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Chamber pulls out of annual Enumclaw Christmas parade

Enumclaw’s annual holiday parade might roll through downtown as usual in December, but the local chamber of commerce won’t be making it happen.

In a late-December letter to the city, the chamber noted that it’s sharpening its focus and, as a result, getting out of the event business.

The parade, traditionally offered the first Saturday of December, had been a function of the Enumclaw Downtown Partnership. When the EDP disbanded, the chamber took on a pair of its events, the holiday parade and the summertime sidewalk sale. The latter event is now prime-sponsored by the Enumclaw Rotary and the chamber’s executive director, Cathy Rigg, said she’s confident a group will step forward to put on the parade.

“The transition should be seamless,” she said.

Rigg said chambers everywhere are spending less time on events and placing a greater emphasis on promoting local business. “We were one of the last chambers in the state to still put on a parade,” she said.

The decision was based both on philosophy and staffing issues, Rigg said.

“It’s a ton of time and effort for two people,” Rigg said of the holiday parade.

In another scaling-back move, the chamber will no longer put on its annual Thanks For Giving dinner, which celebrated volunteers who give their time and talents for the betterment of the community.

Instead, the chamber will roll the focus of that evening into its annual dinner/auction, which takes place in the spring. Rigg noted there’s a change of venue for the May 30 event; instead of taking place at the White River Amphitheatre, the function will be at the Enumclaw Expo Center.

Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.

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