Manchester holding annual Salmon Bake and Book Sale on Father’s Day

To the community of Manchester, the library is more than a collection of books.

In many ways the institution is as important as the jaw-dropping view of the Seattle skyline visible from virtually any spot in Manchester.

The view and the community’s pride and joy will both be on display this weekend as the Friends of the Manchester Library host the annual Salmon Bake and Book Sale on Sunday, June 16.

Salmon will be served 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Manchester Library parking lot, 8067 E. Main St.

To coincide with Father’s Day, the event offers a chance for fathers to fill up on salmon, beans, cole slaw, garlic bread and a drink — all for only $14.

Children, age 6-11, can eat for $10 and those under 6 for $5. All proceeds benefit the library.

“It’s not so much a fundraiser as a community-building exercise,” said Ron Rada, president of the Friends of the Manchester Library.  “Everyone takes pride in the event as well as the library.”

Around 65 volunteers work to stage each year’s salmon bake, including eight who start months in advance. Last year’s event raised about $7,500, making the event the largest single revenue source for the library’s $27,500 annual budget.

“This doesn’t go to pay for the library staff or the materials,” Rada said. “This is used entirely for the upkeep and maintenance of the building.”

In 1954, the chicken coop that housed the library was torn down and a modular building was built, set up and paid for by volunteers and donations, which included the Port of Manchester property it sat on.

By 1980, the Friends of the Manchester Library secured a loan from the Farmers Home Administration, leased the land from the Port for $1 a year. The group gathered together volunteer labor, grant money and community donations to build the current library.

“The library is a huge part of Manchester because the people here truly own it,” Rada said. “Generations of residents have grown up with the children’s programs and continue to use the library as adults. Obviously, they want to continue the tradition for their children and grandchildren.”


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