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Mayfest, a vision of bustling Clinton

The Rural Characters perform at the Clinton Community Hall. They will be providing the tunes for Mayfest, a Clinton celebration Saturday, May 31. - Carol Flax photo
The Rural Characters perform at the Clinton Community Hall. They will be providing the tunes for Mayfest, a Clinton celebration Saturday, May 31.
— image credit: Carol Flax photo

Later today, the last day of the month, there will be a celebration of Clinton’s past and a toast to its future.

Lately, the unincorporated area known for its ferry terminal and little else will have its largest gathering of the year for Mayfest. Formerly called Clinton Days which spanned a weekend, the one-night dinner and a show will bring a spark of energy and vitality to an area that recently has seen lots of “For sale” and “For rent” signs.

“Mayfest is the thing to do in Clinton,” said Carol Flax, a member of the Clinton Progressive Association, the organization that oversees the event’s venue, the Clinton Community Hall.

“People have really positive associations with it. It’s been part of the community for 100 years — not this building, but as an association,” she added.

The party is a major fundraiser for the upkeep of the hall, which hosts everything from election forums and weddings to used book sales for the library and pop-up restaurants. Flax estimated that the hall is used about 12 days each month — 144 days per year. With the absence of a cafe after Anchor Books and Coffee closed in December 2013, the hall represents one of the last meeting spots in Clinton.

“I think it’s really the heart of Clinton,” Flax said. “It’s the only place in Clinton that we gather now.”

Clinton Community Hall, previously named the Clinton Progressive Hall, has seen plenty of work in the past year. The reader board was replaced, a new floor was put in the kitchen, and the association revamped its website — due to go live soon, if not today — clintoncommunityhall.org

More work looms for the association to fund maintainemce of the hall. A new roof will eventually be needed, as will replacing the oil furnaces with electric or propane heat, putting in new double-pane windows and refinishing the wood floor.

A La Paz buffet-style dinner will be catered by Cozy’s Restaurant, a Clinton fixture and popular watering hole. Accompanying dinner will be a few musical performances by the Cranberry Bog Blue Grass Band, the Rural Characters and the Heggenes Valley Boys, all of whom are Whidbey-based acts.

 

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