Runners taking off during the 2019 St. Paddy’s Day 5k. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Runners taking off during the 2019 St. Paddy’s Day 5k. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Spring events in the works: 5K event, Father-Daughter Dance, online auction, and potential Wine and Beer Walk

As COVID cases slow down, events are returning to the Plateau.

With COVID cases dropping and the weather warming up (surprise snow notwithstanding), the Enumclaw Chamber and Enumclaw Rotary are hoping to host some spring events.

First up is the Chamber’s St. Patrick’s Day “Spring Forward” 5K event.

“It is a mostly virtual event,” said event organizer Kerry Solmonsen. “Therefore participants can sign up to run or walk, and complete their race anytime between March 13 and 31.”

But for those who enjoy running as a social experience, a socially-distanced walk/run is scheduled for March 13 at the Enumclaw Expo Center. The start time is anytime between 9 and 11 a.m. at the south lot.

“Participants can run or walk our certified course on their own time at their own pace,” Solmonsen added. “Virtual timing assistance and encouragement will be provided, but no formal race will be held. We will have some Chamber volunteers on site with maps of the certified course.”

Participants are able to upload their race time to the race website ( and post their race to their preferred social media outlet while tagging the Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets for the race are $25, and can be bought at the website above or on the Chamber website at; event T-shirts will not be provided this year, but every participant will be provided with a commemorative racing bib.

Next up is the Enumclaw Rotary’s annual Father-Daughter Dance, which is currently scheduled for April 10 at the Enumclaw High School commons. This is the seventh year the dance has been put together.

Organizer Jeri Gamblin said the event is typically held around Valentine’s Day, but was postponed because of COVID.

“It isn’t the same as it always is,” she continued, adding that there have been several changes made to make sure everyone feels secure at the event. “People should feel safe. We are doing everything that we can, and more, to make sure that no one feels compromised.”

The first big change is that instead of having two hours to dance, sessions are being broken down to 45 minutes each to limit group size; event attendees sign up for a session when they buy their tickets at for $37 per couple (and an additional $7 per additional daughter). Only 70 people are able to attend a session at a time. Surfaces will be sanitized between sessions.

Additionally, the treats and crafts fathers and daughters usually enjoy at the dance are now takeaways.

There will still be ample opportunities for professional photos to be taken at the event, and a scavenger hunt to keep everyone moving around, since sitting down won’t be allowed.

The theme for this year is “Butterfly Kisses”, which of course means Bob Carlisle will be played at some point during the dance.

Jeri and Alan Gamblin with their granddaughter at the Enumclaw Rotary’s Father-Daughter Dance last year. Contributed photo

Jeri and Alan Gamblin with their granddaughter at the Enumclaw Rotary’s Father-Daughter Dance last year. Contributed photo

The Rotary is also planning its first-ever online auction fundraiser at the end of April.

Both the Father-Daughter Dance and the online auction will be raising money to give scholarships to White River High and Enumclaw High seniors.

According to organizer Nancy Merrill, the Rotary is holding an auction due to the fact the annual Street Fair, the organization’s other big fundraiser besides the Father-Daughter Dance, was cancelled due to COVID.

The Rotary is still gathering auction items and organizing the auction website, but the auction is planned to open Wednesday, April 28, and close Saturday, May 1.

Members of the public can contact Merrill at to donate items for the auction.

Finally, the Chamber has its fingers crossed to be able to host a May Wine and Beer Walk event.

With the coronavirus still plaguing the Plateau, no details have really been set yet, said Solmonsen.

“It is all in the hands of the Liquor Control Board and the State. With the current restrictions we wouldn’t be able to host the event,” she said.

Still, the Chamber is optimistic for the spring event, but can easily shift it to the summer months if necessary.

“You could definitely say we are trying to create an event, but that the details are still unavailable and that as soon as we know more, the community will be the first to know,” Solmonsen added.

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