Seattle Happenings All Year Long
By Christa Romano
Headed to Seattle? The following are some of the not-to-be-missed annual festivals and events in the Seattle area. Whichever month you happen to find yourself in this eclectic city you’re bound to find an interesting and cultural event, rain or shine.
January Chinese New Year
The dates of this famous festival will change according to the lunar calendar. But whether it is the year of the tiger or the rabbit, this famous annual event includes all the color of the Orient. Dragons and drummers parade through the streets while you enjoy traditional foods and ethnic performances.
Martin Luther King Celebration
Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s dream with major gospel music groups and speakers that present King’s speeches as King himself.
Seattle Boat Show
Northwest Marine Trade Association.
Visit the west coast’s largest boat show exhibiting over 1,000 boats and other recreational water vessels.
Northwest Flower and Garden Show
Washington State Convention Center
Spend some time wandering through six acres of inspiring gardens in the dead of winter. The show also features free seminars for all gardening levels for this week long event in February.
Enjoy all things Irish, right around Saint Patrick’s Day, including traditional Irish dance, language lessons, genealogy workshops and many family oriented activities.
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival
Seattle Center House, Fisher Pavilion
Experience and learn about traditional Japanese culture with this annual spring festival
Mount Vernon, WA
Handmade arts and crafts, homemade food and hundreds of thousands of tulips all in the same valley, offering breathtaking views for the entire month of April, just an hour away from the city.
Seattle Maritime Festival
Bell Street Pier (Pier 66)
Embrace the port-town character of Seattle with tugboat races, entertainment on the water and a chowder cook-off.
Seattle International Film Fest
Watch extraordinary films from around the world during this month-long orgy of films, sponsored by Cinema Seattle.
The Fremont Fair
(206) 633 4409
Every year on the summer solstice, Fremont celebrates the summer and the quirky character of the city with a weekend full of eclectic and free-spirited activities.
A celebration of the 1889 fire that leveled the area. Parade of antique and contemporary fire equipment, special musical events, arts and crafts, and a dedication of the Firefighters Memorial sculpture that stands in Occidental Park.
Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island, Bainbridge Island, downtown Winslow
Shakespearian performances Friday to Sunday and concerts in the Park other days.
West Seattle Summer Fest
Musicians, sidewalk performers and buskers. Tidbits of specialty foods and wine samples. Eat, drink and celebrate summer for a week in July. Summer Festival on the Green at Chateau Ste. Michelle (winery)
Major music events featuring top jazz, rock, blues and contemporary artists on the lawn July through early September.
Island Days Street Dance & BBQ
Bainbridge Island, downtown Winslow
Several days of dancing, eating, and revelry. Take the ferry from Pier 52.Seafair
Top class hydroplane events, a not-to-be-missed torchlight parade through downtown, usually around the third week. Locals moor their boats to logs on Lake Washington for entire days of watching the hydro races while lounging in the sun, for it rarely rains in July.
Enumclaw Expo Center
Twirling kilt-clad dancers and acrobatic games, colorful plaids, bagpipes. Lots o’ Scots in the Northwest, some left over from Hudson’s Bay Company days.
Lake City Pioneer Days
Most of events are near Lake city Way NE and NE 125th St., Lake City (NW side of Lake Washington)
Pioneer Days started in 1947 and has been celebrating on August first with parades, booths, games, contests, street fairs and sidewalk sales ever since.
Seattle Arts Festival (Labor Day Weekend)
Seattle Center and around town, Labor Day Weekend
2,500 artists, authors, craftspersons, performers of all shapes and sizes gather for one of the top arts festivals in the entire country.
This centuries old tradition has only recently been celebrated in Seattle but has already been named one of the best places in the world to celebrate. Beer gardens, pumpkin carving contests, German food booths, arts and crafts and a 5k run with a beer-belly division. Oktoberfest is open to and welcoming of all ages.
Earshot Jazz Festival
Enjoy a series of concerts by some of the most important and emerging jazz artists in the world, rare jazz films, photo exhibits, panel discussions, educational programs and more.
Hmong New Year’s Celebration
Dance, traditional music, historical exhibits and the customary courtship ritual of ball tossing by the uncommon group of the Hmong people as they celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Seattle Christmas Ships
Lake Union, Lake Washington, Puget Sound
Christmas is a big deal in the city. Elaborately decorated ships, yachts and tugs on parade and in private forays onto the waterways. Watch from lakeside or Sound-side restaurants while you dine. This is one Seattle event not to be missed.New Year’s at the Needle
The towering Space Needle was left from the 1962 World’s Fair. Fireworks set off from the Needle at midnight are enjoyed by hordes of gaping celebrants below. Other Seattle Center events that same night keep everyone busy.