While families from the Valley and beyond would agree that Fall City Days is a great party, most people may not realize that months of work go in to making it a blast.
Festival Chairwoman Judy Dix and other volunteers start preparing each February for the June event, which brings the community together and raises thousands of dollars for youth programs every year.
After a decade of coordinating vendors, and eight years chairing the event, Dix has gotten organizing down to a science.
“It’s getting vendor applications out, checking to make sure permits are in with the county, ordering equipment, making sure the carnival’s on board. It’s overseeing all the committees in a general way, but everyone on the committees works so hard. Now it’s kind of on automatic pilot,” she said.
The reward is when families tell Dix how much they enjoy their local street party.
“Kids will say, ‘Great job,’ and it’s their favorite day in Fall City. That’s why I do it,” she said. “It’s the kind of day where as long as your kids have a little money in their pocket and a place to meet you, you can walk around town and just have fun. We look out for each other, and everyone stays safe.”
That small-town character is what the New Jersey native loves most about Fall City, which she has called home for 20 years. Concerned with keeping the “rural character” of the area, Dix is also active with the Lake Alice Community Association.
“We feel blessed because we just love Fall City. I love that I know everybody. The community is everything we could have asked for raising the boys,” said Dix, whose sons Evan, 21, and Ryan, 18, both graduated from Mount Si High School.
Encouraged by her husband, Terry, Dix first got involved in the community volunteering at their sons’ schools.
“In the beginning it was just to see what kids were doing in school, and kind of spy on them,” joked Dix, who now works at Fall City Elementary part-time.
As her boys grew up, she saw coordinating Fall City Days as a natural evolution of her involvement, because proceeds go back to children, she said.
Being the public face of Fall City Days is also a great way to get to know more neighbors, Dix said.
“The people I’ve met on the committees are friends of mine, and they’re people who do so much for the community,” said Dix.
Fall City Days is a group effort, but Dix’s dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed by the team.
“While a lot of people give of their time and talents to make Fall City Days a reality, Judy is the one who makes sure everything is ready for the festival and that no detail is overlooked. She is tireless in her attention to detail and always ready with a great witticism to lighten everyone’s spirits,” said Vanessa Allen of the Fall City Community Association.
Dix will bring her skills and enthusiasm to next year’s Fall City Days, whose theme will be volunteerism. Dix thinks that’s fitting for her town.
“Our community works that way: We’re unincorporated, and we like to help ourselves. We don’t depend on the county. We try to make do and make it a community effort,” she said.
• Do you know Valley residents who deserve recognition for their good work? Nominate them for Citizen of the Week, an award co-sponsored by the Valley Record and Replicator Graphics. Send your ideas to email@example.com, or call (425) 888-2311.