Darrington businesses are ready to be ‘mobbed’

DARRINGTON — Business leaders from the other side of Snohomish County plan to bombard Darrington shops, restaurants and breweries with their first ever “Chamber Mob” on Friday afternoon.

Modeled after a cash mob, where participants flock to spend money at a local business in need, the Chamber Mob is geared toward bolstering Darrington businesses after the March 22 Oso mudslide that took 43 lives and buried a stretch Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington.

The highway is open and the weather has been sunny, but it’s still a tough time for businesses in Darrington, said Monroe Chamber of Commerce Director Una Wirkebau-Hartt, who worked with Darrington business owners to coordinate the Chamber Mob.

“They’re healing and we want to help them heal,” she said “We still understand they’re going through a hard time and it can take a long time for things to get better.”

Darrington’s economic development has been a focus for local and state leaders after the mudslide. A state-funded advertising campaign is promoting local festivals and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Stillaguamish Valley.

Wirkebau-Hartt said chamber members on the east side of Snohomish County wanted to find a way to help. She and former chamber director Annique Bennett, who is currently working for Snohomish County to promote tourism in Darrington, coined the term Chamber Mob and started recruiting. Wirkebau-Hartt invited people from Monroe, Sultan, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Arlington and Granite Falls. As of Tuesday, 14 people had signed up to participate.

A bus is scheduled to leave Monroe around noon Friday, and a couple of seats are open, Wirkebau-Hartt said. People can contact her at director@monroewachamber.org or call 360-794-5488 to claim a seat. The group on the bus plans to remain in Darrington until about 8 p.m.

People also can drive to Darrington on their own. Anyone is welcome to join the mob between 2 and 8 p.m., she said.

Afternoon plans include a tour of the Oso Fire Department, eating lunches from the Darrington IGA at a local park, meeting with Mayor Dan Rankin and shopping at Darrington stores before settling in at a restaurant or brewery for dinner. There may be an opportunity for a mill tour, rafting trip, hike or a tour of downtown guided by Rankin, Wirkebau-Hartt said.

Darrington business owners know people are on the way and plan to be open extra hours if necessary, she said.

“The concept is we’ll go inundate the community, spend money and create a buzz while we’re up there,” Wirkebau-Hartt said.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439, kbray@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

‘Come talk to me. Don’t jump, come talk to me’

State Patrol trooper Yaroslav Holodkov just happened to be driving by when he saw a suicidal man.

Marysville educators reach out to a newly traumatized school

Several affected by shootings in 2014 offered to talk with counterparts in Eastern Washington.

Serial killer wannabe admits trying to kill man she met online

She told police she planned to rip out her victim’s heart and eat it — and would continue killing.

Hurry! Target will take your old car seat, but not for long

The seats will be taken apart and the various materials recycled.

Sheriff’s Office receives national recognition

Sheriff accepts award “notable achievements in the field of highway safety” over the past year.

Edmonds-Woodway High School briefly locked down

A student tried to stop a fight and a boy, 16, responded by threatening the student with a knife.

Study considers making it legal to grow marijuana at home

The Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering two scenarios for allowing a minimal number of plants.

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Hot weather takes toll on young Christmas trees

The effect is likely to be felt in the years to come when they would have been cut.

Most Read