Taste Edmonds to remain at Frances Anderson Playfield in 2023

Taste Edmonds at Frances Anderson Playfield at sunset, Aug. 20, 2022. (Photo by Teresa Wippel)

Taste Edmonds will stay in downtown Edmonds after all.

The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce — which last month said it was planning to relocate the annual food and music festival to Esperance Park pending a permit from Snohomish County — said Friday that the county denied a permit for Taste Edmonds due to the event’s size.

As a result, the chamber said, the 2023 event will again be held at the City of Edmonds-owned Frances Anderson Center Playfield, where it has been for the past two years. The event will run Friday-Sunday, Aug. 11-13.

Taste Edmonds has traditionally been at downtown Edmonds’ Civic Field, but was moved to the Frances Anderson Playfield to accommodate Civic Field renovations now underway. Having Taste Edmonds return to the renovated Civic Park isn’t an option because the event is a major fundraiser for the chamber, and events requiring paid admission won’t be permitted at Civic Park, Chamber President and CEO Ryan Crowther said.

At the time of its announcement regarding a move to Esperance Park — located at 7830 222nd St. S.W — the chamber said it was looking forward to having the event closer to Edmonds’ Highway 99 neighborhoods and the International District. However, the idea received pushback from some Esperance residents, who said they weren’t consulted about the idea and expressed worries about the impact such a large event would have on their residential neighborhood.

“Although we were excited about the prospect of bringing the event to a new location, we are fortunate to have an equally desirable venue where the event has been held for the past two years,” Crowther said.

Crowther said the chamber has “spent the last three months laying the groundwork for a whole new event that we’re still going to deliver on. Taste Edmonds has a new look and will include broader, elevated food options, as well as more local Edmonds chefs, breweries, cideries, artists and makers than ever before,” he continued.

“We ultimately know a lot of people are going to be excited to hear this event will stay near downtown, and we just feel fortunate that Mayor Nelson and City of Edmonds staff have welcomed us back to one of its incredible parks,” Crowther added. “There’s a lot of really fun announcements we get to share after today that the team have worked hard on, and the community is going to love it.”

Taste Edmonds — which was first launched as the Taste of Edmonds in 1983 — remains a signature city celebration. Event proceeds go to producing several other beloved, free chamber-sponsored community events such as the Fourth of July parade, Edmonds Classic Car Show, Halloween Trick-or-treating and the Holiday Tree Lighting.

A limited number of early bird tickets are available at TasteEdmonds.com.

  1. I live a block from Anderson Center and nobody from the chamber as far as I know has ever consulted with our neighborhood. That seems to be the way they work.

  2. Well glad to see this is all figured out now. I am pleased to hear there will be more innovative attempts on food choices and beverages. I think the addition of Art work is awesome and I can’t wait to hear what other surprises are instore for all of us. It is a pretty comfortable spot I think. I might suggest a shuttle to increase participation. I am going to buy tickets for one day regardless of whether we attend or not. I will say since I am not much of a drinker that the addition of some Art Work and maybe music would be a big draw for me. Regardless I will support my city and Chamber in this event. Thank you.

  3. Hi Don. 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.

    As such, I think City Council has to approve a contract with the Chamber before anything can happen. City Council is the branch of our government that has contracting authority. The Mayor can only sign the contract after Council votes to authorize the Mayor to do so.

    City Council recently did this for the Summer Market and the Edmonds Spring Fest Event. The related contracts can be found in the February 21, 2023 Agenda Packet and City Council approved both contracts during the February 21, 2023 Council Meeting.

  4. The chamber has down wonderful things for the community. The taste is the biggest fundraiser the community has. Do locals complain? Yes, Every year. However, that money is such a boost for various non profit groups and when I was on the board, those monies were so badly needed. What you don’t hear is how the funds actually benefitted the community. Maybe the chamber should post how the money was used by all the groups. That may tone down the many complaints yearly by neighbors who live a few blocks away. Many usually leave that weekend we were told. Just remember, that money supports Fourth of July, Christmas Tree Lighting and Halloween. Those events get more and more expensive yearly.

    1. I will add this to what you say Joy. I had no idea the Bowl Residents felt they were being so abused by this event. 3 days of fun and people all around enjoying themselves, is too much to ask of people who live now in a bowl full of action all of the time?? Did they not want all of the new businesses and restaurants and parks and everything in the world that they did get and continue to get every single day! I would love to see an event on occasion myself not being a BOWL resident. I say be happy you live where you live and have what you have. WOW. Sad.

  5. Wait. What? The Civic Park is where this thing was but now they are spending an obscene amount of money on the park and the event will no longer be allowed? Excuse me, but I thought (it’s been so long since they proposed the park) one of the things they used to push the updated park project through was to make it a better place for this event. Sounds like a bait and switch scam to me.

    1. I don’t think this decision is final until the City Council votes to authorize the mayor to sign the contract for this “City-contracted event”.

      In the meantime, I believe both those who support this event and/or its proposed location or oppose this event and/or its proposed location have time to contact the City Council and let them know your opinions.

      As for the event returning to Civic Park, the following statement was made during an October 16, 2021 Community meeting and is found on the 210th page of Ordinance 4288 which was adopted December 20, 2022:

      “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.”

      I’ve been told by the Chamber that state funding/grants that partially paid for the Civic Park improvements are what prohibits Civic Park from being used for ‘paid entry’ events.

      Hopefully a City Official will make full transparent disclosure so all know the facts.

  6. Very pleased they will improve the food aspect. Last year was dismal and we planned to not go again, but this news, along with other important additions will be great.

  7. If the Frances Anderson Playfield is considered a city park how come Taste Edmonds is allowed on the site even though it is a fundraiser for the Chamber? It doesn’t make sense that it is prohibited from Civic Park.

  8. Just a couple thoughts about this event and others the Chamber is associated with. As my good neighbor points out, those of us living near the FAC are not consulted on how the various events and especially the Taste affects us. We are basically overrun with people trying to park close at the Taste and at the Fourth of July event when it is done at Civic Field. As business’s do away with parking downtown; while also expanding business space, and more dense housing is allowed in the downtown core, the impacts on us will only get greater. I love the Art Festival that impacts us too, but could happily live without the Taste and the Fireworks. That said, we make as much parking available as we can on our corner lot for all the events, and 99% of our guests are very appreciative. In my view our “professional” Visioning proponents need to start thinking about a downtown parking facility sooner than later; or our events and over growth are going to become self defeating.

    1. Shame. Uptown continues the be ignored while the mega rich bowl with it’s multi million dollar park can’t even host the event. What was the point?

  9. Let’s not all forget the disturbing Octoberfest event, that has gone on for the past 2 years at Frances Anderson! The community was told by the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor over 2 years ago that the Taste of Edmonds and Octoberfest were temporairly placed at the Frances Anderson Center, only until the renovated Civic Park was ready to have these two events back??!!
    Why does 1 playfield, with no parking, in the middle of a residential neighborhood have to shoulder all 4 festival events along with 2-3 movie nights a summer? Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and staff need to put more thought and time into scheduling their event locations, and stop putting the majority of events at The Frances Anderson Center, it’s really not fair to one neighborhood.
    Lucky Esperance community they were able to be heard quickly and stear the event away from their neighborhood. The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Nelson please lighten up on The Frances Anderson Center, our neighborhood is getting tired of being taken advantage of all summer long. Time to get more creative with your Edmonds event locations. Thank-you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.