You will still be able to watch 4th of July fireworks from Capitol Hill — but, for the first time in 13 years, there might not be a free community picnic in Cal Anderson Park to celebrate the nation’s independence.
City of Seattle officials are looking for a solution after the picnic’s longtime community sponsor the Cal Anderson Park Alliance informed City Hall it would not be able to organize the 2016 edition of the event. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce was asked to take over the event, a city rep tells CHS, but declined.
According to a Seattle Parks representative, it’s not an issue of money to support the free community event that typically involves free hot dogs and root beer floats, music, and game booths. Here is what the fun looked like in 2015. Capitol Hill’s community groups are apparently tapped out on a much more valuable resource — human capital. Without volunteers available to organize the picnic, the 14th annual Cal Anderson Independence Day Picnic might not happen:
The annual Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic is a signature July 4 event for Cal Anderson Park and the Capitol Hill community. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) is committed to supporting positive and family-friendly activities at this park to help it continue to be a treasured resource for the community.
Because the long-standing community organization that has traditionally organized the community picnic is not in a position to do so for this year’s event, SPR is reaching out to the greater Capitol Hill community to invite participation that will allow the event to take place next month.
Anyone interested is invited to attend a meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7 at the Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Ave. E, or contact SPR staff Randy Wiger at 206-684-0775 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If enough volunteers step forward, both for the planning needed over the next four weeks and for the day of the event, SPR is willing to lead the planning effort, and believes that it is possible to hold an enjoyable 14th annual community picnic event.
Parks is hoping to find new energy to step in and help make the event happen as a celebration of the national holiday and also a celebration of Capitol Hill’s busy central park. Officials are planning a community meeting next week to look for a solution — and, hopefully, find some of that much needed human capital needed to pull the 2016 picnic together.
Community meeting for 2016 Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic planning
Date: Tuesday, June 7.
Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Ave. E.
UPDATE: Don’t forget, you can also help make Cal Anderson great at Sunday’s Clean Sweep 2016: “Volunteers gather at Cal Anderson Park at 10am for coffee & pastries sponsored by our local Starbucks! We’ll give you a stylish ‘I Am Capitol Hill’ t-shirt and all the supplies you’ll need before dispersing teams to scrub the streets.” The annual Pride event marks the start of a month of celebration and events across the Hill.