A suburb of the Seattle-Tacoma area, the city of Auburn has a population of approximately 67,000. That number has increased from around from 44,000 in 2007, due largely to the city's annexation of two adjoining areas, the West Hill and Lea Hill communities, in spring 2007.
First incorporated as Slaughter, Washington, in 1891, the town was originally named after pioneer William Slaughter, who was killed during a brutal 1885 battle with Native Americans. The town officially became known as Auburn in 1893, when it was rechristened by a sizeable group of settlers from Auburn, New York.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
In recent years, Auburn has experienced considerable economic growth. Once consisting predominantly of farmland, much of the Auburn area has been transformed into industrial business parks. The city is home to several large employers, including these companies:
- Oak Harbor Freight Lines
- Miles Sand and Gravel
- Armstrong Construction
- POE Construction
- Timberland Homes
- Northwest Territorial Mint
The public and private schools in Auburn include 4 high schools, 4 middle schools, and 14 elementary schools. In addition, there are several colleges, universities, and other institutions offering opportunities for continuing education:
- Green River Community College
- DeVry University
- Northwest Aviation College
- American College of Mixed Martial Arts
- Auburn Career and Technical College
- New Beginnings Beauty College
- Auburn Dance and Music Center
- Green River Music School
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
- Terminal Park: One of the oldest neighborhoods in Auburn, Terminal Park is a residential neighborhood filled with private residences and small businesses such as fast-food restaurants and retail shops.
- Southeast of East Main: This neighborhood has several homes that have been spotlighted by the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation as potentially historic homes. Homes in this area range from small cottages to Victorian structures.
- City Center: This is an area primarily containing business complexes, condos, and single-family homes. Most of the homes were built between 1940 and 1965. The area is known as a funky and artistic community.
- Lea Hill: This residential neighborhood is composed mostly of family homes and is an upper-middle income area of Auburn.
- Lake Morton-Berrydale: A mixed residential area and highly diverse community, Lake Morton-Berrydale has high-end luxury homes but also has many residents who live well below the poverty level.
Auburn has plentiful shopping opportunities, with many locally owned specialty shops and boutiques as well as several shopping malls. The city's enclosed and open-air malls feature both local businesses and national retailers.
Auburn holds a variety of festivals and other events throughout the year that are appealing to residents and visitors of all ages:
- Clean Sweep: An event that kicks off with a pancake breakfast at City Hall, Clean Sweep is a volunteer project in which residents spruce up a portion of the city by cleaning the area and planting flowers and other greenery. Clean Sweep is typically scheduled during March.
- Petpalooza: This is a day in May held to honor four-legged family members with events such as a 3K fun run, animal-themed entertainment, disc dog championships, and a petting zoo.
- Summer Sounds and Cinema: Held weekly throughout the summer months, this event features a new blockbuster movie every week, along with music, inflatable rides, arts and crafts, and more. The movie and entertainment are free, while concessions are available for purchase.
- KidsDay: Scheduled in June, this event is designed for kids and features inflatable rides, live stage productions, miniature golf, and arts and crafts booths geared primarily toward children between 4 and 11 years old.
- Auburn Good Ol' Days: Held each August, this festival celebrates the city of Auburn with parades, fine arts, quilts, entertainment, and good food.
- S'more than You Imagine: This event, held each October, features big-band music, bonfires, scary stories, and, of course, s'mores. Patrons are asked to bring a flashlight and a blanket. Parks and Recreation staff serve the s'mores while volunteers provide coffee and cider.
- Halloween Harvest Festival: A fun time for the entire family, this festival includes games, crafts, photographs, face painting, and trick-or-treating. This event is typically held the weekend prior to Halloween.
- Veteran's Day Parade: This parade takes place on Veteran's Day and is designed to honor all who have served in the Armed Forces.
- Santa Parade and Community Tree Lighting: This is a fun family time that includes a parade that welcomes Santa to town. The parade is followed by Christmas caroling and a ceremonial tree lighting. This event is typically held in early December.
- Breakfast with Santa: This is a popular event that fills up quickly. Early registration is recommended to make sure everyone gets a chance to eat breakfast with Santa, share their Christmas wishes with the big man, and enjoy terrific entertainment. This event is usually held in the middle of December.