Seafair: A Summer Tradition For Everyone

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Todd Nappen

Don’t be caught dead in the water — get the low-down on this weekend’s festivities.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Todd Nappen.

One of the most sought after events in Seattle’s rich history, Seafair celebrates our connection with the Pacific Ocean and the great Northwest, as well as the cultural diversity that makes Seattle unique. With hydroplane races, wakeboard demos, jam bands, the Blue Angels and even some sun (knock on wood), the 2011 Seafair is sure to be a hit with everyone.

The festival begins Wednesday, Aug. 3, with the annual Parade of Ships docking at terminal 25, 46N, Pier 66 from 1:45 to 3 p.m. — and continues throughout the weekend. Here’s a rundown of this weekend’s biggest events:

Umoja Fest – African American Festival

Umoja, the Swahili word for unity, is the foremost theme for this weekend’s festival. With activities ranging from African-American Day Parade, varieties of African music and a basketball tournament, Umoja Fest highlights the contributions of African Americans all over the world, locally and internationally.

Presented by the African-American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center “Museum Without Walls” program, Umoja Fest has a rich history dating back to the 1940s.

Fleet Week Ship Tours

As part of Seafair Fleet Week presented by Boeing, ship tours will take place Thursday, Aug. 4 – Saturday, Aug. 6 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 7 from noon to 3:30 p.m. at terminal 25, terminal 46N and Pier 66.

Ships available to tour include: the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard; two guided-missile destroyers, the USS Sampson and the USS Chafee; three Royal Canadian Navy ships; and a U.S. Coast Guard Vessel.

2011 Lake City Pioneer Days Festival

Of course, for every Seafair weekend there has to be something for the kids. The Lake City Pioneer Days Festival does just that. With family events ranging from a street fair to crafts and pony rides, there’s sure to be something the kids will enjoy.

The festival begins Friday, Aug. 5, and goes that day from noon to 7 p.m., then wraps up Saturday, Aug. 6, with the street fair starting at 10 a.m. and the grand performance parade starting at 7 p.m.

Blue Angels

Seafair wouldn’t be Seafair without the Blue Angels. Soaring above the awestruck crowds in perfect formation, the Blue Angels have been a long held Seafair tradition.

Make sure to mark a special note in your weekend calendars, as these aviation studs perform from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Aug. 5 – 7 above Lake Washington.

For all the news and information pertaining to this weekend’s festivities, please visit Seafair online.