….and a good time was had by all.

North Bend should be very proud in how well its June 27 Centennial Block Party went off.

North Bend should be very proud in how well its June 27 Centennial Block Party went off.

Held on a gloriously sunny afternoon, the Block Party drew what looked like thousands of people to the music, stage events, contests and children’s activities, all in celebration of North Bend’s first hundred years as a city.

Crowds gathered to watch locals strut with their dogs, gobble down enormous hamburgers or compete in a weight-shifting strong-man and strong-woman challenge. Spontaneous dancing on the streets broke out, and a big crowd gathered to see North Bend’s national champion Panther Pride unicycle team do their thing.

More than that, the event was a successful showcase of downtown North Bend businesses. As I strolled up and down the street, the downtown shops were really hopping. Many merchants were also showing off what they do best in tents on the sidewalks, or just had fun connecting with the community and thier neighbors.

Looking at the happy, sunburnt crowds, my mind went back to the first meetings last winter when the city and local businesses and arts groups got together and planted the first seeds of the Block Party. Seeds that quickly sprouted into a whirlwind of grass-roots volunteerism, talent, creativity and enthusiasm. Under the leadership of Jolene Kelly and Gina Estep, the Block Party was truly a great example of how a community can come together to succeed. It also offers a lesson that other communities should take to heart during challenging economic times like these.

With the addition of the Tanner neighborhood and more residents on the way, North Bend is growing. Events like the Block Party are great ways that local residents can develop and strengthen a sense of place, a sense of community and sense of belonging. It doesn’t take just heavy snows or 500 year floods to bring people together. It also takes Celebration. The more that people spend time with their neighbors and connect with their community, the more likely they are to take an active role in city, schools, church and local volunteer organizations — all helping make this Valley an even better place to live, work and raise families.

Now that they’ve gotten a little rest, organizers are already thinking about doing another party. With the burgeoning entrepreneurial spirit in North Bend, I am sure we won’t have to wait another hundred years for such a welcome combination of weather, great events and booming business.

Although next time, I’ll probably just wear jeans!

More in Opinion

OPINION: Detox for your body and mind

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor in Woodinville.

OPINION: KCLS supports citizen engagement year-round

Voter resources available at area libraries.

Marknisha Hervol, an eighth grader at Environmental & Adventure School in Kirkland, gets her book signed by Fredi Lajvardi during his appearance at the Peter Kirk Community Center. Samantha Pak/staff photo
OPINION: What happens when we believe | Windows and Mirrors

How an unlikely group of teenagers achieved success through the support of their community.

When we ban books | Windows and Mirrors

What message does it send when certain stories are censored?

Despite paid postage, ballots still come late

Even with the postage paid, thousands of Washington voters didn’t get their… Continue reading

Rumbling and rambling on the way to November | The Petri Dish

Republicans have to worry about Trump. Meanwhile, big money is flowing into initiative campaigns.

It’s time for back to school and back to basics for recycling

With a little help from the “Three Rs,” we can reduce the environmental impact of back-to-school shopping.

The default in our own stories | Editorial

Senior editor Samantha Pak reflects on what representation in media means to her.

No excuse for fake news rhetoric | Editorial

Journalists are being tossed into the anti-media waters being chummed by President Trump and others.

Pak headshot
Freedom to feel safe | Reporter’s Desk

Let’s not forget that July 4 is a day that celebrates the freedoms we have in this country.

Just add water | Editorial

Since 1913, the Valley Record has been one of the threads that bind this Valley together.

Summer — and summer reading — is finally here | Book Nook

The theme this year, Libraries Rock, includes a line‐up of programs and activities for all.