Celebrating Seattle's Roosevelt Neighborhood
Are we too busy to keep our Traditions?

Are we too busy to keep our Traditions?

Several years ago, 5 to be exact, the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) started a new tradition called The Bull Moose Festival. This festival has been a significant activity that we started to promote the strategies of our Neighborhood Plan. The important aspect of this social tradition has been an opportunity for neighbors from Roosevelt and surrounding neighborhoods to come together to learn more about each other and important things happening in our neighborhood.


And we have lots of important things happening in our neighborhood: sustainability programs, a light rail station coming soon, developers trying to get approval for 10 or even 16 story buildings. We even have a volunteer business group coming together to sponsor “Soul of Seattle”; a radio show Sundays on AM 1090. It’s amazing all of the volunteer hours that have gone into keeping track of all this stuff.


At the festival in past years we’ve had a pancake breakfast with proceeds going to a local charity. We’ve had Jazz Bands and other live entertainment, car shows and fire truck demos, a Whole Foods barbeque and food booths, face-painting in the park, booths providing information about everything from walking-trails in the area to sustainability news. As a Seafair sanctioned event we’ve had the Seafair Pirates. Shops open to provide special discounts.


Perhaps the most amazing thing about this festival, besides all the fun the neighbors have shared together, is that each year everything that has been achieved has been coordinated entirely by volunteers on a shoestring budget. And that’s the thing I find most disappointing about what seems likely to happen this year. Since last year’s festival, Whole Foods sponsored the RNA on one of their Community Giving days. That’s 5% of their proceeds for a signal day! Which means we have LOTS of money to use to organize the event this year. The trouble is that it’s simply not enough to pay an event coordinator to set up the whole thing. And if we can’t find some volunteers to help, 2010 is likely to be a year without a Bull Moose Festival. Is everyone too busy to help keep up this tradition?


Why call it Bull Moose? It’s a Teddy Roosevelt thing that has to do with the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party that created a split in the Republican Party in the 1912 presidential election. Not being a history buff, I’ll just leave it at that. But it does occur to me that maybe if we’d have called it The Bull Moose Party (instead of Festival) we’d have better luck keeping up this tradition.


If you have any interest in helping the RNA coordinate the event this year. Please let us know as soon as possible. We need to get started right away. Email me at rna@rooseveltseattle.org.


Written by: Randall Weers, Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, Secretary and Webmaster