The landing of the Seafair Pirates, a local tradition since 1950, draws thousands of fans. Seafair Pirate Ed Bussman, above, advances during the 2014 landing on West Seattle’s Alki Beach. This year’s festivities to launch Seafair season run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 8. (Maddie Meyer/The Seattle Times)
Festival season is in full swing, with a wealth of choices to get out and enjoy July’s long, warm days this weekend.
Seafair means summer in Seattle, and the Seafair Pirates kick off Seafair season when they sail in for the Seafair Pirates Landing on Saturday, July 8, at Alki Beach. Activities and vendors start early, building excitement for the afternoon arrival of the pirates. Buccaneers and pirate-wannabes of all ages abound, since pirate attire is encouraged and usually available from event vendors. The pirates’ landing, a local tradition since 1950, draws thousands of fans, and parking in the area is extremely limited. Get there by bike, bus or water taxi if you can, and allow plenty of time to find a place to park and walk to the event if you’re driving.
Ballard SeafoodFest, one of Seattle’s favorite summer parties since 1974, fills the downtown Ballard neighborhood with food, music and activities Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 7-9. Festivities kick off at a Friday evening party with entertainment, food trucks and a beer garden with craft beers, wines and Ballard-inspired cocktails. Entertainment and the beer garden continue Saturday and Sunday, along with arts and crafts vendors, kids’ activities, the traditional alder-smoked salmon barbecue and an array of food vendors of all kinds, including king-crab legs at the Crab Shack.
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, July 8.
Location: Alki Beach Park, 1702 Alki Ave. S.W., Seattle.
Time: Music, beer garden, food trucks only, 5- 10 p.m. Friday, July 7; festival, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, July 8-9.
Location: Northwest Market Street, Ballard Avenue and surrounding area, Seattle.
Time: Carnival, 4-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, July 7-8; beer garden, food vendors, music, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; kids parade, 10 a.m. Saturday., grand parade 11 a.m. Saturday; Youth Criterium bike races, 2 p.m. Saturday; Criterium bike races, 3:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday; fireworks, 10 p.m. Saturday.
Location: Redmond City Hall Campus, 15670 N.E. 85th St., Redmond
Parade: 10 a.m. Saturday, July 8; 78th Avenue Southeast from Southeast 27th Street to Mercerdale Park
Mercerdale Park: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 8-9; 3249 78th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island.
Luther Burbank Park: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, fireworks 10:15 p.m. Saturday, 2040 77th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island.
On the Eastside, Redmond Derby Days starts with entertainment, food and a beer garden Friday evening before a full day of festivities on Saturday. Saturday has the Kids Parade, featuring decorated bikes, followed by the Grand Parade. Along with festival entertainment and vendors, there are also bicycle Criterium races, and the day concludes with a fireworks show.
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Mercer Island Summer Celebration, the island’s big summer party, also starts with a parade on Saturday, with festival events continuing through Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9. Arts and crafts vendors, a food fair, Children’s Fun Zone, entertainment, and Area 51 robot and science activities fill Mercerdale Park on Saturday and Sunday, and on Saturday evening the event moves to Luther Burbank Park for entertainment and a fireworks show.