Our Voice: Return of Pasco's Fiery Food Festival good for Tri-Cities

Celebrations are important, whether they are simple gatherings for families or huge community events.

They give people a reason to get together and have a good time, and most importantly, to bond.

So when a community event is lost and then returns, it's a big deal.

The announcement that the Fiery Food Festival is coming back to downtown Pasco is terrific news.

For 25 years, the Tri-City community could look forward to the event every September. But then, sadly, it went away three years ago because of a lack of volunteers and money.

Now, the Downtown Pasco Development Authority is bringing it back and hopes are high it will be a success.

Last year, there was a scaled-down version of the festival called Viva Pasco, but it's great to stick with the traditional name and call the event the Fiery Food Festival, which shows the party is for the entire Tri-City community.

The free, one-day event will be from noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 14 at the intersection of Lewis Street and Fourth Avenue in Pasco. The Pasco Farmers Market, which always draws a crowd, will stay at its usual location beneath the pavilion near Peanut's Park and will be open extended hours during the festival.

The festival will feature, of course, food vendors, and there will be a beer garden as well. A main stage will showcase bands and other entertainment, while a second stage will be used for cultural dancers and a variety of performances by children. A new and classic car show also is planned.

It should be a fun day, and should bring in some extra foot traffic to nearby businesses.

One of the reasons the Fiery Food Festival was canceled in 2010 was because there weren't enough people willing to volunteer to make it work. That's still a key component in pulling off this second attempt.

Pasco downtown officials are again looking for volunteers. Those wishing to help can send an email to ascovol@gmail.com.

There also is a need for vendors and sponsors. Anyone interested in participating in either role can contact Michael Goins, executive director of the Pasco Downtown Development Authority. Send an email to director@downtownpasco.com or call 509-546-1304.

It's important that people offer to help out. Events like this don't just happen. They take organization and teamwork.

But working on a common project can be a great bonding experience, which helps build community.

Bringing the festival back is a good first step toward pumping some new energy into downtown Pasco. Traditions are important to any community, and it was heartbreaking to lose the Fiery Food Festival three years ago.

It's good to see it return.