VIDEO, PHOTOS: West Seattle Summer Fest 2023, day 1!

(TRANSPORTATION: Find bus-reroute info here, stop by stop …)

1:25 PM: West Seattle Summer Fest is on! The Kids’ Area on SW Alaska west of California is ready for sliding and bouncing:

($5 for one inflatable, $20 for an all-day unlimited pass.) The festival food stands are set up on SW Alaska east of California:

And more than 120 vendor booths line California between Oregon and Edmunds. We’re on the north side of the Information Booth – no sign yet, so just look for it in the heart of the Walk All Ways intersection – where you’ll also find Summer Fest merch sold by West Seattle Junction Association volunteers – T-shirts and totes, among other things.

You’ll also find some community organizations on one side of the info booth throughout the weekend, too. (Save the Stone Cottage is here right now.)

Meantime, music starts at 3 pm with The Potholes on the main stage (California north of Oregon – that’s where you’ll find the beer garden, too). Main-stage music is today and tomorrow; the Junction Plaza Park stage will be set up Saturday and Sunday. But as much fun as the special features are, this is also a chance to find out more about the year-round businesses – food, drink, retail. Sidewalk sales – which are how this festival began, decades ago – are happening too. More on that as the festival continues.

2:11 PM: Here in the early going, we’re catching up with some of the WSB sponsors who are also here at Summer Fest. (Our sponsors are the businesses who advertise on WSB to reach tens of thousands of neighbors. So far, we’ve seen Dream Dinners (“the original meal kit”) – their year-round HQ is on the east side of outer Jefferson Square.

Also here, Mode Music Studios and Mode Music & Performing Arts – they offer music/theater instruction, summer camps, and more from their HQ in North Delridge:

Emerald Water Anglers, which focuses on fishing but also sells all-purpose outdoor apparel, has a booth too – their year-round store is at 4502 42nd SW:

Canna West Culture Shop – just south of our spot here in the Info Booth – is the place to find out about CBD; proprietor Mimi is there right now:

(The Culture Shop’s year-round home is across California from the main Canna shop – 5435 California SW.) Camp Crockett – dog day care and services in North Delridge and Upper Morgan – has a booth, and Vanessa was there when we stopped for a pic:

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest Real Estate has a booth at Summer Fest too, not far from their HQ in the Jefferson Square office tower:

We also caught up with Ross from West Seattle Coworking, whose north location is on the east side of California just north of Oregon (they also have a big new space on 35th SW just north of Barton):

Meantime, we’re now less than an hour from The Potholes kicking off music on the main stage – it’s been just under four weeks since they performed at the Morgan Junction Community Festival. More to come!

2:45 PM: Thanks to the person who stopped by with a tip – the Kids’ Area bouncy houses are shut down right now because the temperature is too high – they’re working on a way to spray them down and will reopen when they get that figured out.

3:24 PM: We’re told the bouncy toys are back in action. It’s music time, too – here’s how The Potholes got started:

Performances start at the top of the hour, every hour through 9 pm tonight. Waves Crashing is up at 4 pm on the main stage (California north of Oregon – that’s where you’ll find the beer garden too).

4:09 PM: One highly popular free item we’ve seen a lot of people walk by with – SDOT‘s SLOW THE FLOCK DOWN yard/planting-strip signs. SDOT’s booth is on the west side toward the north end of the festival zone on California. If you have any questions about West Seattle light rail, Sound Transit‘s booth is next door.

5:03 PM: We’ve had our first candidate visit of the festival at the Information Booth – Stephen Brown, running for City Council District 1. Our standing policy is to photograph every candidate who stops by to say hi:

The D-1 race – is one of four major reasons to vote in the August primary, as we reported here. … Music continues! We caught up with the 4 pm band, Waves Crashing, before their set ended:

(We’re hearing lots of excitement looking ahead to tonight’s lineup, especially the Dusty 45s at 7 pm.) Also on California north of Oregon, you can contribute to this year’s community mural:

Artist Stacey Sterling is coordinating again this year. You might recall, this is made possible by a gift from the late Dan Wiseman. … Also north of Oregon, another chance to buy Summer Fest merch from the Junction Association, which presents the festival.

6:12 PM: Randy Campbell is onstage and lots of people are here – Friday evening picks up after 5 pm. One of the truly unique booths is Author Event Network – where you’ll find writers promoting and selling their books:

This is a relatively new effort and they have dozens of members – stop by the booth on the west side of California between Oregon and Alaska and see who you meet – and what you might find to read! (Thanks to local author Susan Kemp for telling us to be on the lookout for this booth – she’ll be there Saturday and Sunday.)

6:36 PM: Here for dinner? Almost every Junction restaurant fronting California has a sidewalk café during the festival, including the new arrival Dué Cucina.

And of course there are options in the festival food zone on Alaska east of California – African, Asian, Latin American options, pizza, burgers. P.S. For dessert all weekend long, you aren’t limited to elephant ears and/or cotton candy – look for Lovely and Dapper Desserts‘ booth on the east side of California between Alaska and Oregon – they are famous for their mini-cakes.

7:12 PM: If you’ve been waiting for things to cool down before coming to the festival, lots of shade now. On the main stqge (“by the post office,” if that mnemonic works for you), The Dusty 45s are playing. (added) Here’s video, with King County Executive Dow Constantine introducing the band (as he does on occasion, memorably Mudhoney at Summer Fest 2009), plus the first song (which starts about two minutes into the clip):

Shaina Shepherd is up at 8 pm, Polyrhythmics at 9, and music is scheduled to wrap for the night around 10. Tomorrow is the longest day of the festival, opening at 10 am, with music also on until 10 pm (booths operating until 8-ish). Thanks to everyone who came by the Info Booth to say hi!

9:18 PM: One last video to add – the start of Shaina Shepherd‘s set, after her introduction by KEXP’s Troy Nelson (she takes the mic at about 1:20):

Tomorrow at Summer Fest, the stage lineups start with New Age Flamenco on the Junction Plaza Park stage at 11 am and Mode Music Showcase on the main stage at noon.

6 Replies to "VIDEO, PHOTOS: West Seattle Summer Fest 2023, day 1!"

  • Keith July 14, 2023 (6:51 pm)

    Thanks for sharing videos of the bands. We can’t get down to the fest til tomorrow, but I loved the Waves Crashing post punk/new wave sound so much, I just bought one of everything in their Bandcamp store! I also missed the band Them at (I think it was Harvest Fest), so I am 0 for 2 in terms of seeing Seattle’s next great bands live!

    • WSB July 14, 2023 (6:59 pm)

      In the “longtime favorites” category, we’ll be recording a bit of the Dusty 45s as they kick off their set momentarily. Tomorrow we hope to catch more of the day’s slate – Day 1 is always an acclimation day! – TR

  • Chris July 14, 2023 (7:22 pm)

    Hey does anyone knows if most of the vendor booths are all up/open this evening? Or is it more food and entertainment tonight ( Friday)? Thx

    • WSB July 14, 2023 (7:44 pm)

      Official festival hours are until 8 pm – after that, you may not find much but food, drink, and music – but everybody reopens at 10 Saturday morning!

  • Down for the Count July 14, 2023 (7:26 pm)

    Thank you as always, WSB, for all of the coverage and music videos! I’m home sick with Covid and am really bummed to miss the street fair for the first time since moving here in 2006. Looks like a great time is being had by all!

  • Sam-c July 15, 2023 (8:25 am)

    Thanks for the coverage! And thanks for the Mudhoney clip! While watching music last night we were actually debating whether Mudhoney played Summer Fest at night or day. Looks like I was right. 😀 We really enjoyed everything last night! 

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