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If Snohomish wins national contest, prize would kickstart gazebo renovation

SNOHOMISH — The city’s in the running to win a national small-town contest that would award a cool $25,000.
The Historic Downtown Snohomish Association wants to spiff up the gazebo at Avenue A and First Street, and clinching victory in the “America’s Main Streets” contest would move the project ahead quickly.
The group’s leadership considers the gazebo a community hub — from where Snohomish Slew gives his “frognostication” near the end of each January to Santa’s arrival near the start of each December. It’s a vantage point to gaze at the river, too.
Lately, though, the wood structure could use restoration.
The contest is in the public voting stage to select 10 finalists, so the group is in high gear soliciting for votes. There are 24 other cities to outshine during the quarterfinals. Snohomish has cleared the semifinalist round.
The competitors range from Macon, Georgia to Hayward, Wisconsin.
“It’s such an honor to be the only (town) west of the Rockies” still in the contest, said Terry Schuler, the director for Historic Downtown Snohomish (HDS), a business booster nonprofit.
Schuler and HDS president Rick Alles said upgrading the gazebo could involve adding solar lighting, among other improvements. Either a volunteer corps or contractors would do the work. Alles is hunting for architectural plans drawn by past HDS member Jack Williams.
“I think we can come up with a plan” if the city doesn’t get the money, Alles said, and that might involve arranging a volunteer work party.
They want to maintain community interest in rehabbing the gazebo, but certainly hope Snohomish wins.
The current voting round concludes May 24. If Snohomish proceeds to the finals by amassing votes, judges will pick the winner from there. The winner will be announced June 2.
The $25,000 prize package includes $500 from Do-It Best, of which McDaniel’s Do-It Best is an affiliate, plus $500 in paint, $1,000 in Stihl products (such as chainsaws) and $500 in free marketing.
To vote, go to MainStreets
Contest.com or see a web link at HistoricDowntown
Snohomish.org
One twist is people can vote 25 times a day in the contest. The group encourages people to “vote early and vote often.”
In other news:
• The annual flower baskets that get hung along First Street are returning this year, HDS leaders said.
• The organization recently did a successful Mother’s Day stimulus program called the “Snohomish Bag.” It sold 21 bags filled with new items bought from downtown shops. It plans to do a  similar bag program for Father’s Day.
• The spring events HDS planned are being rescheduled for dates in summer.

  

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