WORD ON THE STREET: Sweetheart Wine Walk coming again

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe January’s been here and gone and we’re already into the second month of the year. Just thought I’d do a quick recap of a busy month.

We’ve started the new year with three new directors on our Sumner Downtown Association board. Jeremy Annillo of Sorci’s was elected as our new board president, Barbara Ford of ERA Integrity Realty is our new vice president, Kris Arnold, former Sumner City Council member, is our secretary and Nina Burlingame of Heritage Bank is our treasurer. Plus, it’s great to see former board members Ann Fish and Gordy Andersen, who’ve served our board faithfully these past three years, sign up to serve on one of our four organizational committees and continue their work in the community.

A big thank you to the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse for recently hosting a great farewell party for John Doan who started his new job as city administrator in Tumwater last week. And then there are Brian Stowe, Mike Corliss and Heritage Bank, plus a host of Sumner Rotary members and citizens at large, who all donated time and money working together to create a memorable going away gathering to celebrate John’s 18 years in the Sumner community.

There were a lot of city staff and past and present elected officials at the party and some of the funniest stories from co-workers I’ve heard in a long while. And while I wasn’t surprised at the humorous presentations by city directors like Paul Rogerson and Bill Pugh, city planner Ryan Windish cracked me up with his futuristic rendition of a city bus tour for which he has become famous for. I’m being kind when I describe him as sort of conservative, so when he presented John with a new rubber chicken wearing a Sumner University T-shirt that his wife, Michelle, made, there were a lot of us in the room laughing and slapping our knees.

There were presentations by the Fire Department, Pierce County Economic Development Board, the chamber, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Pierce County Library System and all the departments at City Hall.

And I know John loved the street sign Pat Clerget made for him that said John Doan Drive. The finale was a hoot as Carmen Palmer, city communications director, and I sang her original remake of Julie Andrew’s song, “My Favorite Things.” With no practicing whatsoever and the musical keyboard talent of former mayor Barbara Skinner, Carmen and I sang a heartfelt chorus or two of “John’s Favorite Things” to the smiles and laughter of the almost 300 people who attended. I have to tell you it was very rewarding to prove John wrong when he said he didn’t believe I’d be singing at his party.

So what’s next, you ask? The Sweetheart Wine Walk from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 13. February is sure to be another fun month downtown as we expect at least 2,500 people from far and near to visit our merchants’ tasting sites on Main Street.

We hope you’ll be there because everybody knows its just more fun to spend some time in Sumner with your sweetie.