Letters to the Editor

Rockets red glare; lesson learned | Letters

It’s September.

Clear blue skies, a quiet sparkle on the water, open windows inviting the last warm breezes. September is the month that island living is made for.

While Facebook pages everywhere fill with island memories, islanders begin to hunker down and prepare for winter. Gardens are cleaned up and compost piles readied for fall leaves, fall crops are planted, apple ladders brought out for the harvest.

Local merchants count their tills, happy yet relieved —another perfect summer. Ahhhh.

So, with the festivals and whales and markets winding down, my thoughts turn to one thing.

The 4th of July.

In this my first year as events coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce, I was flabbergasted to realize the enormity of putting on that quaint day of small-town fun, that kick-off for summer that is Independence Day in Friday Harbor: The Parade (thanks to organizers Lin and Pam Pearson), Pig War Picnic, Dancing and Fireworks.

Here’s the rub. Those fireworks are expensive—nearly $15,000 a year, all raised by hat-in-hand Chamber of Commerce staff and volunteers.

Shops share counter space with our little firecrackers that fill with donations from shoppers, and as we scrape up those coins and dollars, it is with a stubborn pride: the Chamber will not let the community down. The Fireworks will go on.

It occurs to me on this beautiful sparkling end-of-summer afternoon that islanders may not know this. Perhaps as I once did, you assume the fireworks are paid by town funds. Nope. It is your money that pays for those awe-inspiring flashes over the docks. Every one of you who drops something into those firecracker banks is a hero to us.

Yes, it is September, and my thoughts are on the 4th of July. This is a plea, hat in hand again, for your early donations to the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Fund. Please don’t wait until next summer.

Call the chamber at 378-5240 or drop in on Spring Street behind the General Store.

Rebecca Parks, San Juan Island


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