by Kirby Lindsay, posted 18 May 2012
Fremont has built an enviable reputation as a place for high-quality, popular public events – as all Fremonsters know far too well. Most of us enjoy the festivities, but we also get up-close to event by-products such as noise, litter, parking poachers, inconsiderate drunks, etc.
For those times when you wonder what to do, or what to prepare for, Fremocentrist.com offers this guide to the big events of 2012 – and what to do if problems arise, and/or persist.
The 2012 Summer Event Calendar
The following list contains the names, and dates, of the currently scheduled summer events – and links to the producer(s) of each event. Feel free to contact them directly with suggestions, comments and even complaints – to make the festivals more community friendly.
HonkFest West 2012, May 31st – June 3rd
Producer: HonkFest West (email@example.com)
Area impacted: This city-wide brass marching band festival will be at The Crocodile Cafe (May 31st,) Georgetown (Jun 1st,) and Seattle Center/EMP (Jun 3rd.) On Saturday, Jun 2nd, from Noon – 6p, the music (or noise) will come from Gas Works Park, and while the bands do tend to march, last year none escaped from the park.
Music In the Sculpture Garden concert series, Sundays from 2p – 4p from June 3rd – July 29th
Producer: John Nordstrand, of History House
Area impacted: The (enclosed) sculpture garden at History House
Fremont Fun Run (5K & Briefcase Relay,) June 8th from 4:30p – 10p
Producer: ProMotion Events
Area impacted: Registration and the beer garden are in Solstice Plaza, but from 6p – 8p expect closures of N. 34th St from Fremont Ave to 1st Ave N.E.
Fremont Street Fair, June 15th – 17th
Producer: Bold Hat Productions (for the Fremont Chamber of Commerce)
Area impacted: From 1p on Friday, Jun 15th to Midnight on Sunday, Jun 17th, N. Canal St, N. 34th St and N. 35th St from Fremont Ave to 1st Ave N.W. will either close or allow local access only.
Associated Other Events: Seattle Art Car Blowout (on the Burke Building north parking lot,) Seattle Erotic Art Festival (at Fremont Studios)
FAC Solstice Parade, June 16th starting at Noon
Producer: Fremont Arts Council – Leslie Zenz, Parade Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Area impacted: From 11:30a – 2p, from 1st Ave N.W. along N. 36th St to Fremont Pl to Fremont Ave to N. 34th St along to Stone Way then down to N. Northlake Way to Gas Works Park will be closed. The parade starts at Noon, but it does take time to roll its way along the route – so be patient if you choose a site near Stone Way.
Associated Other Events: Spontaneous Naked Bicycle Riders, before Noon, We The People Power Festival at Gas Works Park, 1p – 7p
Red, White & Dead Zombie Walk, July 7th, from Noon – 8p
Producer: Ryan Reiter-Hegeman, Piranha Blonde Creative
Area impacted: Celebration closes N. 35th St from Phinney Ave N. to 1st Ave N.W. but includes hoards (+/- 7,000) of zombies lurching about the neighborhood
Family 4th of July, July 4th starting at Noon at Gas Works Park
Producer: One Reel (email@example.com or 206/673-5060)
Area impacted: Basically, most of Wallingford. The (free) celebration takes place inside the park, streets surrounding Gas Works Park have limited access before, during and after the fireworks display at 10p – and reports are that the Burke-Gilman Trail clogs up badly for cyclists just before and after the fireworks display
Groundspeak Geocache Block Party, August 18th
Producer: Bold Hat Productions for Groundspeak
Area impacted: Solstice Plaza, but includes hoards of pedestrians out searching for caches so please drive carefully.
Fremont Oktoberfest, September 20 – 23rd
Producer: Bold Hat Productions for the Fremont Chamber
Area impacted: N. 35th St and N. Canal St between 1st Ave N.W. and Phinney Ave N., starting on Thursday, Sep 20th (for load-in) until late Sunday, Sep 23rd.
How To Survive
Ken Saunderson, of Saunderson Marketing Group, formerly organized large-scale events around Seattle, including the original 19th Annual Fremont Oktoberfest. Today, from his marketing offices above LTD Bar + Grill, Saunderson can easily enjoy events just by walking out his door. As current president of the Fremont Chamber, he knows very well the community concerns about the impacts of events – and how they help promote our business district.
Before An Event: When Saunderson started organizing events, “we had to go to each department,” he said, describing visits to Health, Police, Fire, Transportation, Liquor Control, etc. Today, the City of Seattle has a Special Events Committee that gives event producers a ‘one-stop shop’ for information and permits. Part of the permit process, according to Saunderson, are requirements that producers reach out to the surrounding community and get support.
All the events scheduled this summer have established track records, which can streamline the process – unless the community has raised concerns with one department or directly to Special Events (see ‘After An Event’.)
However, the best method always is to contact the event producer directly, and see if problem can be avoided once identified.
During An Event: Saunderson advised that neighbors seek out the information booth, “It’s the best way to get ahold of a producer during an event.” Any staff person should also be able to locate the producer.
If direct contact is not preferable call 9-1-1. Both Saunderson and Seattle Police Department Community Policing Officer Loren Street advised calling 911 if noise, or other problems, annoy. “You shouldn’t sit around for a few hours before you call,” Officer Street added.
The computer system logs complaints to 911. Officers will respond, if they can, and please, “you call, you make the complaint, and if the noise goes away, call again,” Officer Street asked, “we always appreciate it.” When calling 911, immediately tell the operator if it is a ‘non-emergency,’ so they can tend emergency calls coming in before taking a call about noise and/or parking.
If the problem is a blocked driveway or other parking matter, call 911 or Parking Enforcement. “Usually during events we have extra Parking Enforcement Officers on duty,” Officer Street observed, for exactly these situations.
After An Event: As Community Policing Officer for Fremont, Officer Street can check back in the 911 logs to find out what happened at a particular address or on a certain date. “It helps to have the calls,” he said, as well as e-mails citizens can send him detailing problems in the community including those surrounding an event. These physical records can be shown as evidence, and help everyone in finding a solution.
Officer Street noted that too often a neighbor tells him about a problem ‘the whole neighborhood’ experienced, but he’ll have no record because no one called 911, sent him an e-mail or gave him a call. It makes it much harder to give his time to solving the problem.
The call logs, e-mails or phone notes also can be shown to the Special Events Committee, and influence the permit process. Citizens can also appeal to Special Events if they feel a problem hasn’t been addressed by the producer. In Fremont, another avenue is the Chamber of Commerce.
“I think the Chamber is in a good position to be a good leader and a good listener,” Saunderson said. Fremont Chamber Executive Director, Jessica Vets, has created a check list to use in working with producers new to the area. “Fremont, in a lot of ways, is a fragile neighborhood, and we need to protect what we have,” Saunderson explained, “by being proactive before the event, and being reactive by listening to community concerns, we can create a better community.”
To share concerns with the Fremont Chamber, contact Vets at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 206/632-1500 – or attend one of the open-to-the-public Chamber Board meetings on the last Wednesday of each month at 8a at History House.
Also, Officer Loren Street, of the SPD, wants to hear about community problems either at email@example.com or 206/684-4739.
Producers want their events to be fun – fun for visitors, fun for businesses and fun for Fremonsters. Letting them know what got in the way of the fun is the only way they can make adjustments so it will be fun in the future for everyone.
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- by Kirby Lindsay, January 24, 2011
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- FCC Highlight Reel: Fremont Event-centric?
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©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.