Summer solstice has come and gone, along with all the naked painted people at the annual Fremont Fair, but festival season has just gotten started here in Seattle. Dek and I were able to tackle 2 summer events last year, but we have expanded our reach and hope to head to a few more this summer. I’ve limited our list to five, but there is always so much more to do. I just have to remember to pace myself. We always have next summer to check out the ones we miss and then hit up some favorites we add to the pile this year.
July 14 and 15 in Ballard, Seattle
Streets are shut down as salmon loving Vikings take over Ballard. Eat your way through one of Seattle’s most popular fishy friends with a side of fried “your choice here” treats. Revelers dance along to music that fills the streets. Shoppers pick up a hand blown vase or frilly tutu for their favorite kid or furry friend. Adults can pop into the wine garden for a little libation to get their swingin’ hips swaying over by the main stage. Don’t worry, the kids aren’t forgotten. Kid Zone and the Kid’s Fun Center promise to have loads to keep little ones entertained. It’s easily one of our favorite family festivals.
Chinatown-International District Summer Festival
July 14 and 15 at Hing Hay Park, Seattle
Make your way down to Seattle’s International District to catch a Japanese Taiko drumming performance. Or maybe you are in the mood for a little Kabuki with a side of Hawaiian and Filipino dance demonstrations. The Lion and Dragon Dance are sure to get your kids away from your iPhone and trying to join in the fun. Stay a little late on Saturday for the Anime Costume Contest, sure to be an eye opening and picture worthy experience. Hop on the food walk to sample what 30 restaurants in the district are offering. If you still are full you can camp out at one of the food trucks, which is where you are sure to find us.
Vashon’s Strawberry Festival
July 20-22 on Vashon Island
If you are looking to pop back into to a small town festival you have come to the right place. This year kicks off the 103rd Strawberry Festival on this quiet little island in Puget Sound. Just a quick ferry ride from West Seattle, you will soon find yourself slowing your pace as you hit the street and soak in the local atmosphere. Each morning is started out right with a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast where you can top your flapjacks with strawberries and syrup while washing it down with a fresh cup of OJ or coffee. Take in the Saturday Grand parade or Sunday’s classic car parade before hitting the rides at the carnival behind Vashon Village. It is sure to bring out the kid in all of us.
WA Midsummer Renaissance Faire
August 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 in Bonney Lake
Pirate, fairy or damsel in distress, which persona will you take on come August? Each weekend hosts a different theme for visitors to get into the midsummer spirit. We missed it last year, but this year we will be attending at least one weekend, if not all three. How can we choose? Not ready to commit to a costume? Pick up a little custom leather clothing while you guzzle down a sarsaparilla and munch on a Chicken on a Stick. As Mike just told me, “we are totally going to Ren Faire it up!”
Whidbey Island County Fair
August 16-19 in Langley on Whidbey Island
Although not my first county fair, this was where I had my first corn dog. The toddler highlight for Dek was getting to hang out in the fire truck with some real firemen. I of course loved the food stands that offered everything from tacos to Thai noodles, elephant ears to ice cream cones. Do a little dancing to some music at the main stage or head on over to the barns watch a few horseback riding competitions. Carnival games and rides are available in abundance. You will notice the line of teenagers starting to form by lunch time. Because what better time to open up rides than after you’ve filled the kids up with a whole lot of junk food.
Tickets cost $8 adults/ $5 Juniors (ages 6-15) / Children under 5 are Free
- One Reel 4th of July Festival- July 3 over Lake Union
- Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival- July 14-15 in Volunteer Park
- Bite of Seattle- July 20-22 at Seattle Center
- Capitol Hill Block Party- July 20-22 in Capital Hill