News

The whole town smiles

By NATHAN WHALEN

Staff reporter

A picture-perfect anniversary was also seen by many as a celebration of small town life Sunday when the residents of Coupeville celebrated the town’s 150th birthday.

Several hundred people carried their lawn chairs for the last Concert on the Cove held at Town Park. But before enjoying the big band sounds of the Oak Harbor-based group, SeaNotes, everyone gathered in front of the pavilion to pose for a town photo — the first one taken since the mid-1990s.

After the photo shoot, residents enjoyed Coupeville’s birthday the traditional way — by having some cake and ice cream.

“It’s a great event and it’s nice people will come out and enjoy the event,” said Coupeville resident John Bolte.

He moved to the island several years ago to be closer to his children. He enjoys Coupeville because the town has preserved its small town character and everyone seems to be friendly.

Bolte’s comments were echoed by part-time resident Jonathan Young.

“The whole ambiance is like Pleasantville,” said Young, who splits his time between Whidbey and Vancouver.

Fellow part-time resident, Susan Taylor, added that she likes the variety of community festivals that are held throughout the year.

Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard said the day was a success and she was pleased the weather cooperated. Residents were greeted with cloudy skies but only a sprinkling of rain.

The town photo was the signature event for the town’s celebration of its sesquicentennial. Conard said there were other ideas tossed around during the planning for the celebration but it was decided to keep the celebration a low-key, informal affair.

Residents who came to Town Park to listen to the concert did so without paying any money as the normal $5 fee was waived. Many of the children wandered over to the playground located behind the pavilion.

The town’s vocal opponent of Concerts on the Cove was seen but not heard. Ed Spromberg, who lives across the street, tried to disrupt a concert earlier this summer by revving his riding lawnmower. On Sunday, however, he simply sat in his front yard and wore ear protection.

Conard added that the celebration went so well with such a high attendance that the town may hold another celebration next summer.

In addition to the town photo, people had a chance to take away a memento as the Post Office was selling postcards with a specially-made sesquicentennial cancellation.

“It’s a keepsake of the sesquicentennial,” said Coupeville Postmaster Bill Noack.

Volunteers were in a booth at the celebration selling postcards at four for a dollar, placing a 23 cent stamps on them just to have it canceled using the commemorative postmark.

The cards will continue to be available at the post office for a short time. After 30 days the stamp will be destroyed, Noack said.

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