Seattle Seafair Parade underway

What is Seafair ?  It  continues with the Seattle Seafair Parade

Pirates, HydroPlanes, Navy Blue Angels, Dock Parties and loads of food and fun.  This is what your local Seattle residents will answer when you ask :   What is Seafair?  All will agree that it is a “Seattle Thing.”  You’ll love it too!

Quite often when you think of a FAIR, it’s concentrated within a certain fenced off area of several acres.  Not here, with the Seattle Seafair event.  It pretty much covers the entire King County countryside, along with Lake Washington and even in the skies with the Navy Blue Angels formation flying team.

Most places you can drive to and either participate or be an observer of all the events.  However, you want to keep in mind that you’ll be dealing with huge crowds that are all vying for the much sought after, parking space.  On the other hand, there is a very simple way to avoid all those headaches.

Bicycle transportation is one of the best, and cheapest ways to get around downtown Seattle during the Seafair events, all around the Lake Washington waterfront, all along the Seward Park area and it’s lakefront viewing.

Mens bikes, womens bikes, boys bikes and girls bikes are used all over the city and around the waterfront, so you really can enjoy this type of transportation while staying together and having a “ringside” seat.

While we are at it, have you ever considered “motorizing” your bicycle?

 What Should We Expect At The Seattle Seafair Events

Right from the very beginnings of this County wide event, it was a success.  It began way back in August of 1950.   To name just a couple of the most attended events are the Seafair TorchLight Parade with the Seafair Pirates, and the Hydroplane racing on Lake Washington.

Grab yourself an events program so you will know where to go and when, and what events are taking place in which part of the city/county.

With lifeboat racing, steamboat races, tug boat tug-of-war, water skiing competition on Green Lake along with the famous milk-carton boats, parades, variety of parties and live music events, many of which last throughout the night.  The choice is up to you.

I Want To Be A Pirate !

A charging Pirate

A charging Pirate

If you’ve seen the Seafair Pirates in action, it looks like they are all having great fun…and they really are!  But, to become a Pirate, is not all that easy.  In fact, you have to pay for the honor of being one.  Yep, dues, entry fees and lots and lots of hard work is involved.

Not only that, but hours, evenings, weekends and holidays, you’ll be away from your family and friends.  Why?  Practicing to be a “good” pirate!   Plus, you’ll have to make sure that all the other Pirates will accept you as one of themselves.

Rubbed someone the wrong way as a Pirate?  Be aware that at any time and for almost any reason, anyone of the already accepted Pirates, can vote you out.  Yep, it’s that fast and that simple.  Why?  Because there are literally dozens of wanna-be Pirates that will quickly take your place.

Things to know about as an aspiring future pirate, is the need to be able to mix well with the general public along with fellow Pirates.  Other needed skills are, the ability to sing well, along with playing a musical instrument.

After all, all  40+  Pirates sing!  So your first year, if you are accepted as a newbie, will your “testing” year to see if you are Pirate material.

Events That You Can Not Miss

The Official start of Seafair is towards the middle of June.  At the end of June, at Alki Beach, you’ll be able to enjoy the landing of the Seafair Pirates coming ashore from a variety of boats or perhaps a ferry.   Each year the start date changes so you’ll need that event brochure with it’s times, locations and which event is taking place.

Seafair Pirates

Landing of the Seattle Seafair Pirates

Then, one of the more popular events at Green Lake is the Milk Carton Derby.  Yep, folks from all around save up their milk cartons and make “boats” out of them to see which one will “float” the best.  It’s great fun to watch and even better to join in!

All types of milk carton boats on parade at Green Lake

All types of milk carton boats on parade at Green Lake

Clowns in the milk cartons? Yep!

Clowns in the milk cartons? Yep!    Darigold milk cartons.

Hydroplane races is usually done at the end of July and into the first week of August either on Lake Washington or Stan Sayres Memorial Park.

Don’t forget the Triathlon at Seward Park.  There is also the Scholarship Coronation for Women, the Torchlight Run, Torchlight Parade starting at Seattle Center, and then there is the fantastic Boeing Air Show at the south end of Lake Washington.

Hydroplanes at 200 mph on water!

Hydroplanes at 200 mph on water!

Don’t Forget The Clowns

It just would not be a fair without clowns.  Seattle Seafair Clowns make up a tremendous part of the entire Seattle Seafair events.  They have been around for more than 50 years, entertaining throughout the entire city of Seattle.

Remember this famous clown?

Remember this famous clown?

The most famous clown of all time... J.P. Patches a.k.a. Chris Wedes

The most memorable clown of all time… J.P. Patches
a.k.a. Chris Wedes

But it’s not just Seattle they entertain.  The Seafair Clowns travel. Travel indeed.

They go throughout the Pacific Northwest as far north as British Columbia and south throughout Oregon.  They even go as far as Mexico to entertain folks along with giving year-round support to many different charitable organizations.

Volunteering themselves with a minimum of 125 hours of volunteer service for the enjoyment of all, the Seattle Seafair Clowns give a real boost to all who see and meet them.

The Blue Angels

It just would not be a proper Seattle Seafair event without the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron (a.k.a. The Blue Angels)  to give the crowds a real thrill of not only their flying abilities, but the “swoops” down to the crowd.

How Looooow can you go?

How Looooow can you go?

Fancy Flying...Yes!

Fancy Flying…Yes!

Around the Needle and back again.

Around the Needle and back again.

When you see and hear these tremendously powerful jet planes flying over your head at almost “touchable” nearness, you can feel the power pounding in your chest!  It is a thrill of a lifetime!

Tom Frosch, Commanding officer of the Blue Angels has this to say about his Squad.


“With the first air show just days away, we are making our final preparations for the first demonstration, and I am confident you’ll be just as impressed with the team as I am.”

“This year promises to be our most exciting year yet, and we could not be more pleased to kick off the new year air show season starting in March right here at our winter training home, Naval Air Facility, El Centro, California.”

"Everyone" wants to see the Blue Angels !

“Everyone” wants to see the Blue Angels !

Make your mark by being on hand for this months long Seattle Seafair Event(s).

At The End Of The Day

Whew! I am bushed!

Whew! I am bushed!

Written by :   Tom McDaniel

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