by Ben Adlin
Rainier Avenue Radio will host a holiday party and bazaar for the whole family this Saturday, December 11 at the historic Columbia City Theater.
The resort’s first annual Holiday Bazaar will be held Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., between South Ferdinand and South Hudson streets, and will showcase handcrafted artwork and other creations from a dozen local vendors. Admission is free and open to all ages.
Tony Benton – known widely as “Tony B”. After more than two decades of local coverage, notably on KUBE 93.3 and Sports Radio 950 KJR, the event is intended to showcase the creativity of local creators and give artists an economic boost during the holiday season.
“We have a lot of small business people in this community, and there isn’t a lot of access for them to own or rent a property in Columbia City,” he told the emerald. “It’s at least an opportunity for these people to sell their unique creations and unique items and hopefully grow their business to a larger community. “
Later in the afternoon, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the festivities will develop into a community feast. In addition to appearances of Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman, the party is expected to include musical performances on two separate stages; guest speakers, such as County Council member King Girmay Zahilay; and a lip-syncing show that has become an annual favorite at holiday events.
“Basically we’re just having fun,” Benton said, describing the events as a community celebration of the holiday season. “And Columbia City needs something like that.”
Drinks and a catered dinner are available to the general public for a suggested donation of $ 75, which can be made online. Guests can register for the dinner by sending an email to [email protected]
Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test result is required for entry to holiday events, and capacity may be limited due to social distancing. “I want to make sure we’re fully compliant with mandates and regulations, both state and county, and that people are safe,” Benton said.
The holiday season spent by Rainier Avenue Radio served largely as a fundraiser for the community organization, which broadcasts community news, music, talk shows, high school sports, and student radio projects. on its various online feeds. This year, Benton says, the focus is more on simply celebrating the fans, supporters and the more than 70 volunteers who help make it run, including a wide range of on-air personalities.
“What they do is important, and sharing their voice is important,” he said. “For someone who volunteers, doing a show every week can start to get boring. But they take great pride in what they do and share their stories.
Since the pandemic, the station has placed particular emphasis on how the virus is disproportionately impacting communities in the South End. He interviewed city officials about the pandemic response, broadcast public service announcements in multiple languages, and worked to correct misconceptions about the coronavirus and vaccines. “For us, this urgency is the reason we were created as a radio station,” Benton told The Evergrey in April 2020.
The guest list for Saturday’s celebration includes Seattle hip-hop DJ Nasty-Nes Rodriguez of Sir Mix-a-Lot and Vancouver, BC-based DJ Alibaba, as well as musical performances by artists from South Sound Josephine Howell, Curtis Seals and others.
This year’s holiday party – Rainier Avenue Radio’s third since the station launched in 2017 – is also particularly special as it will take place at the Columbia City Theater, a property that Benton and the Cultural Space Agency are negotiating for. to acquire.
For the community radio station and digital media organization, it would be a throwback to its namesake street. The first shows were uploaded from a makeshift studio in the Columbia City Library, and although the station briefly rented space on Rainier Avenue, during most of the pandemic it operated from one room. in a neighboring house.
Benton said the acquisition of the theater and Saturday’s holiday bazaar focused on building stronger local communities and economies in the South End, which he described as “the concept of circulating dollars to the within our community, to our businesses, where people will spend money on and on.
Ben adlin is a journalist and editor who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives on Capitol Hill. He has covered Seattle and Los Angeles politics and legal affairs for the past decade and has been contributing to Emerald since May 2020, writing on community and municipal news. Find him on Twitter at @badlin.
?? Featured Image: Tony Benton (Photo: Phil Manzano)
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