West Seattle, Washington
As the annual “fireworks are illegal but the law’s not enforced” discussion rages on, the fact of the matter is that fireworks don’t just make noise, they often result in toxic trash left behind by users, especially in public parks. We’ve received photos from one, Solstice Park, same place across from north Lincoln Park where we cover the annual change-of-season gatherings (decidedly non-trash-generating events), and just upslope from a P-Patch.
Lori sent these photos along with an expression of her dismay: “Just walked up to see the mess from last night. UGH. They walked past our house and I’m sure they were all teens. Lots of empty beer cans and bottles and an OJ container that I bet has vodka in it. Illegal fireworks and drinking, with no punishment, so it will certainly happen again next year. Unless we put up lights, have neighbors occupy the park from 8-midnight, or hire a security guard for the night!” (We’re checking with >Seattle Parks about their general citywide postmortem.)
10:32 PM: So far, nothing major *in* West Seattle. An SFD call to California/Findlay was a fire in a tree, per a texter, extinguished even before SFD’s arrival. The Lake Union fireworks are happening right now so the Alki-and-vicinity outbound wave is less than half an hour away – remember the police plan to redirect traffic until that’s clear. They had a big presence at Alki even before dusk – we were out checking on that when the East Marginal fire broke out; we counted at least a dozen SPD cars, marked and unmarked, with the Mobile Precinct at Don Armeni Boat Ramp, which was blocked off to vehicle entries.
10:57 PM: Another police sighting – Delridge Community Center Park, according to a neighbor who says it’s been “the worst year yet” for illegal fireworks there.
11:14 PM: The photo above is courtesy of Carolyn Newman, who reports, “Traffic seems to be moving a bit quicker than normal on Harbor Ave, however, still a slow go.”
MIDNIGHT: SFD has dispatched six units to the 4500 block of 42nd SW for a call described as “dumpster fire with exposure.”
12:03 AM: That’s in a parking garage, according to radio communication.
12:11 AM: The call’s been downsized. Meantime, somewhere on SW Kenyon – we didn’t catch the cross-street/block – police are checking on multiple 911 reports of five people who had been shooting guns and who then got into a white BMW. No word of any injuries.
12:14 AM: Now police are going after a black Infiniti for some reason, Fauntleroy/Avalon at last report. (Update: It was a suspect with a $100,000 warrant in a West Seattle gun/drug case.)
1:21 AM: Things have quieted down since then, at least in terms of local police/fire dispatches. We remain on call, 24/7, at 206-293-6302.
That’s our video of today’s West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade in North Admiral, in its entirety, from an SPD motorcycle officer and Seattle Fire Engine 29 leading the way, to the very last young parader, as they headed westward from the starting point on Sunset. No way to formally count, but every year it seems bigger – here’s a couple photos showing just part of the crowd toward the start and end of the route:
It’s an informal parade – just show up and you’re in it, coordinated by neighborhood moms for almost a quarter-century – this year, Emily Williams, Nicole Lutomski, and Megan Erb.
Costumes and decorations range from simple to lavish:
A few signs, in the spirit of the day:
It’s not a parade without a banner, although this one was mid-parade:
And at the end of the route – the post-parade party at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where sack races are a tradition:
The final race this year took a never-before twist!
Sack races post-WS 4th of July Kids' Parade end with first-ever round for parents! pic.twitter.com/f68UkAMEDG
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 4, 2018
Also at the park – food trucks (long lines!) and activity booths presented by parade sponsors – among them, WSB sponsors – including A Kid’s Place Too Dentistry:
Engine 29 was there for tours:
WestSide Baby‘s famous bus was a dropoff spot for diapers:
If you enjoyed being in and/or watching the parade – coordinators are still crowdfunding to cover the costs, and you can contribute here.
P.S. Next West Seattle parade: The WS Grand Parade on Saturday, July 21st, from California/Lander (10:30-ish start for the motorcycle squads, 11 am rest of the parade) to California/Edmunds, preceded this year by the PAWrade – more on that here!
Another 4th of July tradition: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual picnic at its headquarters, the Log House Museum on Alki. We stopped by around noontime and caught guest speaker Clay Eals, local historian and past SWSHS executive director:
He was speaking about Erma Couden, who died recently at age 103. As noted in her obituary, Ms. Couden was an advocate of “civil rights and local heritage preservation, all grounded in the pursuit of caring human connections.” She also was the wife of SWSHS founder Elliott Couden. Eals’s successor as SWSHS executive director, Jeff McCord, spoke too:
One of the things he wanted to be sure everyone knows about: The SWSHS is celebrating summer with a new event, Open Draw. On three upcoming Thursday nights (July 26th, August 23rd, and September 27th), 5-7 pm, you can draw and drink wine in the Log House Museum’s Native Plant Courtyard. Free of charge except for the wine, which will be $5/glass. The LHM is at 3003 61st SW and is regularly open Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm.
10:27 AM: It’s on! The West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade has begun, with hundreds of participants streaming west on Sunset from 44th and winding through neighborhoods en route to crossing California eastbound south of Hamilton Viewpoint Park.
10:55 AM: Paraders are still arriving at the park, where the post-parade party includes activity booths and sack racing (which will start shortly on the field), plus tours of Seattle Fire Engine 29 (which helped lead the parade as usual), and treats. We got the entire parade on video – 19 minutes worth of people leaving the start line, longer every year! – and will publish that, along with photos, in a second report later.
Good morning! Just a reminder that all our holiday info is on the WSB West Seattle 4th of July page. We’ll be out covering the holiday as it happens – including the 4th of July Kids’ Parade. And if you missed our report last night, note that police will be changing traffic patterns for a while late tonight to help clear the outbound-from-Alki traffic faster. Have a great holiday, and if you see news – our 24/7 hotline (text or voice) is 206-293-6302 – thank you!
The West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade is actually more than a parade. It’s West Seattle’s biggest Independence Day celebration, and after the parade, there are sack races, activity booths, and food trucks at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, where the route ends. Here are the basics:
WHEN: 10 am Wednesday, July 4th
WHERE: Parade starts at 44th and Sunset – from the official parade website, here’s the route:
WHO: Countless hundreds of West Seattle kids and their families
HOW MUCH: No cost to be in the parade or the post-parade games/activities. However, if you can chip in a bit to help the volunteer organizers cover the costs (permits, etc.), here’s the crowdfunding page.
WHO’S SPEAKING/SINGING? No politician speaking this year at the start of the parade. School of Rock West Seattle student Vega Zaringlee will sing the national anthem.
WHO ELSE IS AT THE PARK? 12 sponsor/activity presenters! Plus usually police and fire for vehicle visits.
WHO MAKES THIS ALL HAPPEN? This year’s coordinators are Emily Williams, Megan Erb, and Nicole Lutomski.
WHAT TO BRING: Besides your red-white-and-blue-decked selves … diapers! They’re being collected for WestSide Baby.
ANYTHING TRAFFIC/TRANSIT OTHERS SHOULD KNOW IF THEY’RE NOT PARADING/SPECTATING? Yes! For one, traffic will be held by police when the parade crosses California SW on the last leg (hard to say when that will happen, somewhere between 10 and 11). Second, Route 128 will have a reroute during the parade – details here.
See you there!
Our holiday-info page for the 4th of July – special events and what else you need to know – is here. If you have something to add – an event we missed, or holiday business hours (open or closed) – it’s not too late for us to add it! Just send the info to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Seattle Parks has announced it’ll turn the lights on Tuesday (July 3rd) and Wednesday (July 4th) at ballfields around the city in hopes of preventing damage from fireworks use. Four West Seattle fields are on the list for having the lights on 8 pm-11 pm both nights:
Delridge Playfield, 4458 Delridge Way SW
Hiawatha Playfield, 2700 California Ave. SW
Walt Hundley Playfield, 6920 34th Avenue SW
West Seattle Stadium, 4432 35th Ave. SW
Parks’ announcement adds that, “The fields will be monitored by security from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.”
(File photo, fireworks debris at Highland Park Playground)
The 4th of July is exactly one week away, and tomorrow, fireworks go on sale next door in unincorporated North Highline, where they’re still legal despite bans in cities on both sides. Here within the Seattle city limits, fireworks are illegal, but that doesn’t deter users, especially in light of the annual sort-of-non-enforcement alert. Might a plea like this bring a change of heart? It was sent to us by Anna:
In anxiety and dreadful anticipation, I write asking for your help in alerting the public to the fear, dangers, and irresponsibility of our neighborhoods in allowing fireworks to be blown up for “freedom and fun’s sake”! Unfortunately, my pets and small children are already feeling anxious…last year my neighbors disrespected these laws and our dog ran away at 5 pm on the 4th of July. She buried herself in a culvert until 5 am the next morning. I pleaded, screamed, and yelled at my neighbors all night and they disregarded my pleas. I watched one of their trees nearly burn down due to their stupidity and disregard…I am going in the offensive this year and will name them and call them out! Please help by broadcasting safe and sane and a quieter 4th for my family’s freedom! Sincerely, Anna
Meantime, the Seattle Animal Shelter published its annual reminder about how to keep pets safe and ensure you can get yours back if it runs (including a recommendation for the WSB Lost/Found Pets page – we hope you won’t need it, but we’ll be here if you do). If you’re new here – the big Seattle fireworks show is the Summer Fourth on Lake Union, after 10 pm on Independence Day night, visible from many north-facing spots in West Seattle. The usual mid-July Jubilee Days fireworks in White Center are NOT happening this year because work at the usual spot – Steve Cox Memorial Park – has made it unavailable (the carnival IS on, at White Center Heights Elementary instead).
We are now exactly two weeks away from the 4th of July, and so we’re reminding you about West Seattle’s one-and-only Independence Day parade – the 4th of July Kids’ Parade. It’s been happening in North Admiral for almost a quarter-century but it draws families from all over the peninsula. No registration needed – just show up! The parade starts at 44th and Sunset at 10 am on Wednesday, July 4th, and winds a few blocks through surrounding neighborhoods before crossing California SW and heading to Hamilton Viewpoint Park for games and concessions. While local businesses sponsor activities and help with some of the costs, this community-organized event needs a little extra help to cover expenses such as permits – so if you can help, consider chipping in a bit here. Meantime, organizers want to thank sponsors including:
School of Rock (*)
SSCC Co-op Preschools (*)
A Kid’s Place Too (*)
Limber Yoga (*)
Lil Bug (*)
WestSide Baby (*)
FIT4MOM West Seattle (*)
Dream Dinners (*)
Dave Weitzel Construction
(*) Businesses with an asterisk plan to host a kid craft/activity at Hamilton Viewpoint Park.
Whether you’re planning to participate or just be a spectator, we’ll see you at the parade!
American Legion Post 160 members have just placed the West Seattle Junction flags in honor of Flag Day. This commemorates the date in 1777 when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States of America. The Junction flags will be up until about 4 pm today. Also, in case this is a service you can use: “American Legion Post 160 is also accepting natural material worn United States flags that are in need of proper disposal. Feel free to drop them off at our post home at 3618 SW Alaska St.”
“The duty and honor of our veterans, past and present, is the backbone of the nation.”
So declared David Bailey toward the conclusion of the annual Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn Cemetery and Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) in High Point. He also led attendees in song, before and after short speeches by two U.S. Army veterans – Steve Strand, representing VFW Post 2713, and Keith Hughes, representing American Legion Post 160, both headquartered in The Triangle.
This was a different, shorter service than recent years. We of course recorded it all – here are our 17 minutes of video:
No Taps this year, but a wreath was placed at a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It was Scott Weaver‘s Eagle Scout project and took almost a year – he’s at left, below, with Sean Dunbar and troop leader Brian Hutchison:
This is the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day. Both veterans included looks back to the time when it originated. From Strand’s speech:
America’s heroes come from every background. They are made up of every race, religion, color, and creed. They have fought in the air, sea, and land, at home and abroad. Despite all their differences they were united in their fight for a better world, and they paid with their lives. They leave behind families, friends, and colleagues. We come today to mourn their passing and to keep their memory alive.
I pray that God comforts each of you that are grieving a loss and I would like to leave you with the words from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, “To do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Hughes also quoted President Lincoln, from his Gettysburg Address, including, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did … we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.” And he noted that the U.S. number of war dead, since the Civil War, has now passed one million. After also quoting from the famous poem “In Flanders Fields,” Hughes offered this wish: “I pray that you will all rededicate yourselves to the cause of peace and freedom.”
The event included joy as well as solemn contemplation:
It was bookended, as usual, by the Duwamish Dixieland Jazz Band, with lively renditions of patriotic classics.
Volunteers of all ages joined in a holiday tradition, helping American Legion Post 160 deck the West Seattle Junction with flags. They included Scouts from Troop 282 and firefighters from Station 32:
The volunteers gathered at the northeast corner of California/Alaska, and that’s also where you are welcome to meet up at 5 pm to help take them down.
In the meantime, the Stars and Stripes are lining the heart of “downtown West Seattle”:
It is a busy day for Post 160, with the 2 pm Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) and a community cookout afterward, starting at 3:15 pm (3618 SW Alaska) – you are welcome at both!
Good morning! It’s Memorial Day, and we start with some info you might find helpful:
TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: No traffic report today because of the holiday, but you can see local cameras here. … Metro buses are on a Sunday schedule … So are the West Seattle Water Taxi and its shuttle buses … Sound Transit Route 560 is not running today … And the Washington State Ferries Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on the regular weekday schedule.
OTHER MEMORIAL DAY NOTES: Seattle Parks community centers, teen centers, Environmental Learning Centers, and indoor pools are closed … Schools are closed … Seattle Public Library branches are closed … Today is a U.S. Postal Service holiday … If you’re going to a Seattle neighborhood with on-street pay stations/metered parking, you won’t have to pay, because it’s a city “free parking” day.
What’s happening today:
HELP PUT UP/TAKE DOWN JUNCTION FLAGS: American Legion Post 160 appreciates community volunteers to help put up and take down the flags in the West Seattle Junction. Meet on the northeast corner of California/Alaska at 9 am for the morning help and 5 pm for the evening removal.
SPRAYPARK OPEN: Third day of the 7-day-a-week season for Highland Park Spraypark, 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)
COLMAN POOL, LAST DAY OF FIRST PRE-SEASON WEEKEND: Three swim sessions, noon-7 pm, at the city-run outdoor saltwater pool at Lincoln Park. See the schedule here. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
… FOLLOWED BY A COOKOUT: Again this year, after the Forest Lawn event, Post 160 invites you to a community cookout at its headquarters in The Triangle, 3:15-5 pm. (3618 SW Alaska)
It’s a Memorial Day tradition that’s almost a century old – American Legion red-crepe-paper poppies, made by, and benefiting, veterans. You can get yours today until ~5 pm and again tomorrow, 8 am-5 pm, at West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor). This morning’s poppy distributors were American Legion Post 160’s Walt DeLong, a U.S. Navy veteran, and Keith Hughes, a U.S. Army veteran:
Post 160 also welcomes your help taking down and/or putting up the West Seattle Junction flags on Monday – meet at the northeast corner of California/Alaska at 9 am and/or 5 pm. And inbetween those times, you’re invited to the 2 pm Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) and 3:15 pm community cookout at Post 160 HQ (3618 SW Alaska).
(WSB file photo, Post 160 volunteers placing flags in The Junction)
Can you help with The Junction’s flags on Monday? From the WSB inbox:
American Legion Post 160 of West Seattle would like to invite volunteers of all ages to help, put and take down, American Flags in the Alaska Junction in observance of Memorial Day.
We will meet our community volunteers at the northeast corner of California & Alaska at 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
This year, we have word of two commemorative Memorial Day services in West Seattle:
FOREST LAWN: At 2 pm Monday, the annual service at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) traditionally includes local veterans’ groups and honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice. All are welcome; the nondenominational service, which includes music, is held near the flagpole toward the south edge of the cemetery. (6701 30th SW)
P.S. American Legion Post 160 is again part of the ceremony and will again follow it with a community cookout at its HQ in The Triangle, 3618 SW Alaska, starting at 3:15 pm.
2 CHURCHES’ NEW SERVICE: Here’s the announcement for this Sunday night service:
1st annual Sacred Service for War Dead led by West Seattle Contemplative Church and West Seattle Baptist Church on Sunday, May 27th, 2018 at 5:30 pm. The church is located at 4157 California Ave SW. Street parking available. This religious service recognizes those who have died, acknowledges the life given, and commits them to God. It is also an honoring of those for whom the traditional rites of memorial and burial may not have happened. Pastor Kelly (Presbyterian) and Pastor Gil (Baptist) are both ordained clergy and military veterans. More info here.
They’re also inviting contributions of names of the deceased to include in the service – email Pastor Kelly at email@example.com. (4157 California SW)
(WSB file photo)
Our area’s only 4th of July parade is now less than two months away, and that means the countdown is on, as is the fundraising to cover costs. West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade coordinator Emily Williams (who you might know from Fit4Mom West Seattle) has the announcement:
The 24th annual 4th of July Children’s Parade in West Seattle is right around the corner!
This isn’t your typical parade, the kids ARE the show! Riding on bikes, wagons or in their strollers together with their families, they entertain onlookers by waving flags and showing off their festive attire and decorations. The parade weaves roughly a mile, through the neighborhood of Admiral, down to Hamilton Viewpoint Park; it’s the cutest family-friendly event of the summer!
After the parade, children enjoy old-fashioned gunny-sack races, arts and crafts, and various activities presented by local businesses as well as popsicles sold by the Admiral Neighborhood Association and eats from several local food trucks.
Many community members and local businesses come together year after year to keep this longstanding West Seattle tradition alive. Now in its 24th year, the Children’s Parade is truly an event for and by the families of West Seattle.
Nicole Lutomski, Megan Erb and Emily Williams are facilitating the event this year NEED YOUR HELP to COVER ALL THE COSTS!!
There is opportunity for both individual contributions through the Crowdfunding Page or the established PayPal Account as well as several business sponsorship levels. If your business would like to host a kid craft table or simply donate to the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss details.
The parade starts at 10 am on July 4th (a Wednesday this year) from 44th/Sunset in North Admiral (map), and if you’re new – no preregistration required, just show up to be in (or watch) the parade! Post-parade activities start at Hamilton Viewpoint Park at 10:45 am, and diapers will be collected for WestSide Baby.
Scenes from both ends of West Seattle on Easter Sunday morning:
SUNRISE SERVICE AT THE BEACH: Thanks to Lynn Hall for the photo of this morning’s gathering at Alki Beach, where Admiral UCC, Alki UCC, and Fauntleroy UCC churches hold a joint sunrise service every Easter, rain or shine.
INDOOR EGG HUNT: And in South Delridge this morning, one of the last egg hunts of the year:
The Salvation Army invited kids into their gym for an egg hunt, followed by breakfast.
Our area’s one and only supermarket egg hunt, at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), draws many styles of hunters – some striding coolly and confidently down the aisles, as shown above, and some wandering every which way at once.
This morning brought a crowd as always. Fun part is, you never know where you’re going to find an egg – maybe even among the baked goods:
And of course they’re usually lining the aisles:
Some eggs are redeemable for special prizes – Matthew found one of them and showed us what he got:
And of course the Easter Bunny made a guest appearance, posing below with Thriftway’s Michele Grasso:
This is an especially festive year at West Seattle Thriftway, since, as mentioned here again last night, the store’s celebrating its 30th anniversary!
P.S. If you missed today’s egg hunts – check our Easter Etc. Guide for the local churches that are having them before or after services tomorrow.
11:41 AM: A hectic and happy morning at Seattle Parks community centers all over the city – including five in West Seattle – that hosted egg hunts. Our first photos are from Southwest TLC, which held its hunt on the big field to the west where Denny International Middle School used to be. Hunters were separated by age group, and each area had one special egg that could be redeemed for a prize basket. Here’s our video looking eastward over the field at the peak of the hunt:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) March 31, 2018
Anybody who had a question didn’t have to wonder who to ask – just look for the bunny ears!
Meantime, on the north end of the peninsula, we also had a photographer at Hiawatha Community Center. Egg-hunters of all ages there too:
High fives for the bunny:
Easter-time is known for hats – these egg-hunters made creative choices:
If you have a photo from any of the other community centers that had hunts this morning – Alki, Delridge, High Point – we would love to add a few! email@example.com – thank you!
ADDED 2:11 PM: Thanks to Crystal for a photo from the High Point hunt:
She explains, “This is Gaby. She got an Easter basket when she found a golden ticket in one of the eggs :)”
So many eggs, so little time! Lots of kids showed up for the season’s first West Seattle egg hunt today at Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) in High Point. So many, in fact, they told us they had a bonus early hunt after starting their mini-festival at 10 am, in addition to the scheduled one at noon.
The rest of the local egg hunts are next Saturday and Sunday, as listed on our Easter Etc. page.
Forest Lawn, meantime, hosts its annual nondenominational Easter Sunday sunrise service a week from tomorrow, at 6:30 am.