After being cut in light of Initiative 976 passing, the Covington Days Festival Parade has found new life thanks to the help of the Covington Chamber of Commerce and MultiCare Health System. With a $12,000 donation to fund the parade, MultiCare will be named the festival’s presenting sponsor for 2020.
Earlier this month, Covington City Council had the tough task of implementing budget cuts due to the passing of I-976 in which the city would lose around $360,000 in car tab fees in 2020. As a result, city council proceeded to make $220,000 in cuts to the 2020 budget, including the Covington Days Festival Parade, and will consider further cuts after the first quarter.
“When our business members started hearing about the parade budget cut, I received multiple phone calls expressing their disappointment,” said Jennifer Liggett, the Covington Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director. “I immediately contacted the city and confirmed that if I could find a suitable sponsor to fund the parade, the city would still be able to include it.”
Liggett quickly went to work to come up with a plan to save the parade. With over 90 participants from local businesses representing the Chamber of Commerce in the parade, Liggett said it was very important to at least try to help, and she didn’t have to look far. When Liggett contacted MultiCare, which operates MultiCare Covington Medical Center, they immediately wanted to be a part of the plan.
“MultiCare staff are among the hundreds of people who enjoy the parade every year, so there was no question that we would participate,” said Taylor Rose, MultiCare Covington Campus Administrator and a Covington Chamber of Commerce Board Member. “We saw this as a valuable opportunity to support a favorite community event and the local businesses that participate.”
MultiCare will contribute $12,000 to fund the 2020 Covington Days Festival Parade, which covers expenses like police and public works staffing for road closures, planning/preparation, and materials and supplies.
“We are very grateful that the Covington Chamber of Commerce and MultiCare were willing to step up and help when they saw a need,” said Regan Bolli, Covington’s City Manager. “It is partnerships like this that bring our community together and make it even stronger.”
The MultiCare Covington Days Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 10 a.m. Community members, organizations and businesses wishing to participate in the parade, which is free to do, can visit the festival website at www.covingtonwa.gov/covingtondays for more information and download a parade application when they become available in early 2020.