Kla Ha Ya Days struggles to break even

SNOHOMISH – As Kla Ha Ya Days gets going today, organizers hope that the four-day festival will entertain people without losing money.

“We are hoping to generate enough income to break even this year,” said Dallas Van Dyke, the festival committee president.

Organizers of the summer festival are asking the city to forgive about $20,000 in debt for police and other services that the city has provided since 2004.

The city has yet to decide on the issue.

City officials say they support the decades-old festival, which attracts a crowd and helps people in town get to know each other.

“It’s a good opportunity for community building,” Mayor Randy Hamlin said.

Kla Ha Ya Days, which began in the 1930s, draws as many as 15,000 people to Snohomish, nearly doubling the population in the city of 8,700.

“It’s always been a good thing for business people because it draws a lot of people,” said Pam Osborne, manager of the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce.

The festival allows people to reunite with their old friends, Osborne said. Many people attend the festival from other communities as well.

“Kla Ha Ya Days is a tradition,” she said.

This year, the festival continues to provide family-fun activities such as the frog-jumping contest, the community parade and the salmon barbecue served by the Snohomish Tillicum Kiwanis Club.

For the first time this year, the festival plans to have a genealogy booth at Carnegie Building in downtown to help people track down their ancestors, Van Dyke said.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or ynohara@heraldnet.com.

Festival highlights

Kla Ha Ya Days, a Snohomish summer festival, starts today and continues through Sunday.

Today

2 p.m., carnival at Harvey Field.

4 p.m., Kla Ha Ya Days Kids Parade at Pilchuck Park.

Friday

1 p.m., Kla Ha Ya Days golf tournament at the Snohomish Golf Course.

10 p.m., fireworks show at Harvey Field.

Saturday

8:30 to 10 a.m., five-mile and one-mile river run at First Street and Avenue B.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Civil War Re-enactment at Harvey Field.

Noon to 8 p.m., salmon barbecue at Hill Park, presented by Snohomish Tillicum Kiwanis.

Noon to 3 p.m., frog-jumping contest at First Street and Avenue B.

Sunday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Les Schwab’s Rod, Custom &Classic Cars Show.

11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wedding Gown Sale at the Waltz Building, 116 Ave. B.

Noon to 5 p.m., chili cook-off in Top Foods parking lot at 13th Street and Avenue D.

For more information, call 360-568-7076 or go to www.klahayadays.com.

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