EDMONDS — The future is uncertain for many annual downtown Edmonds events.
The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce hosts “An Edmonds Kind of 4th,” Taste Edmonds, the tree lighting, car show and Halloween festivities. Cancellations and other financial burdens due to the coronavirus pandemic could close the chamber, and leave those celebrations behind. In response, the chamber and its advocates are asking for $100,000 in donations to stay open through 2021.
“I’ve attended Halloween events in Edmonds for decades,” travel writer and Edmonds resident Rick Steves said in a news release. “It’s about the only thing in my life that I’ve done 30 years in a row. I love it. It celebrates our community, it’s for all and it’s free. In fact, nearly 10,000 people each year enjoy Halloween in Edmonds for free. By becoming An Edmonds Kind of Hero, I’ll now attend this and all the other events knowing I’m doing my share to make it possible. That’s $25 very well spent.”
As of Friday, more than 200 donors have contributed a total of nearly $19,000.
The chamber’s annual budget is $275,000, funded by memberships from local businesses and Taste Edmonds. The budget covers three employees, grants to businesses and the annual events.
“One of the things I’ve noticed is a lot of people don’t know these events are put on by the chamber, they think the city does them,” said Patrick Doherty, the city of Edmonds economic development director. “In this case, I think there’s a whole community side to the chamber they didn’t even know they had.”
That’s rare for most city chambers of commerce, he said.
Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.edmondschamber.com/support-edmonds/.