Summer is here and it looks like it will be a hot one! Cool off by celebrating Independence Day at a local park, backyard barbeque or festival! The U.S. Women’s soccer team also just made it to the World Cup Final, which is in Vancouver, BC on July 5, which is a great reason to travel north to Canada for the long weekend or at least watch the game from your favorite air conditioned watering hole. Of course, there are plenty of other July things to do in Seattle. Take advantage of the variety of festivals and events happening this month to explore historic wooden boats, sample local wines, beers and cuisine, compete for the fastest bike time from Seattle to Portland in the STP or create the biggest sand sculpture.
It would not be summer in Seattle without Seafair, which has been an annual event since 1950. The festivities “officially” began at the end of June with the landing of the SeaFair Pirates on Alki. However, SeaFair related events really kick into high gear this month and continue in to August. This weekend, July 4, head over to Gasworks Park or South Lake Union Park for a day of celebration at the Seafair Summer Fourth. During the afternoon there will be plenty of activities, games and music to enjoy, capped off by a daring skydive performance over Lake Union. After the singing of the National Anthem, a stunning fireworks display set to music will take place at about 10:20 p.m.
Other SeaFair festivities include community events such as the SeaFair Milk Carton Derby where nearly 100 creatively designed boats constructed out of milk cartons compete to see which vessel can travel across Green Lake fastest. Near the end of the month, on July 25, is the much anticipated Torchlight Parade. This year the parade will be marshaled by Seattle Mariners players Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano, and will include giant balloons, drill teams, horses, clowns, pirates and bands. Make sure not to forget to attend the classic Grand Prix West Seafair Hydroplane Races and Blue Angels performances (they are back this year with more exciting acts and aerial maneuvers than ever) on the following weekend July 31-August 2. With a slew of family-friendly events, you are sure to find an activity that will appeal to all ages.
Explore Seattle Like a Local
Whether you are a greater Seattle area resident or just visiting the region, use the month of July to soak in the flavor of the city. There are a few chances to sip Seattle’s locally produced wines, beers and spirits. During Wine Rocks, you can enjoy wine and music performed by brew masters (as well as a few local musicians) who happen to know a thing a two about both arts. If you prefer beer, head to the Seattle International Beerfest to sample beers that are rare or hard to find. With over 220 beers to choose from, you are sure to find something new or that you have not heard of before.
Of course, you cannot try the local beverages without also sampling Seattle’s cuisine. Stop by the Ballard SeafoodFest to celebrate the fishing industry and the Ballard neighborhood’s Nordic roots. While you are there make sure to try the traditional salmon barbeque, listen to local music, check out the arts and crafts available for purchase and sample even more seafood! There is also a wide variety of food to explore at the Bite of Seattle, which is another long-standing Seattle tradition. Here you can find everything from alligator on a stick to truffle oil to wine slush. For foodies who want to sample everything, many vendors offer menu items that are $3.75 or less so you can get a taste of each type of cuisine. In addition to food, the festival also has five stages where there will be a variety of musical and dance performances.
Speaking of annual traditions, there is Seattle to Portland (STP) Bicycle Classic, which attracts about 10,000 riders who vie to see who can make the 202 mile trek the fastest. Upon reaching the finish line, riders are award with a free apparel item of their choice and a meal at the finish line in Portland. You can also compete creatively this month at the Sandsations contest in Long Beach, and see what team can build the most imaginative sand sculpture in six hours. In addition to being able to escape the heat by spending time on the beach and enjoying ocean views, you will also be able to curb your hunger with free hot dogs and enjoy a beach bonfire. Finally, end the month on a high note at the Capitol Hill Block Party to listen to tons of local bands and party with the community.