It’s rare when organizers admit that, after more than three decades, an annual event has become something like the beloved but slightly past-its-prime basement couch — in need of a new look.
That’s what volunteers for the festival formerly known as A Taste of Edmonds decided.
This year, it has a slightly modified name — Taste Edmonds — along with cheaper admission prices, more variety in its live music and events for the whole family.
Jan Nicholas, the event coordinator, said she spent time last year talking to Taste attendees about what they did — and didn’t — like.
One message: The event had kind of become stale.
She and other Edmonds Chamber of Commerce volunteers concluded: “It’s really time to make a change,” she said.
What’s changed beside the name? “There are lots, and lots, and lots of new things,” Nicholas said.
Another message from last year’s attendees: It’s just too expensive. So entry prices were cut from $5 to $3; children 12 and under get in free.
Improvements were made to the children’s area. Last year, it “wasn’t very robust,” she said “and honestly it was expensive.”
Rides cost about $8 each. And then, of course, children want ice cream.
Parents told her for the costs of entertaining their children was “crazy expensive.”
Nicholas rounded up sponsors so the price of admission could be cut and kept in mind that families needed budget-friendly prices throughout the event.
Bouncy rides are free, with different “houses” for each age group.
There will be food booths and — for the first time — food trucks, with tacos, mac and cheese, pizza, barbecue and hot dogs, as well as Carribean and Chinese cuisine. All vendors will offer $5 “taste” items.
This compares to plates that sometimes were priced at $10 to $12 last year.
There also will be beer and wine gardens. Lyft is offering free rides home for people who live within 3 miles of Civic Center Playfield.
The goal is to attract more people this year, surpassing last year’s estimated attendance of 45,000 people.
The summer celebration is a fundraiser for community programs such as the Edmonds Kind of 4th, which includes a fireworks show, the city’s Halloween trick-or-treat night and the city’s Christmas tree lighting.
Money raised at the Taste helps pay for those celebrations and keeps them free.
Live music will be performed on three stages, including one for children.
Organizers hope to transform Taste “to say it’s not necessarily a food event,” Nicholas said. It was time for it to better reflect the community of Edmonds, she said.
“Come check it out,” Nicholas said. “If you haven’t been in a while, come see the changes.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Taste Edmonds
Where: Civic Center Playfield, 310 Sixth Ave N., Edmonds
When: Aug. 10-12, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a. m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: Festival only $3 per day, $5 all weekend, free 12 and under; festival and beer garden $9 per day, $20 all weekend
More: 425-670-1496 or tasteedmonds.com