Edmonds, a vibrant city located just 15 miles north of Seattle and 18 miles south of Everett, is easy to reach by Amtrak and Sound Transit commuter rail, Community Transit buses, Washington State Ferries, automobiles and bicycles. Edmonds was a well-established town by the turn of the century and the present urban form preserves many characteristics of its historic origins. The community’s location along the west-facing slopes of Puget Sound provides many amenities, including extensive views of the water and Olympic Mountains, access to four beaches and waterfront parks, and convenient access to a compact, walkable downtown area.
Arts and Events
Edmonds is considered a major hub for the arts in Snohomish County, with a dozen galleries and other arts facilities. The city government established the Edmonds Art Commission in 1975 and developed its public arts program in the following decades. The city has a collection of 35 outdoor art installations, 22 flower pole structures, and maintains several facilities dedicated to various arts. One of its initiatives was the 1979 conversion of the former Edmonds High School building into the Frances Anderson Cultural and Leisure Center, which hosts art classes, exhibitions, ballet classes, community events, child-care programs, and recreational sports leagues. The city also renovated the high school auditorium into the Edmonds Center for the Arts in 2006, serving as the home of theatrical performances, concerts, performing arts, and films.
Edmonds has hosted the annual Edmonds Arts Festival since 1957, with three days of art exhibitions and performances over Father’s Day weekend in June. The festival is one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest, attracting 75,000 visitors, and has 200 participating artists with booths along Main Street and at the Frances Anderson Center. The Cascadia Art Museum opened in 2015 at the location of a former grocery store in downtown Edmonds and focuses on regional Northwest art. Downtown Edmonds also has a single-screen movie theater that was built in the 1920s and remains independently owned and operated.
In addition to the visual arts, Edmonds has several active performing arts organizations. The Driftwood Players host year-round theatrical performances at the Wade James Theatre near Yost Park, while the Phoenix Theatre is based at Firdale Village. The city also hosts the annual Edmonds Jazz Connection over Memorial Day weekend in late May, with several school jazz groups and professional performers.
One of the city’s main landmarks is a small fountain located at the center of a roundabout on Main Street. The first fountain, which included a twisted sculpture at its center, was installed in 1973 and drew criticism from local residents and merchants for its ugliness. It was destroyed in 1998 by a drunk driver and replaced with a temporary gazebo, which had been used as a prop for a TV series.
The gazebo was popular and replaced with a bronze structure in 2000, which was later destroyed by a driver five years later. The gazebo was rebuilt in 2006 and has remained since.
Edmonds is home to a weekly farmers’ market that runs from June to October on Saturdays and is sponsored by the Edmonds–South Snohomish County Historical Society. The city also has several annual summer festivals, including the Edmonds Waterfront Festival in early June, the Edmonds Art Festival in mid-June, the Edmonds in Bloom garden festival in July, and the Taste of Edmonds food festival in August.
Parks and Recreation
The city’s public marina, one of the largest in the Puget Sound region
Edmonds has 23 city parks with 189 acres (76 ha) of open and preserved space, along with several facilities shared with the school district and the county government, totaling 560 acres . Downtown Edmonds has several major parks, including the public beach at Brackett’s Landing on both sides of the ferry terminal, City Park overlooking Edmonds Marsh, and the future Civic Field.
In addition to the neighborhood and community parks in Edmonds, the city also maintains dog parks, sports fields, a seasonal swimming pool, and a skate park. Edmonds Stadium, which was home to high school sports and minor league football and soccer teams (including the North Sound SeaWolves), was opened in 1937 and closed in 2017. The Edmonds senior center opened in the 1960s and is planned to be replaced by a new building, named the Edmonds Waterfront Center, in 2020.
The city also has several urban forests and natural reserves, which preserve the original vegetation of the area and provide hiking and walking trails. Edmonds Marsh Park, on 28 acres south of downtown, preserves one of the few remaining saltwater marshes in the state and is home to 225 species of bird and several walking trails. The largest wooded space in the city is the county-run Southwest County Park, with 120 acres (49 ha) of land along Olympic View Drive at the north end of the city.
The Port of Edmonds maintains the city’s public marina, which has 890 slips and is one of the largest in the Puget Sound region. The marina is dredged to a depth of 13 feet (4.0 m) and located southwest of downtown Edmonds. Further north and offshore from Brackett’s Landing, the city also maintains a 27-acre marine park called the Edmonds Underwater Park, which was developed primarily for scuba diving. The park attracts 25,000 visitors annually and is one of the most popular diving spots in the state. The park features man-made reefs, several shipwrecks, a submerged dock, and habitats for marine life.
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