A warm sense of community radiated as neighbors and strangers gathered last weekend at Glacier View Park for the Annual Arts Festival hosted by the Eatonville Lions Club to support residents through art and music.
"It keeps everybody going, to what they love and enjoy," said Roxanne Mcclimans, area resident. "It supports our talents."
Mcclimans explained why she has adored coming to the Arts Festival to sell her art for the past four years.
With this intention, people stroll past beautifully decorated booths filled with art featuring many pieces such as hand-thrown pottery to paintings colorfully crafted, while listening to music from talented artists from the local area igniting small-town America with summer excitement.
"Emily, I seen her when she was 11 years old, and I got one of her CD's and I'm hoping to get her to sign it," attendee Ada Covey said as she watched Emily Randolph serenade the crowd with her rendition of Bobby Magee. She has been singing this song since her childhood on this stage, bringing nostalgia to not only herself but those in the audience as well.
Continually, followed by The Hoots — another Eatonville local band that rocked the stage with members that attended the local high school together — along with The Groovin' Higher Orchestra.
The musicians performed well into Saturday night.
"It kinda just shows the Eatonville heart," artist Krystal Benham said as she painted a chair outside her booth for the Center Street Junction. "It shows a piece of our lovely talent and support for the community."
Also, the Arts Festival backs the neighborhood in many ways.
For example, Tytus is only 10 years old with a food stand and a plan for his school trip.
"We're going to do science so were selling popcorn to go to Florida and to dissect stuff," he said.
While this year is Tytus' first time participating in the festival, others, like Dawn Bauer, are celebrating their 10th year creating and selling art at the event.
"It supports the community like these guys next door, (Center Street Junction) who help the food bank here, but this is for the Eatonville Lions Club, and they do so much for the community," said Bauer on why she believes it's important for people to come aid local residents at the Arts Festival.
Similarly, supporting local artists of all kinds is exactly what the Arts Festival accomplished this past weekend while also bringing people together in an environment who may not have seen each other in a while. Take like Jennifer Wick, for example.
"I saw my second grade teacher last night and to this day she still remembers me," Wick said. "It's that culture — that love in a small town community."
At the festival, strangers became friends as adults reminisced amongst themselves in the beer garden, swaying along to live music and enjoying tasty morsels from the Lions Club food truck, which served up delicious fries, sandwiches and chili all weekend long.
Meanwhile, the kids played mini-golf, danced to the beat of the music and even enjoyed roaming amongst the art displays. Brielle Covey who is eight years old
"I like the music and art," said Brielle Covey, 8. "I liked walking around (to) see the unique art."
Furthermore, bringing people together, no matter the age, is exactly what the Arts Festival continues to accomplish over the past 40 years on the first weekend in August. As tradition has it, the festival rocked Eatonville with local talent, friendship and creativity.
"In the great scheme of the world, it's not important at all I suppose, but for Eatonville, and the people involved it's a big deal — it's good for the community," said Denny Dargen, area resident.