South Whidbey park officials keep Winter Fest

South Whidbey parks commissioners have rejected a staff suggestion to eliminate the park district’s support for its annual Winter Festival and take over Children’s Day instead.

Children’s Day may be put on hiatus due to a lack of financial support from Island County, according to officials with the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District, and parks district staff has also said the organizers of the event, the Children’s Commission, is on “vacation” until funding from the county improves. Parks commissioners were asked at last week’s meeting to shift money and staff support from the Winter Festival to Children’s Day.

Parks Commissioner Allison Tapert said a more complete proposal would be needed before commissioners could commit to greater assistance with Children’s Day, a free annual event that draws parents and kids from across Whidbey.

“We didn’t have a lot of details,” Tapert said.

She said she still hopes Children’s Day will happen, but noted that would take a greater commitment from businesses and others willing to assist.

“It’s a great event. We’re going to do our best to make sure it will happen again,” she said.

Winter Fest will still be held, Tapert added, as funding for that event has already been included in this year’s budget.

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