Burlington is a city in Skagit County, Washington, United States. The population is 8,388 as recorded by the 2010 census. It is included in the Mount Vernon–Anacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Burlington began as a logging camp, established by John P. Millett and William McKay, in 1882. It was officially incorporated on June 16, 1902.
Burlington is locally famous for its proliferation of shopping malls and for having some of the best youth sports fields in Washington. In 2007, the city opened a new library and city hall.
Originally, Burlington's businesses were centered around Fairhaven Avenue. Today, Fairhaven Avenue is the center of Burlington's old downtown, and provides a gathering place for the whole city during the annual summer Berry Dairy Days.
Berry Dairy Days was originally simply known as the Strawberry Festival, and served as a fundraiser for the town's fire department for many years. A 1954 article described a gigantic strawberry shortcake that was the centerpiece of that year's festival: it consisted of 60 sheets of sponge cake that took 12 hours to bake, and claimed to be the largest strawberry shortcake in the world.
The Skagit River has a long history of flooding, which has affected Burlington as well as other communities in the Skagit Valley. A 1909 newspaper article describes how a dike broke upriver "and a mountain of water came rushing down the Skagit valley and quickly inundated [Burlington]". Burlington is protected by a system of dikes under the jurisdiction of Skagit County Dike District #12, which was originally incorporated in 1895.
Indigent defense ruling
In December 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik determined that Burlington had systematically violated its duty to offer effective legal representation to defendants who couldn't afford an attorney. The ruling required Burlington and Mount Vernon to hire a public defense supervisor to ensure their defense system complies with constitutional standards.