Othello Park Alliance Community Mixer to Relive Summer Fun

Othello Park Alliance Community Mixer to Relive Summer Fun

Everyone Invited: December 10 at Hillman City Collaboratory

By Mona Lee, Othello Park Alliance

Were you among the thousands of revelers enjoying the Othello International Festival last summer? We hope you didn’t miss this event acclaimed to be “one of Seattle’s most authentically diverse multicultural festivals.” We hope you got to pet the camel and your kids got rid of excess energy in the bouncy houses and on the hill side slide while you soaked up the summer sun, filling your soul with atmosphere created by the unique array of booths, vendors, colorful dance, costumes, art, and music, transplanted here in the Rainier Valley from round the world.

The Othello International Festival is a magical occurrence that has arisen like Brigadoon out of the mist every summer for several years. On the second Sunday of August, like clockwork, tents pop up all around Othello Park’s wide pastural meadow and under its high canopy of trees. The show must go on! This Rainier Valley tradition must continue on into the distant future . . . or so we hope.

If you attended the Festival, did you stop to wonder how it all happened? What fairy godmother waved her wand and willed it into existence?

Actually, the annual Festival isn’t as magical as it seems. It is the product of many volunteers. A lot of your neighbors put up the tents, set out all the chairs, pop the free popcorn, make phone calls, send out dozens of emails, and much more to make sure all the vendors arrive on time and the performers know when they’re scheduled to appear on stage. Someone coordinates all this, contacts the volunteers, takes charge and makes sure it all comes off as one coordinated effort. But even if all you do is show up and enjoy the action, you make a vital contribution. After all, what really makes any fair or festival a success is the crowd it draws. Without people, there wouldn’t be a party.

However, aside from the thousands frolicking and enjoying the day, a small group of people have the most fun. That group is called the Othello Park Alliance (OPA). That is a hand full of neighbors who first got together more than a dozen years ago and decided to make Othello Park a community gathering place, their efforts evolving gradually into the Othello International Festival. OPA meets monthly, building community with one another and developing their skills sets by planning and producing the Festival.

You are invited to get to know OPA at their annual Community Mixer which will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 December 10 at the Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Avenue S. Wine, a delicious array of refreshments, a film, slide show presentation and more will help you on a dark winter night to relive the bright summer fun.

Community festivals held around Seattle and across the world tend to come and go historically. The Octoberfest has been held in Munich, Germany every fall since 1810. But a number of festivals in Seattle and other cities have lasted years, perhaps even decades and then quietly faded away. Why those events that once defined their communities didn’t continue forever is simple. People were no longer available to make them happen. Attrition is a fact of life with any group. So, to keep OPA and its Othello International Festival alive, more members are needed. Come to the Community Mixer and find out whether you might like to help reinvigorate the spirit and mission of the Othello Park Alliance. Come and learn how you can help, give input or just have a fun evening. We hope to see you there.

Photos/Othello Park Alliance


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