Maryfest makes a comeback from adversity

  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:30am
  • Opinion

The Marysville Strawberry Festival had a rebirth this year. After a few years of negativity about who was running the show, many longtime volunteers returned, and the rumblings subsided.

President Jodi Hiatt did an amazing job, and the Maryfest board and volunteers righted the ship.

It was not without its challenges. The event’s reputation had been hurt locally and regionally.

People everywhere were saying, “I thought there wasn’t going to be a festival this year.”

There was some doubt. Efforts were hindered by a lawsuit threat. But once the state attorney general ruled against it, the festival was on.

Organizers did get a late start as a result.

So there was no fireworks show, partly because they couldn’t line one up in time, it was costly and the city had talked of a fireworks show on the 4th of July, and they didn’t want to have two back-to-back fireworks shows. We hope that gets figured out next year.

There were fewer entries in the parade, there was no car show and some other issues, but all in all, Maryfest did a great job.

All we in the community want is the best-possible festival we can have year after year. One that will be fun for everyone – locals and tourists alike.

We appreciate all the volunteers who donate their time. It is a sacrifice they make for our community. While we love when locals are involved, we also appreciate when others step forward when there isn’t enough local help to do the job.

We love the tradition that surrounds the festival: The parade, market, talent show, fashion show, etc. But we also realize to bring young people in to support the festival some things may need to change. A popular big-name regional band certainly wouldn’t hurt, for example.

We have no doubt that all the volunteers who ran the show in recent years – the group that is running it now and the one that did so previously – all wanted to do what is best for the festival. They just wanted to do it in different ways. One big kudo for Maryfest this year was getting back the sponsorship of the Tulalip Tribes, to the tune of $50,000. With the more-local group now running the show, we hope tribal and other support continues for the festival. It needs to stay afloat.

It certainly is worth saving. It certainly is worth community support. And we at this newspaper certainly support efforts to right the ship.

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