One sign of a thriving community is that its residents don’t have to leave town on a major national holiday — the major national holiday — to find fun things to do with the family.
News that National Station Everett has canceled its Independence Day festivities — because of costs and a decline in attendance thanks to a bevy of security checks the public had to go through on the base — is not what a city experiencing a downtown revival wants to hear. Everett needs interested community members to step forward with ideas and dollars to establish some sorely-needed new traditions residents can get excited about.
The county seat’s long-time summer activities took their first hit last August when the Salty Sea Days issue came up and hung around until the elections. The festival, which was on again and off again, was at last report on for this June. After that, it’s not clear what will happen to the popular event or who will be in charge.
When the Fourth of July rolls around one month later, it will be short the naval station’s Freedom Festival, which ran for five years. While that’s not exactly long enough to be called a tradition, it’s half the time the base has been in Everett.
Folks can still look forward to the July 4 downtown parade, the Everett Jaycees pancake breakfast and YMCA’s Yankee Doodle Dash as well as an Everett AquaSox game followed by fireworks. But Everett needs something that will draw more people from around the county, including its own residents. And that means activities that offer something for the entire family and make use of the fantastic sites this city has to offer.
This city has shown what it can do when the occasion calls for it — who can ever forget the USS Lincoln homecoming? And the community has shown it likes to spend time in downtown Everett — take a look at the crowds going to and from a Silvertips game, especially on a weekend night.
When people have a good reason to visit downtown Everett, they will. Community members need to step up and find more opportunities for families to create memories in their hometown and county seat.