Lifestyle

Valley readers say Si View has the Best Festival in the Best Park

Gwendolyn Kahsen hangs on to a scampering Little Red the hen, during the Amazing Pets contest at the 2013 Festival at Mount Si. The Festival was named Best community event once again. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Gwendolyn Kahsen hangs on to a scampering Little Red the hen, during the Amazing Pets contest at the 2013 Festival at Mount Si. The Festival was named Best community event once again.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Si View Park and Community Center was our readers’ choice for the Best Park in the Valley. The 75 year-old facility is a hub for many community events, including this year’s Best Festival, the Festival at Mount Si, or Alpine Days, if you prefer, so we asked Si View’s Minna Rudd, and Festival organizer Jill Masssengill about what makes them special.

Rudd: I think some of the things that make Si View special are, first off, its 75-year long history as the heart of our community. If you or your family have been a long-time Snoqualmie Valley resident, then Si View is typically associated with a positive memory in your life. Time and time again, residents stop by our office sharing childhood memories of swim lessons, basketball games and community celebrations, activities they experienced in their youth and are now eager to share with their grandchildren.

Another reason is that, unlike other public services, we have face-to-face interaction with our patrons and it makes the experience personable and also adaptable to their needs. Community input has been and will continue to be the guiding principle for all our projects from programming to capital improvements. With that comes strong feeling of ownership and support from the community, making Si View truly everyone’s community center.

Lastly, we’re a special purpose district, so we’re solely focused on providing great park and recreation service for our community. We are thrilled to see our community grow and thrive, and both our staff and elected officials are committed to enhancing the quality of the community’s life through recreation programs.

Massengill: I think we moved the festival from Gardiner Weeks park in 2005. It had been located at the Senior center for years…  I took over the planning in 2000 and grew the festival to a point that it really did not fit well in and around the senior center any more. One of the committee members suggested Si View and we all wholeheartedly agreed. We moved it suddenly one year and never looked back.

It has been a wonderful partnership since. Both Si View and the Festival committee benefit from our relationship.

We get a large, beautiful setting, on-location staff during the weekend and Minna’s help with planning. They get exposure from the community in the Valley’s largest event.

Rudd, on what Si View means to people: Fun! Let’s go play! Friends! For many young families the first memories of Si View are likely from the pool, the indoor playground and the park itself. Day camps and sports teams follow suit as kids start school, while for many adults, Si View means the farmers market and the annual Festival at Mount Si. Regardless of what activity Si View means to you, what they all really boil down to is having a trusted “home away from home spot” in your community for connecting with new friends, growing your skills and making lifelong memories. Si View strives to be that place for everyone in our community.

• Si View Park is located at 400 SE Orchard Drive,  North Bend. Learn more about park programs at www.siviewpark.org.

 

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