Ellensburg has many wonderful downtown-centered festivals and events but few showcase the historic downtown better than Jazz in Valley.

Partly that’s due to timing. Jazz in the Valley, set for this weekend, takes place in the middle of the summer when the warm nights encourage people to stroll from venue to venue to hear the mix of jazz, blues, rock ’n roll, and whatever else is on the menu for the festival.

It is one weekend when you’ll see people lingering on the sidewalks, talking in groups, enjoying the sounds coming from the Rotary Pavilion and sharing notes on what group to go hear next. Downtown Ellensburg can be active on any given evening, but there’s a different feel and vibe to Jazz in the Valley nights.

This weekend is lining up to be particularly amazing. Daytime temperatures are expected to be in the high 90s, which means the evenings should be perfect. This year’s lineup of bands and performers is musically diverse and talented. The festival, as usual, should draw a good crowd of locals and out-of-town visitors.

Much like the singer with the microphone in her hand, Ellensburg will be in the spotlight.

As much as a spotlight illuminates, it also exposes. Over the next few days all of us can make sure Ellensburg is seen in its best possible light by people visiting to enjoy the festival.

That can involve picking up litter we find while walking through town. Luckily, downtown Ellensburg is well equipped with trash receptacles so it is convenient dispose of any litter you come across.

Along with the sidewalks, Jazz in the Valley patrons tend to use alleyways to get from one venue to another. Jazz in the Valley is good reminder to examine alleys behind businesses and cleanup up items that may be stacked at the back of a building. Clearing alleys of debris and other materials can enhance fire safety as well. An arsonists often makes use of ignition materials found on site.

So, along with improving the aesthetics for weekend visitors, the cleanup can benefit fire safety as well.

Downtown Ellensburg looks good. The planters are in bloom. Over the past few years the trash receptacles and street furniture (benches) have been upgraded. People visiting this weekend will see a lively city on the upswing, with major projects underway — hotel adjacent to Elks Lodge, renovation of New York Cafe Building, renovation of building on corner of Fourth and Pine. While a wrapper blowing in the wind may seem like a small item, people are impressed when visiting a well-maintained city.

This should be a great weekend for Jazz in the Valley and Ellensburg. Enjoy the weekend and the music.


The Daily Record’s 2018 Editorial Board is made up of Assistant Editor Michael Gallagher, and community members Karen Raymond, David Soltz, Roger Clerf and Gerald Lael.


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