Lake Stevens Aquafest just ducky

LAKE STEVENS – The sun was out, and so was Lake Stevens.

Thousands of people gathered on Saturday at the 43rd annual Aquafest, the city’s summer festival. The event started Friday and ends at 6 p.m. today.

The family-oriented festival features carnival rides, shows, live music, food and 112 arts-and-crafts vendors. The festivities are downtown near the intersection of Main Street and 18th Street NE.

“Lake Stevens is a small town becoming a large city, but we’re maintaining the small-town feel,” said volunteer Lorna Hole, who was working at the information booth. “Aquafest is part of that.”

Today, the Aquafest Idol singing finals are scheduled for 11 a.m., and a water-skiing exhibition is scheduled from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The Rotary Club’s Duck Dash – a race using yellow rubber duckies – is set for 3 p.m.

Stacy Gastman, 43, and her husband walked through the carnival area with their son and two daughters. The rides included a funhouse and a big, swinging dragon boat.

“It’s a good hometown atmosphere,” Gastman said, adding that rides were priced affordably.

Her children also approved of the festival.

“The booths are good, and the jewelry,” said Shannon Gastman, 18, who had her face painted with her 9-year-old brother, Garrett.

Steve Becker, 37, watched his 4-year-old son, Seth, march in the festival’s parade with his tae kwon do class earlier in the afternoon. His other son, Cole, 2, spent the parade picking up candy that was tossed into the crowd.

“It’s nice to see such community involvement,” he said. “It’s nice to see this small-town feel, so close to Seattle. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or

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