Reader’s open letter: ‘Here is what I would like to see Jubilee Days do to rebuild some bridges’

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.

Justin Cline

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6 Responses to “Reader’s open letter: ‘Here is what I would like to see Jubilee Days do to rebuild some bridges’”

  1. Great letter!

  2. Dick Thurnau Says:

    Friends of Hicklin Lake suggested to the President of Jubilee days the use of Lakewood Park to hold thier celebration as another location. However i was met with an array of excuses such as the Park is to small. Gosh this Lakewood Park is 30 acres in size minus 4 1/2 acres for Hicklin Lake.And right next door is Evergreen Athletic Fields containing 22 Acres, plus thier are six off road parking lots surrounding the Parks and fields.Presently thier seems to be a lot of turmoil holding Jubilee days in down town White Center from blocking main streets and downtown businesses crying foul. Maybe a change of menu is needed. Futurama days were held many years ago in Lakewood Park that provided a police motorcade for the coronation of Miss SW Seattle,music furnished by the US Naval band, Aquatic Ballet by the Aqua Maids 16 local girls trained by Hicklin Lake life guards,Fireworks after 9:00 PM sponsored by the WC Chamber,and 101 prizes with the grand prize of a brand new 1957 baby blue Volkswagen.
    OH well just a thought.

  3. …Dick,I would like to see Jubilee Days at Lakewood makes sense and our community can see the beauty of our Park.

  4. I’m not too in-the-know about the politcial bad blood involved with this festival, but I’ve found it rather lackluster over the few times I’ve attended. I’m still trying to figure out why the festival is hosted on 17th SW rather than 16th SW, the main drag. All the other festivals – or at least the one in the Junction and Capitol Hill – host theirs on the main drag, with businesses open and prospering from the added influx of people. It can’t be just because of the “adult” stores, can it?

  5. It is really because the people in charge do not want it there.

  6. Put nthe fair right in downtown whitecenter. Meanders can setup side walk dinning. The company can set up outside seating. Infact all the food places should setup outside seating. Set the bands up by lafonditas truck. Put the beer garden in Marvs broilers parking lot. But the fair needs to show off all that is good about white center and should be set up right in the middle of town.