Fair weather for Mayfair

Madrona community comes out to celebrate spring

Fair weather for Mayfair

Fair weather for Mayfair

Before Madrona kids arrived for the annual parade — their bicycles and scooters adorned with streamers and balloons — community volunteers were busy once again setting up the Mayfair festivities neighbors have come to expect every year.

Mayfair started in Madrona 42 years ago as the neighborhood’s annual celebration of spring, and its success has been dependent on the Madrona Community Council, neighborhood churches and nonprofits, local sponsors and Madronaites showing up and supporting the event.

“It’s really a community event,” said Rev. Ruth Anne Garcia with the Epiphany Parish of Seattle, who served up popcorn during Mayfair with longtime church members, Ann Beck and Mike Evans. “This popcorn machine is borrowed from the school. They gave me a tutorial.”

Money raised from popcorn sales and other booths set up in Al Larkins Park each Mayfair goes back to the community council to cover costs for the event.

“We really see ourselves as a community church that helps the community,” Garcia said.

Madrona Panther Partners co-president Sharon Safarik was at Mayfair, sharing updates about the PTSA’s work on the second phase of upgrading Madrona Elementary’s playground and raising funds.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last December for the first phase of the project, which included a community build to install a new play structure. Safarik said more than 1,000 volunteer hours have been logged and about $263,000 has been raised. The Seattle School Board approved $45,000 for the second phase on May 10.

“It’s not quite enough to do our garden, so we’re still doing some private fundraising,” she said.

The PTSA has raised around $16,000 in private funding through sales of bricks and pavers that will be installed at the new community entrance.

Phase 2 construction is expected to start at the end of June and be completed by late August, Safarik said, and then a grand opening celebration will be planned.

The new Madrona Elementary playground will truly be a community space, she said, and open to the public all summer, after school and on weekends when finished.

“It’s been behind a lot of fence for 20 years, and it’s time to open it up,” Safarik said.

Relearning how to twirl sticks of cotton candy for sugar-hungry children at Mayfair were Galen Crawford and Sue Rush with Madrona Grace church.

“Last year it was pouring rain,” Rush said, “and we had the kids lining up.”

Crawford said Madrona Grace is an open and affirming church, bringing in a diverse congregation.

“I commute from Bainbridge Island to attend this church,” she said.

Rush said leadership and staff are working to modernize the church and its mission, and shares the space with the Jewish Kadima Reconstructionist Community and Liberation United Church of Christ. All are working together to advance social justice priorities. Madrona Grace has partnered with Mary’s Place since 2012 to shelter homeless families downstairs at Julia’s Place.