      If I were still on Planning Board, I’d be proposing annexation of Esperance as a project for the Board to study this year.

  25. If Esperance, as a community, has any kind of organization or leadership; I would think it would be time for them to take a serious look at the pros and cons and/or interest in being annexed. It doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult for someone to canvass door to door to get full data on who wants in and who wants to stay out. They don’t have the population to form an official town like Woodway did. Woodway barely squeaked by on that account when they did it; took some fast talking organization, desired zoning rule bending, and good salesmanship to pull that off, way back when.

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