Live from West Seattle Summer Fest: Afternoon updates

(adding new info and photos frequently; keep checking the end of this post)

(video added 2 pm, WSHS cheerleaders rooting for the football players’ food both; updated clip shortly)
Junior Member of the Team and your editor here just arrived to join The Sales Guy — and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce — in the Information Booth at the heart of Summer Fest. There’s a great crossbreeze along Alaska, and we’re facing north, so if you need a place to cool off, this is it — stop by and chat a moment, and if you can spare a couple of moments, we’re informally collecting answers on some important community questions including the Water Taxi’s future and whether West Seattle needs a hotel — plus we want to know “where are you originally from?” just for fun — Summer Fest T-shirts are for sale here at the booth too, “I LOVE WEST SEATTLE” BUMPER STICKERS!!! too … 1:43 PM UPDATE: Lots of great people have come by already. West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival is selling buttons – you can get a Hi-Yu program (listing activities including Concert in the Park on Tuesday and the Grand Parade a week from tomorrow) for free here at the Info Booth – Carol Winston from Hi-Yu stopped by to say hi and leave a stack of programs. WestSide Baby is nearby drumming up support for its upcoming “Stuff the Bus” diaper drive – here’s WestSide Baby’s leader Nancy Woodland:


We’ve also talked with Suzanne Kellar from the Seattle Opera Guild, which brings opera previews to West Seattle and elsewhere – she says the guild makes money off the sale of the Entertainment books that’ll be out soon – if you’re interested, e-mail her: … More to come as the afternoon goes on! Good crowd here but not too insanely busy yet. 2:25 PM UPDATE: Free Jones Soda! On the east side of the street between Alaska and Edmunds. Also, police are here to help keep an eye on things – we got Sgt. Strand and Lt. Smith on camera:


2:46 PM UPDATE: Carol Johnston from West Seattle Senior Center just stopped by. She’s handing out flyers for “Rainbow Bingo: Hot Summer Nights” coming up August 22nd at the Senior Center — adding it to the Events page now! We’ve also chatted with Nancy Driver, who’s organizing the big September 13th cleanup along the Fauntleroy end of The Bridge, from Walking on Logs to 35th/Fauntleroy. As we wrote the other night – e-mail her ASAP if you think you’ll be able to volunteer for one of the biggest and most important West Seattle cleanup operations in a longtime: – she needs to have some semblance of a head count sooner rather than later, and she’s got some big organizational milestones coming up. 3:01 PM UPDATE: The Jones Soda freebies are so popular, Deni Tyler (shown below) told us they handed out 2,400 cans in the first 3 hours of the festival. We recommend “Fufu Berry.”


More freebies – Leslie Thomson (left in the photo below) from Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor) has been handing out lemon-bar samples:


3:42 PM UPDATE: A sample of music – 30 seconds of Verona, playing earlier at the South Stage:

4:01 PM UPDATE: Lots of nice folks we only previously “knew” via e-mail have stopped by to say hi. So glad to meet you all in person. We’ll be here at least another hour tonight, and we’ll also cover evening events even once the Info Booth shuts down – then we’re here starting at 10 am tomorrow. Also here tomorrow, among many others — the Hi-Yu folks tell us their Luna Park float will be on display tomorrow toward the north end of Summer Fest (around California/Oregon) — also we’ve heard from Furry Faces Foundation, which will be set up near Petco tomorrow and Sunday. That’s the same area where you’ll find the free Jones Soda; a rep from the promotional firm came by to tell us this is the first major event where they’re doing this – their goal is to give out a quarter million cans by summer’s end; they’re also proud to be the exclusive soda provider for the upcoming Seafair hydro races, and the Capitol Hill Block Party among other things. WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli stopped by to say hi and has since sent some photos — first one is the midday crowd via long lens (really, it’s not a total zoo, but there are lots of people here having fun), second one is what Christopher describes as “Tow trucks being kept busy by people defying No Parking signs along Oregon”:



4:34 PM UPDATE: Two more pix. First, Tamar getting her face painted (Alvis left a comment wondering if we’d be getting the classic festival kids-with-face-paint pix, this is the best we could do for starters); second, one of the many artist vendors here – Christy Varonfakis Johnson of On Focus Photo, who has contributed photos to WSB before, posing with her husband, Jeremy, in their booth here at Summer Fest, where they’re selling her work:



5:14 PM UPDATE: Quarter past five and the info booth hasn’t shut down yet, so we’re still here. As we just mentioned in a response to a comment from “d,” the pet area that will be set up by Next to Nature tomorrow and Sunday sounds great – water, a wading pool for pets, a cool place for them to get their paws off the asphalt, and more – Louis from Next to Nature stopped by and was telling us all about it. Lora Lewis from Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) also stopped by the booth a few minutes ago and gave us the scoop that barista Blayne will be back in town next week sometime (he’s on the new season of “Project Runway,” which debuts Wednesday; here’s the scoop on the viewing party at Ginomai). Still a nice breeze blowing east-west on Alaska, where we are, and a great crowd but not too insanely busy – of course, the evening has just begun; live music will continue till about 9:15 tonight, but it’s not overwhelming if you’re not near the stages at the north and south ends – we really can’t even hear it from here in the central part of the setup. 5:47 PM UPDATE: Info Booth “officially” shutting down in a few minutes, we will likely stay here till about 6:30 posting updates. “Busy today for a Friday!” pronounced the Chamber’s Patti Mullen, with whom we’ve been sharing the booth today along with Chamber volunteers, as well as a volunteer selling Summer Fest T-shirts on behalf of the Junction Association. (Check back here tomorrow after 10 am for the “I Love West Seattle” bumper stickers that the Chamber’s selling, as seen in the photo below from earlier this year.)


7:02 PM UPDATE: Finally ready to fold it up, though events here are going to continue another hour plus. In addition to the official vendors with booths, there are folks working the crowd getting the word out about various endeavors, from political petitions to personal projects – among them, local musician Philip Mariconda (you may have seen him perform at C and P Coffee), who’s got a new album (Corporate Dysfunction; read about it here) – we asked him to pause and pose for WSB Cam:


Speaking of music … Coffin Break must be pretty popular … several people have just stopped by to ask which stage they’re playing on (answer: south stage, right now), and that’s the first band-specific question we’ve fielded all day. P.S. There are at least half a dozen Seattle Police officers here, and they have just reunited another lost child with his/her parent(s) – to quote one of the officers, “So far today we’re 8 for 8.”

14 Replies to "Live from West Seattle Summer Fest: Afternoon updates"

  • swthistle July 11, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    West Seattle does need a hotel. We had to use the WS motel in January for German guests. It was nice for them to be on the bus line, but an upgraded stay would have been a bit better. B&B’s aren’t always as comfy/private as your own hotel room.

  • lg July 11, 2008 (3:13 pm)

    yes, yes, a hotel!! we are having 4 sets of company visit this summer, all of whom would have loved to stay at a WS hotel. Instead we are looking for accommodations in other parts of the city. It’s sad they can’t enjoy our lovely corner of Seattle.

  • Alvis July 11, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    I hope you’ll post a group shot of some little kids with painted faces. That’s always good for a smile or two from me.

  • WSB July 11, 2008 (4:30 pm)

    Couldn’t find a group shot but by request, we’re about to post a gradeschooler getting face paint – we’ll keep looking for the wee ones :)

  • d July 11, 2008 (5:02 pm)

    Just got home from a couple of hours of perusing booths and listening to some fun music on the north stage. WS folks are so very pleasant and chatty. And such dog lovers!

    Just a heads up for anyone who is considering bringing their dog – you might want to consider bringing your own water for the dog as well. I saw only a handful of doggie water bowls set out this afternoon. It was ok because there were not very many people, but I don’t think it will be nearly enough later when the big crowds arrive.

    Have fun everyone!

  • WSB July 11, 2008 (5:13 pm)

    Tomorrow and Sunday (we were going to post about this later), Next to Nature has a pet area that not only will have “pet education” as the schedule promises but also water, a cool place for dogs to rest their feet from walking on the hot asphalt, and a number of other special features. We will be getting pix and/or video of it first thing in the morning and will post it so everybody can see … TR

  • Irukandji July 11, 2008 (6:12 pm)

    We had a great time wandering this morning, though were unimpressed with the staff from the Rent a Clown company: too busy texting to check if kids are buckled into rides, bored to exhaustion by noon the first day, very unenthusiastic.
    I was glad the kid wasn’t particularly interested in the rented activities – he loved the buses at Westside Baby and the art options at the Pathfinder booth. We were glad to donate the money we would have spent on rides to WS Baby!

  • Eric B July 11, 2008 (6:51 pm)

    Pathfinder school will continue to host the Kids Craft Area in by West Side Baby through the festival. Lashanna (who was the pictured face-painter) will be there all day to do free face painting for kids. We are a little hidden behind the inflatables. We have cereal-necklace making, coloring, foam sculpturing, and the ever popular cookie decorating (cookies provided by Coffee to a Tea).

  • Alison July 11, 2008 (7:44 pm)

    My husband and I rode our bikes down from the Admiral neighborhood to check out the booths this afternoon. We displeased with the pro-life and pro-choice booths. We believe this is the wrong forum to be voicing opinions either way. Other than this we are excited to come back this weekend.

  • Peggy July 11, 2008 (8:11 pm)

    Oh man, I can’t believe that I missed Coffin Break! Obviously my brain shut down after a long day at work (and/or during the bus trip home).
    Did anyone catch their set? Details please – at this point I can only live vicariously through you. Thanks!

  • WSB July 11, 2008 (8:26 pm)

    thanks, Eric. Patrick shot some video of that which I am putting up later tonight in another day wrap/looking ahead to tomorrow post … uploading video via wi-fi is a little slow so we had more stills than clips in the ongoing post, but we’re home now on the cable broadband. To Alison – I don’t know the specific criteria regarding political/”cause” booth inclusion but the festival is organized each year by the West Seattle Junction Association, so anyone with concerns, complaints, or kudos for that matter, can find contact info at

  • JanS July 11, 2008 (9:05 pm)

    Yay for Phil M…you’re gonna be famous :D !!!!!!!

  • Christy July 12, 2008 (6:40 am)

    Thanks for the photo of Jeremy and I (On Focus Photo)! It was great to meet you, Patrick. My husband Jeremy and I are having a blast meeting so many new people and seeing all the cool booths at the Summerfest. If anyone wants to stop by and check us out, we’re across from Garlic Jim’s. Thanks again!

  • WSB July 12, 2008 (8:03 am)

    Thanks for including your husband’s name – mine didn’t get a chance to write it down – will add it to the post itself :) – TR

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