Think summer

What better distraction on a murky, chilly day in late winter? WS Junction Association president Dave Montoure — who also happens to be the guy who runs ever-cool West 5 — is thinking summer, as the chair of the committee planning this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction. And he asked us if we could ask you, what do you like or dislike about Summer Fest? What (within reason) could make it better? They’re planning this year’s event now and would love input … either in comments on this post, or e-mail Dave directly. (If you don’t mind, they’d like a little demographic info to put your comments in context too — family? single? how long in WS? etc.) Our biggest suggestion: Even more WS flavor. We go every year and it still seems to be pretty much the same street-fair vendors you find at all the stops all over the area. Don’t know how you get around that; gotta be a way.

40 Replies to "Think summer"

  • k March 15, 2007 (3:56 pm)

    more john doe!

  • West 5 Dave March 15, 2007 (4:41 pm)

    Thanks WS Blogger. Sorry to say my e-mail address is temporarily not functioning while I switch web hosting services, so if you want to send comments directly to me, try [montoda at hotmail dot com] I’ll respond personally to as many e-mails as I can. Dave M.

  • JE March 15, 2007 (5:48 pm)

    The music is way too loud–it makes me avoid the whole area.

  • Michelle March 15, 2007 (6:10 pm)

    With West Seattle being Seattle’s largest neighborhood, it seems there would be enough WS artists and crafts people to make the street vendor portion of the Summer Fest much more unique and marketable. I personally would like to have a booth there, but the “commercial” vendors along with the the same vendors you see at every other festival makes it feel a little tacky. I would be more likely to attend as a patron if it had a more West Seattle flavor to it.

  • Todd in Westwood March 15, 2007 (6:44 pm)

    Demographic: dad, mom and three year old girl. WS resident on and off for 10+ years, mostly Junction or Westwood.

    We like going to the WSSF, but parking is a P.I.T.A.! plus the busses are messed up from all the traffic.
    The Junction shops need to be more involved. We see the same vendors the week before at the Ballard Seafood days and the week after over on Vashon’s Strawberry Fest.
    Seattle Police need to be a bigger presence their also. There we so many drunk teenagers, drinking out in the open, that it almost made us want to leave.

    thanks for listening!

  • The House March 15, 2007 (8:00 pm)

    Married with 2 kids. Liked the idea of more local music last year and would like to see more of it (with perhaps one big name). Other than that, no major issues. We’ve gone all 4 years we’ve been in WS and look forward to it every year!

    PS…Believe it or not, I’ve never stepped into West 5. I think it’s the only Junction tenant I’ve never been inside (I suck).

  • MM March 15, 2007 (8:52 pm)

    More seating for eating

  • Jiggers March 15, 2007 (9:09 pm)

    The music’s too loud? Oh please….

    JE do us a favor and stay out of the area for the whole weekend because music is a major draw to the event you party farter.

  • Jiggers March 15, 2007 (9:14 pm)

    Summer Fest is great. Although when I passed thru West-5 last year they were packed wall to wall and on the outside. But what do you expect with thousand’s of people enjoying the festivitie’s. Its a win win for everyone.

    JE stay home!!

  • Soupytwist March 15, 2007 (9:39 pm)

    I love the live music – such a wide variety! It would be nice to see more local crafters & businesses.

    I love the Easy Street sale and the Elliot Bay Brewery area.

    It would be great to have a map like you get at science fiction or comic conventions – retailers on one side, local businesses, artists, food – with a list of vendors.

    But please keep the live music!

  • add March 15, 2007 (10:23 pm)

    The kids area was great last year – a lot of choices for kids of all ages – keep that part as good as it was last time, or better!

    Agree with the comments about encouraging more local (WS) vendors/booths – maybe a special section with discounted fees?

    Thanks for asking, we’re looking forward to it.
    (Demographics: dad, mom, 12 and 9 year old kids, WS residents for 9 years)

  • Ms_F March 16, 2007 (12:44 am)

    50 Foot Wave and John Doe! What a coup. Love the music; more of it, please! Married, no kids (aging punkers…) Loved it all.

    My one request… is there anywhere we can get a few spots for disabled parking? My husband unfortunately is having some health challenges, and I needed to find some place close to the music to park for just a few minutes while I dropped him off and then helped him find a spot to set up a folding chair. I stopped in the post office — USED the post office, parked in one of the disabled parking spots for no more than 5 minutes, and was literally chased down by a security guard. I explained what we were doing but he had absolutely no compassion. He saw our disabled parking placard and my poor husband who was recovering from surgery. I’m sure there are plenty who would appreciate some disabled parking spots.

  • Jiggers March 16, 2007 (3:49 am)

    One note is that there needs to be more food booths or variety. It seemes to have shrunk down in that area for some reason. Last year sucked in that department.

  • Sue March 16, 2007 (7:14 am)

    Ms_F, I concur on the disabled parking issue. I was lucky to find such a spot “only” 4 blocks from the festival where I could use my placard. We considered the bus, but I found that since everything was rerouted, it was very unclear from Metro where exactly everything was going, where to get the bus, and the last thing I wanted to do was be wandering around the streets looking, after wandering around the streets at the festival, when you’re dealing with a disability.
    I also concur with the suggestions about more seating for food (and simply rest) and more WS vendors. I did learn a lot about certain local businesses that were there, but would love to see more. A lot of it was really the same as all the other festivals, which isn’t bad in itself, but I’d love to see it more personalized. Like when we went to that neighborhood gathering last year at Chief Sealth to get to know local vendors and businesses.
    As for demographics, we are a couple in our early 40s, no kids, but looking forward to replacing our well-loved Luke Sock toy for our cat at the WS Festival.

  • JE March 16, 2007 (9:08 am)

    To clarify: I think having the music is great. I would enjoy it if it weren’t so extremely amplified.

  • flipjack March 16, 2007 (9:13 am)

    (married, 30 to 40 something 1 kid 1 dog)
    More West Seattle-centric music like that great band Oval League that played last year whose members I believe are all from West Seattle and play a lot around the region.
    There are other amazing West Seattle musicians like Amy Denio, Aiko Shimada and more.. Lot’s of local culture to show off here!

  • MsBette March 16, 2007 (11:40 am)

    Old Couple – in their 60s – in the same WS house for 24 years and raised 5 children here: Can’t the festival last later in the night? At least the music and the beer garden. Also, the beer garden needs to be greatly improved – the ground was quite uneven, and that’s even while sober; there weren’t enough tables and even fewer umbrellas. I agree also about the vendors – most of them were there to make money, and though I realize that they have to make money, they should also be friendly and act like they care about being in WS. One year I bought my short-stem martini glasses at the Menashe’s table, from one of the Menashe’s daughters, and it was great to see the family and talk with them.

  • Jiggers March 16, 2007 (12:58 pm)

    My intial thoughts about Summer Fest and previous WS street fair is that it seems like it can be greatly improved. Its really rinky dink to me. Apparentley, I have been to neighborhood block partie’s in other city’s that would make the WS one look like a picnic using the same amount of space. I plan on going to the Ballard one this summer since I missed the last one to see how good it is compared to WS’s. Its about how much effort you want to put into it. You really have to have a creative mind and try to be different every summer if you want folks to come back. You will have you normal businesses and vendors in there but you need to create something else that will get the word out. I guess it’s easier said than done. But maybe WS people are satisfied with their little rinky dink street fair. What happened to all the food booths? Last year it was very weak and small (by the KeyBank area). In years past, there used to be way more than what was offered last year. Plus, the prices and what you got in return were ridiculous.

  • Jiggers March 16, 2007 (12:58 pm)

    WHy didn’t my last post post?

  • Eric March 16, 2007 (1:45 pm)

    One possible way to make it more local is encourage more local organizations and non-profits to have booths and particpate. Something like Megawatt did earlier in the year… I don’t think there can be too much getting information out about how to be a part of this community.

  • Keith March 16, 2007 (2:23 pm)

    I live at 44th and Oregon, about as close as you can get to the North Stage, and there was no problem at all with volume level last year, to my ears anyway. In fact, as MsBette and her swinging 60s partner requested, I’d love for the music to go later.

    I also support the call for more local flavor. It’d be cool to see restaurants from our area set up food booths; even if they just offer a limited sampling of a few items it could all add up to a wider and more interesting variety. Bring in a taco truck from White Center and set it up next to a more upscale Salty’s stand. And definitely try and avoid stuff like the vinyl window vendors– we’ve got a Home Depot, we don’t need that stuff at a festival celebrating the uniqueness of our neighborhood.

  • Gina March 16, 2007 (2:36 pm)

    Contain all the political candidates and issues in one area.

  • Michael March 16, 2007 (3:37 pm)

    We live here because it is not like everywhere else. So our street fair shouldn’t be like everywhere else.
    Forget those vendors in the middle of the street it robs the character from the street fair and from the neighborhood.

    run a shuttle bus every half hour from the ferry up Fauntleroy down California
    one down 35th that cuts across on alaska
    and one from alki up through admiral and down California (doesn’t necessarily have to be free)

    with all the extra room from the reduced # of vendors:

    let all the restaurants and shops bleed a little further into the street.

    less inflatable stuff and more animate events for kids- clowns, animals, storytimes, art stuff

    have the stage on one end of the fair for music and one the other end for non-music events- poetry readings/slams, arts west performances, etc.

    There are enough restaurants in West Seattle to feed us and enough talent to entertain us.

    Oh the details – 40 somethings living in Fauntleroy with a 3 yr old and one on the way.

  • Gina March 16, 2007 (3:55 pm)

    Forgot the demographics bit, mid-forties, Admiral resident, Junction landlord.

    Should not have vendors that are selling the same things being sold by Junction businesses. (hair care products, mortgages, vitamins, health food, awnings.) More stuff north of Oregon St on California.

  • Jen March 16, 2007 (4:28 pm)

    The music is wonderful and the reason I go to the area.
    I love to see local artists (for free even) in my ‘hood.
    Me: single, 30s, in WS 3 years.

  • Eric March 16, 2007 (10:09 pm)

    the random vendors – as someone previously mentioned: “hair care products, mortgages, vitamins, health food, awnings” really should be limited. They have nothing to do with West Seattle. Keep it local!

    Same goes for the food – get local restuarants out there instead of the same vendors that go to all of the fairs all summer long.

    Loud Music = gooood.

    Eric – married 30-something.

  • Jiggers March 17, 2007 (9:05 am)

    I agree. Those types of vendors got to go. Waste of space. But people will be up in arms. Where’s my hair care products? I can’t find the vitamins booth I need them now I can’t find the Organic healthe food booth oh my gawd!! what will I do? Oh no….my life will never be the same again. I’m going to have to protest if they get rid of them.

  • Dis March 17, 2007 (10:32 am)

    My family and I go to the fair once every five or six years because it’s always the same. It’s just like any other street fair in the city, except for the Hi-Yu Ms. West Seattle contestants working the crowd. It would be nice to see some diversity in the music. I love rock, but there are a lot of non-rock musicians.

    West Seattle has a lot of fabulous artists. I would go to a fair that featured them. I would like to see local community groups, too. (does it have to be dominated by commercial interests?) There is a guy working on an impressive West Seattle trails project, for example. There is a group that works on community safety..

    Provide opportunities for meaningful engagement. Your brain goes numb after seeing the tenth booth of crocheted bikinis or quartz earrings. I liked the booth about the Junction Park and the Democrat’s booth, for example. Those are places I would stop and linger.

    What about a “Taste of West Seattle” for the food offerings?

    I’m married, with three grown children (two married) all living in North Admiral, Genesee, Alki and Lincoln Park areas.

  • Jiggers March 17, 2007 (10:44 am)

    Honestly, John Doe puts me too sleep.

  • Admiral Janeway March 17, 2007 (2:55 pm)

    Surprisingly, it was easy to get a table at Jak’s. Nobody is thinking expensive steak dinners on a Street Fair summer weekend.

  • Jiggers March 17, 2007 (4:30 pm)

    I rmember I was walking by Talarico’s and the outside seating area looked like you were in a prison….lol

  • Jo March 17, 2007 (7:13 pm)

    Alki resident 15 years.
    I don’t go to the Street Fair anymore because it’s the same old ‘tacky’ stuff. I remember 10 years ago or so there were more ‘artisans’ featured. I bought some great stuff. Also, it always seems to be so hot and there’s no shady places to sit and rest with a cool drink. Unless I hear there’s been a change I probably still won’t go.

  • Jiggers March 18, 2007 (11:58 am)


    You’re right about the tacky stuff. Its the same thing every year. 90% booths don’t interest me one bit. That’s what I mean, they need to get more creative.

  • flipjack March 18, 2007 (1:58 pm)

    Man, you people who say the fair has been the same for the last ten years obviously weren’t paying attention last year (if you even bothered to go) The music line up was like day and night compared to previous years. Before last year it was Joe and his garage band from Burien and some really bad classic rock cover bands and smoove jazz….hilarious in there own right but, last year was excellent.
    I’d have to agree about the vendors being pretty generic and boring though. I like the idea of giving more room to the local restaurants to have more space to show off the local cuisine.

  • Jiggers March 18, 2007 (4:15 pm)

    I was there last year and did take note that the music was far better than previous years. The South stage on the Friday afternoon,the music was outstanding. I forgot who played, but they sounded solid.

  • Jo March 18, 2007 (4:45 pm)

    I did hear that the music was great last year. But since I didn’t go…..,
    Maybe a cut in price could be offered on booth space to those vendors who have original products; i.e., local painters, potters, crafts persons, etc. West Seattle has an abundance of artists of all types with no place to showcase their art/craft. The Street Fair would be an excellent place for them. That would certainly bring up the quality of vendor-row.
    I like the idea of the restaurants being able to show off their specialties if they’re interested.
    Is anyone on the Street Fair planning committee paying any attention to this blog? There have been some excellent suggestions.

  • West 5 Dave March 18, 2007 (7:47 pm)

    Thanks for all the feedback, WS Blog Crew!
    Jo, have no fear, the team putting on WS Summer Fest 2007 have been paying very close attention to this blog (I check several times a day). Keep the comments coming, we’re listening, and making adjustments.

  • Jiggers March 18, 2007 (10:06 pm)

    Hey W-5 Dave, Maybe you can implement more Martini drinks for your happy hour…..

  • Ms_F March 19, 2007 (5:10 pm)

    How about we start a tradition uniquely West Seattle-ish? Let’s celebrate our uniqueness! I’m not sure what it would be, but probably maritime-related. After all this IS the birthplace of Seattle. The Fremont Oktoberfest has the pumpkin chainsaw carving… remember the spam carving contest around Mardi Gras in Pioneer Square (Ruby Montana’s)? Ballard probably has something to do with Lutefisk. Anybody have any ideas? How about a funky reenactment of the landing of the Denny party at Alki point? I like the idea of anything that promotes community.

  • cashmere March 25, 2007 (9:48 pm)

    lets have an ice sculpture that you can take shots off

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