The Concrete Chamber of Commerce has stepped up to assume responsibility for Cascade Days, starting with this year’s event on the third weekend in August. The previous organizers announced after the event in 2022 they would be dissolving their nonprofit organization, leaving the future of Cascade Days uncertain. Community members, business owners, and town leaders reacted with alarm and have clamored to find a way to save the tradition.
“We didn’t want to see this popular community event go away,” said Cheryl Weston, a member of the Chamber board of directors who has agreed to become the event chairperson. “Cascade Days is important to our local families and businesses. It’s also the weekend during which most Concrete High School class reunions are scheduled.”
The event has its history rooted in the 1930s. It grew from a campaign to build a highway connecting Skagit County to Okanogan County, according to past issues of the Concrete Herald and Skagit Valley Herald. Meetings to promote the road were attended by prominent state and national figures. One of those meetings turned into a celebration with a parade, and the Cascade Days event was born.
In addition to the parade, other activities during Cascade Days are also part of the town’s history. A car show featuring classic vehicles lines Main Street each year to remind us of the days when American automobiles dominated the world market, and Concrete’s mainstay industries of cement manufacturing and logging were still alive.
“The parade, car show and class reunions will remain the centerpieces of this event,” remarked Weston.
The Concrete Chamber seeks input from the community while they plan the event. A week of information gathering will start March 5, during which anyone with feedback, ideas, or suggestions can contact Chamber members and share their opinions via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text message (360-466-8754). Comments can also be mailed to the Concrete Chamber office, PO Box 743 Concrete WA 98237.
Two meetings are scheduled where the public is welcome to stop by, listen, and comment: The Concrete Chamber meeting on Thursday, March 9 at 1:00 p.m. at Act One Ice Cream Parlor, and an evening meeting on Thursday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Concrete Theatre.
Volunteers are vital to the event. Questions can be asked via email and text, and anyone wishing to participate in any capacity can sign up during either of the meetings.
Concrete Chamber wants to know: What’s most important to you when it comes to Cascade Days? What do you remember most vividly about past events? What activities would you most want to see this year and in future years? What part would you like to play in the success of the event?