West Seattle, Washington
One more Independence Day event to mention before we get too far past the holiday:
Thanks to Clay Eals at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing a photo and video from the SWSHS’s 4th of July picnic at the Log House Museum. This year’s special highlight: Music from the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ Brass Sextet. You’ll hear some of it in the clip, as well as the orchestras’ founder Toni Reineke talking about their interest in new members.
WSCO signups resume next month.
(REPORT #1, published during the parade, is here)
With the anthem by Aine …
And the countdown featuring new parade coordinator Emily Williams (with son Nash) alongside King County Executive Dow Constantine (with toddler daughter Sabrina) and Mayor Ed Murray …
.. after the elected officials’ amazingly abbreviated speeches:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 4, 2016
… this morning’s West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade was on, with the familiar blue pickup and West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court in the lead:
Everybody left from 44th/Sunset as usual, just south of the mini-stage used for the pre-parade speeches and song, and the crowd stretched for blocks:
This year we didn’t get the entire parade on video … but here’s a spirited stretch toward the California crossing:
Plenty of variety in the parade participants’ modes of transportation:
Also on two wheels – these members of the Seattle Police parade-escort contingent:
Yet more bicycling paraders in this added bit of video:
Once the parade arrived at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, it was sack-race time:
Also concession time – while the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s popsicles and bottles of water were mostly sold from a booth, they had roamers too, including ANA past president David Whiting:
And community businesses who sponsored the parade had booths for families to visit – we caught up with three WSB sponsors, A Kids’ Place Too Dentistry:
Mode Music Studios (which offered an art activity at the post-parade festival):
And Second Gear Sports (where you can buy and consign gently used gear):
Also seen at the park – shoutout to the Hinsley Family:
That’s Betsy Hoffmeister with him. After the parade, he was headed to the new-citizen ceremony downtown – another patriotic 4th of July tradition.
Last but not least, Hamilton Viewpoint sightings that reminded us of what’s yet to come this summer:
That’s West Seattle-based Seafair Clown “Officer Lumpy,” who, with his fellow clowns, has many more parades ahead, including the West Seattle Grand Parade on July 23rd, where you’ll also see this bus that was on display at the park too:
WestSide Baby’s trademark diaper-drive bus was there to collect donations and to remind you this is their big month – culminating in Stuff the Bus day at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction on July 24th. In the meantime – stand by for even more West Seattle summer fun!
10:20 AM: The parade is on! Just started, heading west from 44th and Sunset. The route turns east on Atlantic, which is where SPD will stop traffic so the parade can cross to Hamilton Viewpoint Park.
10:51 AM: The parade has finished crossing California and is headed into the park for sack races.
Seattle Fire Engine 29, which was part of the parade, is here for tours:
More photos, and some video, later!
As usual, your “what’s happening in West Seattle on Independence Day” is all in one place – our one-page guide, here.
The slate starts with the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade in Admiral at 10 am (bring diapers for WestSide Baby!). That’s also when Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists will be out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks, until 1 pm, for today’s low-low tide:
You can also visit Colman Pool without getting in the water.
The 75th anniversary celebration starts at 10:15 am. (It’s open for swimming at noon as usual.) And it’s a bonus day for tours of historic Alki Point Lighthouse:
Tours start at 1 pm. Again, these are just part of what’s in our guide, which includes today’s transit changes, fireworks-viewing suggestions, and more. We’ll be out covering the holiday happenings, so check back for updates, and have a great 4th!
(WSB file photo)
Are you ready? Monday morning, the 22nd annual West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade walks and rolls through North Admiral. New coordinator Emily Williams shares the route, reminders, and schedule for how it’ll all unfold. First, please don’t park along the parade route, shown below – from 44th and Sunset, it goes southwest on Sunset to SW Atlantic, east on Atlantic to SW Ferry and back north to Hamilton Viewpoint Park:
If you’re not planning to participate or watch, do note that the parade crosses California SW at Atlantic, and SPD will stop traffic while that happens. Metro Route 128 will be re-routed, too.
Here’s the schedule:
10 am at 44th and Sunset, before the parade gets going, gather to hear from the West Seattle Hi-Yu Junior Court and scheduled guest speakers Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, plus 12-year-old Aine Molloy singing the national anthem.
Then – parade time! All non-motorized, except for the SPD escorts at the start and finish, plus a Seattle Fire engine and the “neighborhood blue truck” at the start. Decorate your scooter, wagon, stroller, bike, hat, etc.!
10:50 am: Hamilton Viewpoint Park games – highlighted by the gunny-sack races – start after the parade arrives. SPD and SFD vehicles usually stay so you can get a closer look. This is also where to drop off your diaper donations for the WestSide Baby drive! And bring a few $ for concessions sold by the Admiral Neighborhood Association. Speaking of $ – the crowdfunding campaign to cover parade costs needs just a bit more to make the goal. Help if you can! And – we’ll see you in Admiral on Monday!
P.S. For even more of what’s happening in West Seattle on the 4th, see our guide.
Decorating the West Seattle Junction for Independence Day is dependent on volunteers … can you spare a little time to help place and/or remove the flags? Neighborhood volunteer Tom Bucy is leading the effort on Monday but needs helpers – for an hour in the morning and/or an hour in the afternoon. You’ll meet on the northeastern corner of California/Alaska (by Cupcake Royale) – 9 am, to bring flags up from the basement storage under CR and install them; 5 pm, to take them down and return them to storage. If you can help, please call Tom at 206-351-1048 to let him know.
(File photo, fireworks debris at Highland Park Playground)
One week until the 4th of July, which means it’s time to talk about fireworks. They’re illegal in Seattle city limits – but the law is so widely ignored that the 5th of July brings toxic, ugly messes like the one in our file photo from Highland Park Playground.
Some of the problem here stems from fireworks remaining legal right next door, in unincorporated North Highline (White Center and vicinity). Sales at legal stands in the unincorporated area start tomorrow, but use is only legal – again, only in the unincorporated area – 9 am to midnight on July 4th. (The full list of regulations statewide – county to county, city to city, specific dates and times – is here.)
Meantime, Seattle Parks hopes again this year to discourage illegal fireworks use at some of its facilities – particularly synthetic-turf playfields, where a fire would do extremely costly damage. It’s announced it will illuminate certain playfields on the 4th – here’s the full list of locations and times; in West Seattle, the locations are Delridge, Hiawatha, and Walt Hundley Playfields, along with West Seattle Stadium.
Still not dissuaded? Think of the pets. This alert is from King County.
Independence Day is now only 12 days away, and Walking on Logs is decorated in honor of West Seattle’s only 4th of July parade, the Kids’ Parade in North Admiral. This is a parade through neighborhood streets, with participants walking, rolling, biking, riding in strollers and wagons – no floats, no motorized vehicles except the fire truck and old-time pickup that usually lead the way. Everyone’s welcome to show up at 44th and Sunset for the start of the parade at 10 am on the Fourth (which is a Monday this year), and new coordinator Emily Williams now tells us two guest speakers are expected at the parade kickoff, County Executive Dow Constantine (an Admiral-area resident) and Mayor Ed Murray. The parade travels to Hamilton Viewpoint Park, for a mini-festival of games (sack races, etc.) and treats (the Admiral Neighborhood Association sells popsicles and more). The permits for the parade and games do cost some $ so this year there’s a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs – if you can contribute a few dollars to help reach the goal, go here.
P.S. Another way to help – as the banner says, the parade is collecting diapers for WestSide Baby again this year!
Story, video, and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“Americans must remember that freedom isn’t free.”
That reminder from American Legion Post 160 commander Keith Hughes, at this afternoon’s West Seattle Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) in High Point. Here’s our video of the entire ceremony, unedited:
Hughes, an Army veteran, exhorted the 50-plus on hand also to remember that those who gave their lives for our freedom “are not just statistics – they are real people … with real names … real faces … real people.”
All around the site of the half-hour ceremony near the cemetery’s flagpole, the “real names” were there to see, on plaques atop graves marked with flags and crosses placed by members of Boy Scout Troop 284, who also assisted in the ceremony. We stopped to take note afterward:
The half-hour ceremony urged not only honor for the dead, but help for the living – the veterans who made it home alive: “Join us, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and many other groups … help us make a difference,” exhorted Hughes. “Remember our fallen once a year is just not enough. Consider what you can do to help those who have come home.” (The West Seattle Veterans’ Center recently reopened at Post 160’s hall in The Triangle.)
Both Hughes (above) and VFW Post 2713 commander Ray Fairbank (below), who described himself as a Navy veteran from Vietnam and an Air Force veteran from Desert Storm, spoke of Memorial Day’s history, going back to its origins as Decoration Day a century and a half ago, finally taking its current name in the ’60s.
Fairbank, also the VFW’s state chaplain, urged people to behold the American flag and consider what it represents – “white for purity … red stripes of courage … blue for tranquility … the sacred symbol of freedom.” And he drew audible cries from some in the crowd as he read a wrenching essay from Reader’s Digest, “A Fallen Soldier’s Final Salute.”
Hughes recalled a U.S. Marine lost in Okinawa in the 1940s, and an Army specialist lost in Afghanistan this decade – different hometowns, different genders, same courage, he observed.
Along with their words, Ross Hauck sang stirring renditions of the National Anthem as well as “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” – you can hear for yourself in our video of the ceremony, which concluded after echoing “Taps,” a release of white doves, and Troop 284 retiring the colors.
Though they were said toward the ceremony’s start, words from the invocation by chaplain and veteran Kelly Wadsworth (above) also seemed fitting in conclusion, a reminder that “cessation of war is not the same as enduring peace.”
After the somber observance, everyone was invited to a reception at Post 160’s Triangle headquarters; some headed out, some lingered, with a spirited song by the Duwamish Jazz Band:
The flags continued to wave in the breeze, honoring those “real names, real people” who had gone before.
Thanks to volunteers of all ages, led by West Seattle-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713, The Junction’s flags are up in honor of Memorial Day.
Between now and then, you’ll find local veterans’ groups at the Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) Memorial Day ceremony at 2 pm, all welcome.
(Thanks to Vicki for the photo from Troop 284’s volunteer work at Forest Lawn last week)
TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: No regular traffic report today because of the holiday but you can check local cams here. … NO bridge closure tonight because of the holiday … Metro buses are on a Sunday schedule … The West Seattle Water Taxi is on a Sunday schedule … Sound Transit buses are on a Sunday schedule … Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on its regular weekday schedule.
OTHER HOLIDAY NOTES: Seattle Parks explains here what’s open and what’s not … Schools are closed … Seattle Public Library branches are closed … It’s a U.S. Postal Service holiday … And if you’re going to a neighborhood with on-street pay stations/metered parking, know that this is a city “parking holiday.”
What’s happening today/tonight:
HELP WITH JUNCTION FLAGS: VFW Post 2713 can use your help putting up and taking down the Stars and Stripes in the West Seattle Junction – meet outside Cupcake Royale at California/Alaska by 8:50 am for the morning help and by 4:50 pm for the evening removal.
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, DAY 3: If the forecast holds, this could be the first good day for playing in the water. 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)
COLMAN POOL, FINAL DAY OF FIRST PRE-SEASON WEEKEND: Swim sessions noon-7 pm at the city-run outdoor saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park – here’s the schedule. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
TOUR THE ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: 1 pm-4 pm (last group admitted at 3:40 pm), this year’s first weekend of free tours at Alki Point Lighthouse concludes. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)
MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY: Honor the reason for Memorial Day by attending the traditional ceremony presented by American Legion Post 160 and community partners this afternoon at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor), 2 pm, all welcome. (6701 30th SW)
SILENT MOVIE COMEDIES, ACCOMPANIED, AT KENYON HALL: 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall, Donald Soson is back to play along with silent-movie comedies – see our listing for info on the show and how to get your ticket. And when you’re there, don’t miss the root-beer floats! (7904 35th SW)
MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm, all ages, at The Skylark – with prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Another Memorial Day tradition: Tomorrow and Sunday you can get your poppies from American Legion Post 160 at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 8 am-4 pm both days. From Post 160’s announcement: “The Poppy is a symbol to remember those servicepersons who have perished in service to our nation. Donations received from Poppy Distribution will go to Veterans and Veterans’ Families in the local community.”
Thriftway is where California/Fauntleroy/Morgan meet. Meantime, Post 160 also invites you to Monday’s traditional Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) at 2 pm.
Thanks to Vicki for the photos – again this year, West Seattle’s Boy Scout Troop 284 has been at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor), getting it ready for Memorial Day, with flags and crosses for veterans’ graves.
As mentioned here earlier this week, you are invited to the annual traditional ceremony on Monday afternoon, 2 pm, at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW), honoring those who served and are serving, presented by American Legion Post 160 and community partners.
In case you haven’t yet seen them in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, two Memorial Day notes:
(2015 WSB photo)
JUNCTION FLAG HELP: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713 welcomes community assistance in putting up and taking down the West Seattle Junction’s U.S. flags on Monday. Meet at California/Alaska, in front of Cupcake Royale, at 8:50 am for flag placement, 4:50 pm for flag removal.
FOREST LAWN CEREMONY: At 2 pm on Monday, American Legion Post 160 and community partners will present the traditional annual Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) in High Point (map); all welcome.
(2014 WSB photo)
Right afterward, you’re invited to a 3:30 pm reception at Post 160 HQ in The Triangle (3618 SW Alaska).
West Seattle’s only 4th of July parade – the Kids’ Parade through North Admiral streets – is a joyful way to start the holiday for hundreds of local families and the increasing numbers of spectators who watch along the way. It’s been a community-organized tradition for more than 20 years. While it’s free to participate and observe, it’s not free to stage, with costs including permits and insurance. This year, organizers are asking you to help cover the costs, via crowdfunding. The parade’s new coordinator, Emily Williams, has set up an IndieGogo page for contributions, with this year’s parade coming up fast. Every little bit will help.
Before we get to our list of what’s happening today, one more mention, in case you haven’t seen it, that we again this year have a special one-page guide to egg hunts, Easter and Holy Week services, updated daily so you can check it without wading through outdated listings. Tomorrow is the big day for egg hunts – the 30,000-egg-stravaganza at West Seattle Thriftway (California/Fauntleroy; WSB sponsor) at 9 am, followed by the city-run community centers’ 10 am hunts, and more. Sunday’s Easter listings include West Seattle’s traditional sunrise services, both at 6:30 am – one at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) and one on Alki Beach with the local UCC churches. Whatever your plans, have a great weekend!
(2015 WSB photo)
If you’re looking for egg hunts, Holy Week/Easter Sunday church services, and/or other special events, our annual all-in-one place is now up – find it here (and in our navigation bar toward the top of the page, under the heading EASTER, ETC.). If you have something to add, it’s not too late – please e-mail it ASAP – email@example.com – thanks!
— brentamaker (@brentamaker) March 17, 2016
Thanks to everyone who pointed out that the mysterious stripe down 41st SW, east of Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) and stretching north a ways, has been refreshed this year. We photographed it this morning but the photo Brent tweeted, above, is better! And Patricia caught it in the pre-dawn darkness, so the leprechaun(s) must have been busy with the brush(es) before sunrise:
This of course revives the question, who does this? It’s come up here over the years and no one has ever ‘fessed up, though there’ve been a few hints. We tend to be with the “well, it’s good to have SOME mysteries” camp …
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 17, 2016
9:07 AM: In the brisk sunshine of this St. Patrick’s Day morning, Alki Elementary students, staff, and parents welcomed a parade and playground mini-concert before school, with members of the King County Firefighters Pipes and Drums. We’ll add more when back at HQ.
ADDED 10:34 AM: Some of the parents who got into the spirit – from left, Tammy, Cheryl, and Anne:
In the schoolyard, everyone gathered in a circle around the musicians:
Longer video clip still to come.
It’s a WSB tradition – a page listing Easter (etc.) events including egg hunts, church services, brunches … we include them in our year-round West Seattle Event Calendar, too, but for convenient reference, we create a separate page. So if your business, organization, church, etc., has plans this year but hasn’t sent us the info yet, please do, as soon as you can! No need for flyers/posters or anything else special – just plain text in the body of your e-mail, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
(WSB photo from 2013 celebration at Vietnamese Cultural Center)
Looking ahead to next Sunday – you’re invited to a New Year celebration at the Vietnamese Cultural Center in West Seattle. From Lee Bui and Lynda Bui:
The Vietnamese Cultural Center would like to invite the community to our Tết Celebration for the Year of the Monkey. We will have lion dancing and fireworks. Afterwards there will be light refreshments and karaoke inside.
12 pm-3 pm Sunday, February 14th – 2236 SW Orchard St.
If you haven’t been to the VCC – here’s some backstory from the WSB archives.
(Video/photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand, unless otherwise credited)
Clear sky, 33-degree air, 50-degree water, and hundreds of cheery participants combined for this year’s West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach this morning. Here’s the leader of the countdown you hear in the video, organizer Mark Ufkes:
He went in wearing his “I (Heart) White Center” T-shirt. As usual, the crowd was peppered with costumes and uniforms – and it’s not a Polar Bear Swim without the softball umpires:
Another group went prehistoric:
The most popular “costume” generally involved head/face gear of some kind:
(This photo and next one by Scott Nelson)
The Olympics provided a beautiful backdrop:
To get the internal temperature back up afterward, free chowder courtesy of Duke’s (right across the street from the gathering spot for the “swim”):
Can’t guarantee the sunshine but the day and time are locked in – so mark your calendar for New Year’s Day 2017!
P.S. Our clip from the sidewalk gives you more of an idea of how many people were on the beach before, during, and after:
(Reviewing our links, you might be surprised to see it’s been sunny on NYD more often than not!)