EDITOR’S COLUMN | Don’t miss the whale festival, consider volunteering with Hearts & Hammers

By JUSTIN BURNETT

One of the best parts about living on South Whidbey is that there’s never a shortage of things to do, especially when the weather is nice.

And kicking things off for 2017 is the Welcome the Whales Festival and Parade next weekend in Langley. It’s a pretty cool way to start the event season, if you ask me. The whales don’t always show up, but people do. And frankly, that’s my favorite part. I know that’s just about blasphemy in a town as mad about whales as Langley, but it’s true. I look forward to bumping into friends a lot more than glimpsing a far off water spout. At least with the former we have something to talk about.

Community events are a chance to catch up, share a laugh and participate in something fun. I don’t know how the rest of Langley feels, but a distraction from current events is something I could sorely use.

Also, for those who have never marched in a parade, I highly recommend it. It’s an experience you’ll probably never forget and, if you have kids, one they won’t either.

The festival begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 8 at Langley United Methodist Church. It’s a time for costume making and children’s activities and a bit of whale education, if you’re interested. The parade is at 1:30 p.m., beginning at the U.S. Bank Parking lot.

For more details, check out today’s story on page one.

Since I’m doing a bit of event promotion here, I’d also recommend people consider volunteering for the Hearts and Hammers workday next month. A day of laboring in the sun for someone else’s benefit may not seem like a whole lot of fun, but you’d be wrong.

Like the whale festival, it’s a chance for — please forgive the tired cliche — community. Believe it or not, an army of people volunteer for this thing, and that’s no exaggeration. They number in the several hundreds. You’d be hard pressed not to run into people you know. And even if you did, that will change by the end of the day. What I mean is, when you work hard side-by-side with a stranger, by 4 p.m. you know their names.

Also, there’s a secret about volunteering that those who’ve never done it probably wouldn’t guess. The person who’s doing the giving gets far more than the person who’s receiving. Whether it’s the reward of doing something kind for someone else with no thought of return, bringing a family together through a joint task, or simply working your butt off, I guarantee you’ll sleep well.

For details, check out the roundup on page 6.

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