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Why we have a reason to celebrate

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Sometimes they seem incredibly grand. Other times they seem quaint. And sometimes they just seem odd. Maybe interesting, but odd.

They are the community festivals that pop to life each year in communities big and small throughout North Central Washington. Well, actually throughout the country.

In this edition of Business World, we have the pleasure of taking a closer look at some of those festivals and the behind-the-scenes stuff that takes place to make them happen.

When I said earlier that they “pop to life” I did so knowing it is far from that simple. For some, those festivals are the result of year-round planning, fund-raising, scheduling, coronations and more.

Volunteers by the thousands step forward and make them happen. And why?

Community festivals bring many good things to a community. They can define a town, like Wenatchee’s Washington State Apple Blossom Festival. It is huge. It is festive. It encompasses much more than events. It represents the fabric of the town. Our orchards, our people, our awakening from winter.

But that festival, like most, has significance beyond the celebrating. It provides a big economic boost, driving tourism dollars into the community and giving a boost to local businesses.

It shows our pride and spurs commerce.

Most festivals do much the same. They rally a community around an event or series of events to celebrate who they are and what they want to be in the future.

Leavenworth has easily earned the crown as king of the festivals. Few weeks go by without some celebration or another taking place.

With a tourism-based economy, this is huge. The Bavarian-themed community has no difficulty drawing crowds when the weather is nice. It’s when summer is over that people need a reason to come, or come back.

So, celebrate the changing of the leaves. How about an Oktoberfest that spans most of the month. Then, show off the snow-covered beauty with a festival around the massive number of Christmas lights that illuminate the community.

Without doubt, Leavenworth knows the importance of festivals.

As do the smaller communities with their one or two big events each year.

Displaying what is best about your community is fun and rewarding. People who come to these events spend money and sometimes they like what they see so much they end up living here.

So, the next time you’re watching a parade or drinking a pint at a community festival, know that the fun you’re having is making life better for us all.

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