Archive for Downtown Renton

The Piazza Renton Spring Festival

We are wiggling with anticipation for this year’s Family Fair. We have a great lineup of activities, music, and entertainment that kids of all ages will enjoy!

The Rely On Renton Family Fair is part of Piazza Renton’s Spring Festival, a tradition in it’s thirteenth year of celebration of spring in downtown Renton. Piazza Renton is an volunteer organization that organizes seasonal celebrations in our central downtown area park, The Piazza. Other events Piazza Renton helps organize include the Return to Renton Car Show in July, Fall Harvest Festival in October, and the Tree Lighting ceremony in December.

spring festival 2014 poster.v2

2014 Rely On Renton Family Fair

We are proud to bring the Rely On Renton Family Fair back to the Renton Pavilion Event Center! It is one of the many exciting, family-oriented activities at the Piazza Renton Spring Festival. It’s all happening May 3rd from 10am-4pm at the Piazza in downtown Renton.

Our Family Fair features small businesses and local non-profits for families with kids ages 2-14. Eric Ode will be performing at 11am on our stage, which will have kid-friendly demos and entertainment all day long. Each booth has kid activities, so bring the whole family down and learn what great resources Renton has to offer for families!


Family Fair2014

Rentonish – Keeping Our City Unique

Screenshot 2014-01-16 13.06.11It’s been said many times before that no one likes Renton…until they live here. Then they love it! Growing up here, I took it’s charms and convenience for granted, along with the plentiful free parking, beautiful park areas, etc. Leaving to find BIGGER, greener pastures in neighboring Seattle, I never imagined I’d return to my home town. Now that I’ve been back for a few years, I wonder why I ever left. Returning, I saw Renton with new eyes.

Take a moment to think about our city and what sets it apart. What are the key elements that make Renton Rentonish? I think about those places that are like none other anywhere else: our natural features and special places, and of course, our small businesses.

Journey with me into a potential dystopian future, in which all small businesses have closed. Downtown Renton is a long line of boarded up storefronts. You have to go to Starbucks to get coffee, because Liberty Cafe, Common Ground Cupcakes, The Met, and Luther’s Table are closed. I hope you really like Red Robin, Applebee’s, Denny’s, or fast food, because those are your dining choices.

With all the small businesses closed at the Landing, you are left with big box options: no Poggi Bonsi, C’est La Vie, Creative Mom Toys, Eyes On the Landing… <sarcasm> At least the Big Box stores save you money, right? </sarcasm>

In this alternate reality, Renton looks like EVERY OTHER CITY. Having a fancy chain coffee store is not something to brag about, move here for, stay here for, or even remember.

In our reality, small businesses all over our city are struggling to survive, and we, as citizens of Renton, need to take responsibility for the demise of many of our city’s great small business assets (think Happy Delusions). More are on the chopping block if we don’t intervene (Old Renton Book Exchange). We are responsible because we chose to patronize big chains, rather than small businesses.

How bland does Renton have to get before we lose a sense of what “Rentonish” means? If we don’t want a city that looks like every other, it’s time we stood up and fought for it before it’s too late. Fight back by changing your shopping habits. Choose to RelyLocal!


12 Gorgeous Photos of Fall in North Renton

Today the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and beckoned me to come out and take pictures of the fall colors. I’ve been watching the trees with anticipation, particularly these ones on North Third Street in Renton. We also took a short stroll on the riverwalk next to the Cedar River and captured our unique over-the-river library. Enjoy!

Spend it Here. Keep it Here.

S 3rd St Renton, WA; Rely On Renton

Spending money at local small businesses keeps more of your money here. For every $100 spent at a small business, about $45 remains in the community, versus $13 spent at a big box or chain store. You CAN make a difference in your community today!

Stimulating Downtown Renton

_DSC0017When I think of Enumclaw, I think of the King County Fair. As a child I attended each year. I remember eating fun fair food, seeing out of the ordinary things like rodeo and rides, hearing concerts, and entering my own creations to be judged. The fair created life long fond memories and positive associations with the city of Enumclaw.

As we were conducting our “Fixing Renton’s Future” series, one of the things we heard from those who care about Renton was the desire to beautify and enliven our Downtown core. Events create memories. Having fantastic events that bring people to downtown Renton is of great importance to the beautification of Renton.

Two great places to be involved are through the “downtown events committee” and Piazza Renton. A sub-committee of the downtown committee through the Renton Chamber of Commerce, the downtown events committee creates events to bring more people into our downtown area, and particularly to the businesses there. They organize, promote, and host the Downtown Poker Run during the Spring Festival in May, the Halloween party in October, and the Santa House in December. They usually meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8:30 am at the Chamber of Commerce. This month, however, they will be meeting on Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 am. Contact Amy Farnham at for any more questions.

The Piazza Renton is a group of volunteers that brings special events certain times of the year to the Piazza park in downtown Renton, such as the Spring Festival in May (coinciding with the Downtown Poker Run), the Fall Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Tree Lighting in December. They also provide volunteers for the Farmer’s Market, and the Return to Renton car show. Piazza Renton meets every third Friday morning at 8:30 am at McLendon’s Hardware in Renton. Contact Brian Larson at for more info.

Do you enjoy the events downtown? Which ones? What would you do differently? Would you add to an event? Create a new event?

If these questions inspire your creativity, or otherwise tickle your organizational/administrative spot, there is a place for you to be involved! Whenever we visit these groups, members express openness to new ideas, and a desire to attract more volunteers to the planning and creation of downtown e vents. In order for for downtown events to draw all kinds of people, all kinds of people need to be represented when they are planned. Please thoughtfully consider being involved in one or both of these groups. Downtown Renton needs you!

Shop Local to Support Children’s Hospital

523571_586941094664576_1874657739_nThere are times in life where winning is a sub-optimal outcome, because it means a worthy party loses. There are also times when one win leads to another win, which leads to a big win-fest around the room. Local Rewards cards, sold as a fundraiser, is one of those things. Small businesses benefit, an important charity benefits, and our local economy benefits. Triple Win!!!

Danielle Gould, owner of Little Quadoo Children’s Consignment, is partnering with RelyLocal Renton, Skyway, Newcastle, to benefit Clare Beckett Guild, a non-profit that covers uncompensated care for Children’s Hospital of Seattle. She is selling the cards at $15 each at her store at 601-A S 3rd St, Renton, WA 98057. A special fundraiser Sidewalk and Bake Sale to benefit the Clare Beckett Guild will be held this Saturday, July 20th, 2013, from 11am-5pm at Little Quadoo Consignment.

Children’s Hospital provides about $100,000,000.00 per year in uncompensated care. The Clare Beckett Guild, founded by two mothers whose children received care at Children’s Hospital, helps to offset some of those costs. Their mission is to see that every child who needs care at Children’s can receive it, regardless of ability to pay.

Local Rewards cards allow you to receive special cardholder-only discounts at your favorite independent, locally owned businesses. For instance, you can use your Local Rewards card to save at Little Quadoo Children’s Consignment, which offers a 20% discount on Wednesdays to Local Rewards cardholders. New Local Rewards offers and discounts at businesses around Renton are being added all the time. In time, your Local Rewards card will only get better!

See for more information about Local Rewards.


Renton Photography Galleries by Lana Blinderman


Great New Website with Renton Photographs!

Local photographer, Lana Blinderman, recreated her website with two galleries of architectural photographs throughout Renton. Using images of urban decay and architectural styles from the past, Lana weaves a tale of Renton’s history into the present time. Lana’s business name, Ex Factory Creative “is a tribute to [her] love of industrial buildings and to the years [she] spent working in the field of trade and logistics, where ex factory is a shipping term.” Her goal, she says is “to document the beauty of cities and industry.” You can find her galleries at: and




Family Fair Follow-up

Here’s a little report on the Rely On Renton Family Fair. In case you missed it, it was awesome! Thirty-four local businesses and nonprofits came together to share their vision for families in our community. It was a chance for families with kids to see what kinds of services are being offered right in their backyard. It was also a great opportunity for small businesses to get some face-to-face contact with people that might not find them otherwise. Win-win!

Many small local businesses and nonprofits were represented at the Rely On Renton Family Fair

We had lots of businesses with things that kids love, like RylieCakes, serving up their gluten-free brownies and cookies!

RylieCakes served up some gluten free goodies for the kiddies

Many of the booths hosted activities for kids. Blossoming Hill Montessori, for instance, made catapults from rubber bands and popsicle sticks. Their projectiles? Neon colored pompoms, of course!

Blossoming Hilll Montessori

Our favorite children’s entertainer, caspar babypants, played to a captivated audience. His silly songs appeal to a wide audience. This is what one grandma had to say about his performance…


caspar babypants packed out the house!

We had other acts on our stage as well, from dancing, to martial arts, to product demos. One highlight of the day was when CryOut stepped up to the stage and brought in a little dubstep to downtown Renton! Way to step it up Renton!!!

CryOut brought some positive urban vibes to our event

The crowd loved CryOut’s addictive urban beats and positive message!

Even the Grandmas got into CryOut's addictive dubstep beats

The best part for me was to see families flocking to downtown Renton, and even the TRANSIT CENTER (what what?) to a fresh, lively, vibrant,family event. Moments like these help us as residents of Renton to balance our concerns for safety of the downtown area with a greater understanding of the potential for good and positive experiences in these beautiful spaces.

Someone's been enjoying RylieCakes!

Think about this for a minute: If you can dream it, it can happen. If you never dream it, how can it ever come about? Change starts with imagination. Positive change starts with imagination AND faith enough to carry through to the end.

Press Release: Rely On Renton Family Fair Joins Annual Downtown Spring Celebrations

Rely On Renton Family Fair Joins Annual Downtown Spring Celebrations

By Amanda Liddle
May 2, 2013

Renton, WA– Adding an event to the 11th Annual Renton Spring Festival and Downtown Poker Run, Rely On Renton community campaign managers, Ian & Amanda Liddle, are hosting a family resource fair for Renton-area families on May 11, 2013 from noon to 5pm. The event will take place in the Pavilion Event Center, at 233 Burnett Ave. S, adjacent to the Piazza. Popular children’s entertainer, Caspar Babypants, aka Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the United States of America, will be headlining the event stage, joined by other acts such as dance, martial arts, music, and jump rope. There will also be food trucks, door prizes, and free gifts to the first 400 families who register.

“We created this event because we heard families complain that there is no central location to find resources for kids in Renton. That’s why we’re bringing all these people together under one roof for the day!” says Ian Liddle. “The response has been nearly overwhelming; we knew it would be a great event, but we certainly didn’t expect to fill up all our exhibitor spots in the first year.” The event will feature nearly forty small businesses and non-profits from the Renton area that are resources for families with kids ages 2-14. All ages are welcome. The event is free of charge to attendees.

Piazza Renton will hold its 11th annual Spring Festival in Piazza park in downtown Renton at 3rd and Burnett. This arts and crafts show will feature over 50 vendors showcasing handcrafted goods including jewelry, clothing, items for children, furniture, cosmetics, food, and housewares. The festival is run by a team of volunteers from Piazza Renton, the group that spearheads volunteer efforts for many downtown events, including the Farmers Market, Return to Renton Car Show, the Fall Harvest Festival, and the annual tree lighting.

The Downtown Events Committee is organizing the annual Poker Run—a family-friendly activity that gets participants blitzing through downtown Renton: participating businesses hand out random playing cards to players, with the possibility of winning prizes with the best 5-card hands. There is a suggested donation of $1 or a canned food item for the Salvation Army Food Bank.

For more information, please contact:

Ian & Amanda Liddle
Rely On Renton