Hundreds of people flooded onto Main Street in downtown Bothell yesterday for the Bothell Fire Fund Block Party.
Following a devastating fire and the destruction of two historic buildings and some dozen businesses last Friday, the scene nearly a week later couldn’t have been more different.
Families milled around food booths, a jazz band crooned from a stage in the middle of an intersection as people relaxed in a beer garden.
Christian Casolary drummed for the sextet and said they hadn’t played live together before they took the stage a 4 p.m., playing more than two hours.
“The fact that this is going on shows how much a fire can affect people even indirectly,” he said.
The fire, which was started in the Mercantile Building on the corner of 102nd Avenue Northeast and Main Street, quickly jumped across the road to the west and ignited the old Bothell Mall where around a dozen businesses were located.
Around 20 more businesses also sustained damage in some way.
Local Pam Schormann said she was sad to see the the damage, especially to the Kozy Corner Cafe.
“Hopefully they can get some support,” she said. “Hopefully it’ll help them to stay in Bothell.”
Various business along Main Street were running benefit drives with a portion of sales going towards the fire fund which was set up by the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce and the local Rotary Club.
Their goal for the night was to raise $50,000, said Chamber Office Manager Elizabeth Tackett, who was manning the beer garden. As of 4:15 p.m., only 15 minutes into the event, she said they had raised around $15,000. By the end of the night the event had raised more than $57,000.
“We’re super excited,” she said, checking drivers licenses and handing waving people through into the beer garden. A fire truck was on scene for kids to check out and firefighters had set up their own booth.
“It affects everyone when a fire happens,” Casolary said.