We’ve received another letter referring to the recent Jubilee Days-related controversy. This is from White Center business owner Justin Cline:
Yesterday a representative from Jubilee Days Board came in with the intentions of unburning some bridges. I think this is a wonderful start. Here is what I would like to see Jubilee Days do to rebuild some bridges.
Involve the community. All the smaller fairs in the area make it a point to include local businesses and art groups, not just take their donations. The Cambodian Festival, The Fair at Sacred Heart, and the various festivals and fairs that the WCCDA host throughout the year manage to bring in our local ethnic restaurants as vendors. Jubilee Days has the same guy selling hot dogs and Elephant Ears year after year. The parade has almost no local involvement. Instead groups from Eastern Washington and farther are paid well to march in our parade.
Thank the people that made your festival happen last year. Most of the people that put on the auction last year didn’t even get a mention in your program. Most of what they heard were complaints from the board. Is it a surprise they are not willing to help again? If you made some earnest and sincere apologies, I am sure it would go a long way.
Make good on the promises you made last year. Put up banners for all the businesses you forgot to last year. Put in the ads you forgot to print. Refund the money you took from Southgate Roller Rink.
Finally, elect a new President. Mike McGrath’s complete disdain for local business and the community in general is not doing you any favors. Last year when asked why he was blocking of the entry way to the Southgate Roller Rink. He said, “F**k them. I don’t have time for this. I am not here to make businesses happy, I am here to put on a festival.”
He said this in front of me and several other people. Southgate donated thousands of dollars in money and in-kind donations, and all they asked was that their entryway was left open so they could participate in the street fair. Mike deliberately cut them out. Even after the festival was over, Mike made no effort to correct this. He has a long history of burning bridges in this area using this festival. Chase Bank won’t donate to you again because Mike promised them a booth and an ad, took their money and then did nothing for them. No booth, no ad. He did something similar to a local couple that donated money for a memorial. They got nothing. It is time to find a new director for your festival if you are truly going to take this into a new direction.
Do that this year, and then come back next year and we will talk about donating again. Until then I will continue to encourage people to avoid this fair.
The opinions expressed in letters are solely those of the writers, not of WCN. Letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.