West Seattle, Washington
A first-time feature at last weekend’s West Seattle Summer Fest was The Whale Trail‘s scavenger hunt and presentations to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the rescue of Springer the orca. We asked Whale Trail executive director Donna Sandstrom how the weekend of “orca sightings in The Junction” went:
Celebrate Springer at Summer Fest was a big success! Kids loved looking for the orcas, and merchants loved hosting them. The West Seattle Junction Association handed out more than 500 maps. Kids had to work hard to find some of the orcas!
About 70 people attended the Springer presentations, where the prizes were handed out. Everyone who participated got a Springer card and a marine mammal sighting chart, that will help them spot whales in the wild. Six grand-prize winners also received a copy of Orca Rescue! and an orca plushie.
Big thanks to the West Seattle Junction Association, the Senior Center of West Seattle, Husky Deli, participating merchants, and especially our volunteers, who made it all possible.
She says this was a first for The Whale Trail and they’d like to try it again, “maybe when we Welcome the Orcas in the Fall. In the meantime we are heading up to British Columbia this weekend to celebrate Springer with her team. We are hoping the guest of honor makes an appearance too!” She adds that you can “watch northern resident orcas – sometimes including Springer and her calves – at explore.org/orcalab. You can eavesdrop as they swim through Blackfish Sound, or watch as they visit the rubbing beaches in Johnstone Strait. The A54 pod is at the rubbing beaches now!” She was joined at the Summer Fest presentations by “members of Springer’s team, including Mark Sears, the local researcher who first spotted her; Joe Olson, who took the first hydrophone recordings of her calls; Dr. Dave Bain, who recognized the calls that helped identify her; and Lynne Barre, NOAA’s Branch Chief, who came to the northwest originally to help with Springer and now leads recovery efforts for the endangered southern residents. The audience was especially excited to see one of Springer’s sticks! Mark brought one of the small logs that was used to bring her close to the boat for early monitoring and assessments.”
11:11 AM: If you haven’t been to West Seattle Summer Fest yet, you have six more hours – or, even if you have, come back and see what you might have missed the first time, browse the year-round merchants’ sidewalk sales. Some FAQ here in the Info Booth:
*Where’s the Farmers’ Market? One block north.
*What bands are playing today? None – this year, music was scheduled just for Friday and Saturday.
*Where’s the face painting? Mid-block raised crosswalk on California between Oregon and Alaska.
*Where’s the cotton candy? Food zone, south side, toward the east end.
*Where are the Whale Trail scavenger-hunt maps? Here in the Info Booth.
We’re on the north side of the Info Booth today; on the east side until 2 pm, Seattle Police Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner (just a little over two weeks until Night Out!).
Lots of free swag, too – coloring books, pencils, tote bags. … An SDOT12:06 PM: The free “big games” got a late start but they’re now up and running on the east end of the Kids Zone (SW Alaska between California and 44th):
The Seattle Kraken have free games right next to that:
12:35 PM: Without bands today, the only schedule note we have for you is the 3 pm Whale Trail presentation about Springer the orca’s rescue – just go to the Senior Center (California/Oregon). … Breaking news: It’s National Ice Cream Day! You can celebrate with a West Seattle vendor in the Food Zone (Alaska west of California) – the Shug’s Soda Fountain cart!
They’re on the north side of the food zone, by Junction Plaza Park.
1:30 PM: The sun has returned! Just half an hour to get to the Farmers’ Market (one block north of its usual spot). That’s one more place you can get lunch and snacks – as we reported earlier, almost all the regular vendors are there, including those that are preparing food for you to enjoy on the spot.
2:01 PM: Surprise guest here at Summer Fest – Seattle Fire Ladder 11. It’s currently parked on Alaska close to 42nd, and since we took the photo above, a firefighter has climbed up to the end of the ladder.
You can also stop by and say hi to the firefighters on the ground. …. Farmers’ Market has closed, but the festival has three more hours. We’ve heard there’s an afterparty at Shadowland with live bands; first report said 5 pm, but the Shadowland staff told us, when we went up to ask who’s playing, 7 pm. We’ll be checking back.
2:55 PM: The sun is coming and going.
And time is going fast, with two more hours left in the festival. Thanks again to all the people who have stopped by to say hi! Also your final hours to get a Summer Fest T-shirt:
See the Junction Association volunteers on the southwest side of the Info Booth. The T-shirt design is something of a souvenir marking a historic moment in time, too, with this year’s logo incorporating the orange traffic cone and the almost-fixed bridge – the only (here’s hoping) Summer Fest to be held with a closed bridge. (Although if you look back 40 years to the roots of Summer Fest, that would take you to 1982 – two years before the current bridge fully opened.)
3:20 PM: Another FAQ: “Where’s the beer garden?” None today since there’s no music because of the Farmers’ Market moving into that space for the day. But certainly you have options for beer – like Elliott Bay Brewing (east side of California between Alaska and Edmunds, celebrating 25 years), and The Beer Junction (west side of California, not far south of Oregon) among them.
3:40 PM: Most attention-grabbing vendor name at
In festival-food names, we’d give the award to the sushi burrito and light-bulb boba tea.
4 PM: The final-hour rush is on! Lines for fair/festival food – and the elephant-ears booth just announced they’re sold out.
4:25 PM: Still a lot of wandering going on. We’ll be here until the close at 5; festival staff starts breaking down immediately, but it’ll likely be some hours before the streets reopen. One more note about the Shadowland afterparty – it starts at 5, and the bands are playing indoors, not outdoors. … Update, just found out more. Five bands, 5 pm until close. Shadowland is on the northeast corner of California/Oregon – 21+.
4:53 PM: The Info Booth is being folded up around us – so that’s a wrap. Thanks to everyone who came down to celebrate the return of West Seattle’s biggest party of the year – from WSJA organizers to volunteers to production crew to sponsors to vendors to performers to festivalgoers! More summer fun to come.
That’s the north end of the relocated-today-only West Seattle Farmers’ Market, by the Post Office in the 4400 block of California SW. In past years, the third day of West Seattle Summer Fest has seen the market relocate to its old spot behind KeyBank, but this year the West Seattle Junction Association – which presents the festival – is trying something new: Dropping music on Sunday (which tended to be lightly attended anyway), so the market could stay on California SW, one block north. We stopped by the market-management booth to ask about the vendor response; 46 vendors are here today, which is only five fewer than usual. Hours are the same as usual – so get your shopping and snacking done before 2 pm!
3:27 PM: Flash-mob-style synchronized show just happened at California/Alaska in the middle of West Seattle Summer Fest day two:
DancePowered is putting on a tour de force in the heart of Summer Fest. pic.twitter.com/uBXVzvBEY5
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 16, 2022
Jennifer Cepeda‘s fitness classes have been wildly popular for a long time. Jennifer tells us she’s been working on that since January!
Also big this afternoon – quite the crowd for West Seattle’s own THEM:
THEM on the Summer Fest main stage! pic.twitter.com/3SKKgA7Idr
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 16, 2022
Here’s the music lineup for the rest of the day/night:
3 pm – Rub (replacing Emily Stranger)
4 pm – Johnny Nails
5 pm – Mark Pickerel & the Peyote
6 pm – Mala Suerte
7 pm – Chong the Nomad
8 pm – Battlestar Kalakala
9 pm – True Loves
And at 7 pm at Elliott Bay, Down North. Also happening: come meet Seal Sitters here in the Info Booth. … More coverage to come; the festival continues until 8 pm tonight (music until 10)!
4 PM: Breaking weather news – it’s now partly sunny, after a mostly overcast day. …. As you wander Summer Fest, you’ll notice that the booths are a mix – some fair/festival stalwarts, but also some local businesses whose stores/offices are elsewhere in West Seattle, here to introduce themselves to more neighbors. Among them, several West Seattle sponsors – Camp Crockett is a home away from home for your dogs, with locations including Delridge and Upper Morgan:
That’s Vanessa from Camp Crockett. We also said hi to Ramone and Alice from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Northwest, which serves West Seattle and vicinity from offices in Jefferson Square:
Nina is at the festival for Canna Culture Shop, between The Junction and Morgan Junction:
Longtime WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits is having a sidewalk sale outside its shop at 4540 California SW – including these West Seattle = Best Seattle T-shirts in partnership with Alair (we reported previously on their intent)
The sidewalk display at Click! also includes earrings, which along with the T-shirts are part of a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of co-founder and artist Frances Smersh. … Another WSB sponsor with a special feature for Summer Fest, Verity Credit Union (4505 California SW) has a drawing you can enter:
Not far north of us at California/Alaska, meantime, the trombone-playing busker is back for a second day …”
Favorite busker so far. pic.twitter.com/B3rh67fXwC
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 16, 2022
… as is what we could call the proselytizing busker. Though Summer Fest planning has been under way for months, there are always some surprises along the way.
5:51 PM: (Added) Here’s a clip from Mark Pickerel’s set earlier this hour:
Close to dinner time. Judging by what people are carrying, looks like roasted corn and the light-bulb boba tea are very popular. Also of note, the sun went back into hiding and it’s a bit breezy, so you might want a sweater tonight. Festival maintenance is happening too – takes a lot of behind-the-scenes help to power an event of this magnitude:
Here at the Info Booth, we have info about more than what’s happening at the festival – we have a poster for the return of West Seattle Outdoor Movies too – they start next week, five Saturday nights in a row:
There’s a change since first word of the series – the July 23rd movie will be at Camp Long, then the subsequent four at Hotwire Coffee’s courtyard (long-ago longtime home of the series) – see you next Saturday!
6:54 PM: Lot of interest in the late-substitution band Down North performing at Elliott Bay at 7 pm, judging by inquiries here. Also, we’ve continued a long tradition … any candidate who stops by the info booth gets a photo – first and only candidate we’ve seen is State Sen. Joe Nguyen, so here’s the pictorial proof:
This year’s primary is just 2 1/2 weeks away – anybody running for office, come see us at the Info Booth during the festival (we’re here again tomorrow). … Other sightings in the past few hours included Lori McConnell and Tim McConnell, proprietors of West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), who are a week away from presenting the return of the Float Dodger 5K, before the West Seattle Grand Parade. Still time to register to walk/run in it (go here to sign up) – proceeds benefit the West Seattle Food Bank.
8:24 PM: Back at HQ, we’re adding some music clips from earlier – some in line above – but first, here’s Down North at the Elliott Bay stage:
One more time … festival music is done after tonight … the stage/beer garden zone north of SW Oregon will hold the West Seattle Farmers’ Market 10 am-2 pm tomorrow.
10:43 AM: Day 2 of West Seattle Summer Fest has begun! This is the big day – booths are open for 10 hours, until 8 tonight, and music runs for 10 hours too – noon until 10 pm. First up will be School of Rock. Meantime, we’re back in the Info Booth (California/Alaska), where you also will find volunteers from the West Seattle Junction Association (which presents Summer Fest) – they’re also selling festival T-shirts ($25). On the east side of the Info Booth, if you have questions about the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT has a rep here today – yes, they’re still on track for the week of September 12th, with more details when the opening is one month away. Just to the west of us is the Kids’ Zone, with Hope Lutheran volunteers staffing the free games today:
Just west of the games are the inflatables (and the booth where you can buy a pass for them). A few other kid-geared vendors are scattered throughout the festival zone, including face painting:
That face painter is on the midblock raised crosswalk between Oregon and Alaska.
11:20 AM: Another type of painting is happening here – artist Stacey Sterling is leading another community mural:
Painting of the sea-life mural will resume today at California/Oregon – you can sign up for a time to join in. While you’re in The Junction, check out Mural Alley – the breezeway on the west side of California, midblock between Alaska and Edmunds – to see past community-created murals. Another participatory activity involving sea life – the orca scavenger hunt continues, with the maps here at the Info Booth:
This is also where to turn in the completed maps. And then go see The Whale Trail‘s presentation about Springer, the orphaned orca rescued 20 years ago, at 3 at the Senior Center (California/Oregon).
12:39 PM: The main-stage music kicked off with School of Rock:
School of Rock starting today's music lineup at Summer Fest pic.twitter.com/cGa3E1JIp9
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 16, 2022
At 1 pm, more talented young musicians take the stage – from Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor) – and the rising stars of THEM follow, at 2 pm. One more music note – a substitution for tonight’s 7 pm band at Elliott Bay (as part of its anniversary bash) – Down North.
1:26 PM: In the merch booth up by the stage (which is near the Post Office), we caught up with THEM, performing in just half an hour:
Reminder that if you love festival music, soak it in today/tonight – no Sunday music because the Farmers’ Market will be in that area north of Oregon. And if you’re interested in making music – go see the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ “instrumental petting zoo” inside ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) until 3 pm:
(added) Here are two clips from the Mode set – first, Mari Littlefield:
2:52 PM: Our second report starts shortly. If you’re at the festival, a dance demo, flash mob style, is moments away here at California/Alaska. More festival coverage to come!
5:54 PM: As previewed a bit earlier, that’s Caitlin Sherman on the West Seattle Summer Fest stage, introduced by Troy Nelson. The first day/night of festival music is now at full speed – the main stage is on California north of Oregon, near the Post Office. Here’s the rest of tonight’s lineup:
6 pm – Smoker Dad
7 pm – Acapulco Lips
8 pm – Spirit Award
9 pm – Naked Giants
Also, 7 pm outside Elliott Bay Brewery, Urban Achievers
Doing some main-stage emceeing is a local musician who played Summer Fest himself a few years back – Brent Amaker:
One more reminder – no music Sunday, just today and Saturday; on Sunday, the space north of Oregon will be occupied by the Farmers’ Market (10 am-2 pm). More festival coverage to come!
6:10 PM: Here at the Info Booth, we’ve had a lot of questions today about the food providers. The visiting vendors are all on SW Alaska between California and 42nd – including classic fair/festival food:
There’s also Kenyan, Filipino, Mexican, Thai, and Nepalese food – and several options for ice cream. Show some love to the year-round food/drink providers too – for example, A La Mode Pies is on the same block as the food vendors, with amazing sweet treats; if you’re looking for a full meal, as noted earlier, many Junction establishments have added sidewalk cafés for the weekend – lots of people-watching going on. It’s clouded over in the past hour but still pleasant. The festival’s on until 8 tonight (music till 10) – more coverage ahead!
6:58 PM: As has been the case every year, the festival gets ever-busier on Friday evenings – that’s a big reason why the vendor hours changed to 1-8 pm. We’ve had fun talking to myriad people all day – among them, West Seattle Grand Parade co-coordinator Michelle Edwards – just one week until Junction (and beyond) streets will close again, for the parade’s return! It starts at 11 am Saturday, July 23rd, heading south on California SW from The Admiral District to The Junction. Meantime, it’s time for a special musical event – the Elliott Bay Brewery stage, with 7 pm bands both nights – tonight, Urban Achievers. (Video added:)
10:20 PM: We left a bit earlier because of breaking news. Summer Fest resumes at 10 am Saturday (music at noon).
Many West Seattle businesses based elsewhere on the peninsula come to The Junction to be part of Summer Fest. Among them, Mode Music Studios (WSB sponsor), whose founder Erin Rubin sent this update:
Mode Music is ready to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of West Seattle Summer Fest by adding some fantastic musical talent to the stellar lineup this weekend, July 15th-17th!
On Friday, Mode teachers will kick off the Fest by rocking out as only they know how! At 5:00 pm, former Mode teacher and singer/songwriter Caitlyn Sherman (IG: @caitiecruel) will take the stage. And at 9:00 pm, Naked Giants (IG: @naked_giants) will be the headliner, a band that features current Mode teachers Grant Mullen and Gianni Aiello!
Starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday, Mode Music Studios (IG: @modemusicws) will kick off the student and alum block of performances including the rock band It’s All Happening (IG @itsallhappening.band), singer Mari Littlefield, and the female-driven group K.A.M.P.S., whose band name was actually inspired by the fantastic Mode alum band T.H.E.M. (IG: @theband.them) slated to perform at 2:00pm.
Please stop by the Mode Music booth while enjoying the Festival to learn about the music school’s fantastic programs, get some awesome brand new merch, and gain some knowledge about Mode’s non-profit branch Mode Music and Performing Arts (IG: @modemusicandpa) and grab a kazoo or shaker egg! Don’t miss out on this fun and music-filled weekend!
You’ll find the Mode booth in the block between Oregon and Alaska.
West Seattle Summer Fest doesn’t officially start until 1 pm but people are here already, wandering, shopping, snacking … so come on down to The Junction (California between Oregon and Edmunds, Alaska between 42nd and 44th). We’re in the Info Booth, which also features volunteers helping with a variety of things including the return of T-shirt sales!
Update on The Whale Trail maps – if you didn’t get one on Summer Fest Eve, come to the Info Booth for one!
We’ve already seen at least one young festivalgoer who completed the search!
2:16 PM: Day 1 is always all about seeing what’s where. One general observation, in this transitional year, the festival grounds have some open areas, like north of where we are at California and Alaska:
Many of the year-round Junction businesses are offering sidewalk sales – Summer Fest trivia, the festival has its roots in a summertime Junction-wide sidewalk sale:
In addition to the year-round sidewalk cafés, some venues have added them just for the festival – in the background of our next photo, The Beer Junction’s outdoor space is year-round, while newly opened Bonjour Vietnam has added one for the festival.
We stopped by to say hi to proprietor Jade Nguyen as she soft-opened last night:
Coming up, music starts at 3 pm … also at 3 pm, The Whale Trail presentation about Springer the rescued orca, at the Senior Center (California/Oregon). [Correction, that’s at 3 pm Saturday and Sunday.]
3:02 PM: Music should be starting any minute now at the main stage, which is on California north of Oregon, near the Post Office. Appaloosa 15 is the first band of the day, with indie rockers Chris King and The Gutterballs following at 4.
3:25 PM: If you’re here with kid(s), there’s free fun in the Kids’ Zone on Alaska west of California, as well as the inflatables (for which you need a $20 unlimited-use-for-one-day bracelet) – big games! Along with the ones right by the big GAMES sign, the kids-zone sponsors, Seattle Kraken, have a free game station next to it:
4:44 PM: Even if you don’t make it up to the stage for music, you’ll catch some all along the festival zone:
Besides main-stage music, busking is happening at West Seattle Summer Fest pic.twitter.com/PWmx8pJ1H7
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 15, 2022
Other buskers we’ve seen so far include a magician:
Dinnertime nears. We’ll take a look at festival food in report #2.
6:30 PM: If it’s on the Easy Street marquee, it’s happening – and the heart of The Junction is now indeed the hub of activity to get ready for West Seattle Summer Fest, first one since 2019. So people are here walking in the now-closed streets. There’s music too:
Naby Camera at KeyBank Plaza for The Art of Music pic.twitter.com/EHrOOBHFMv
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) July 15, 2022
Naby Camera is playing until 7:40 pm at KeyBank Plaza (California/Alaska, SW corner) as part of The Art of Music, complementing tonight’s West Seattle Art Walk. More on the art in a moment. First – look for orcas on the west side of California, midblock between Alaska and Edmunds:
That’s where you’ll find Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail tonight and all weekend – kids can get a scavenger-hunt card to follow The Whale Trail all around The Junction through the festival (explained here) in celebration of Springer’s rescue. (FRIDAY UPDATE: Come get maps at the Info Booth Fri-Sun.) Back to the Art Walk – one of the places you can visit in The Junction is Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor), having a group show with store-alum artists tonight:
Reminder, California SW is now closed between Genesee and Edmunds (with Oregon left open to through traffic) and SW Alaska is closed between 44th and 42nd for Summer Fest setup (here’s bus-reroute info) – here’s a live SDOT cam:
The festival starts at 1 pm Friday.
7:20 PM: At John L. Scott Real Estqte on the west side of California just north of Oregon, one amazing show decks the walls throughout the office:
Bob Willoughby photographed many Hollywood stars in the classic era’s heyday. See them tonight, with his son Christopher Willoughby and widow Dorothy there to answer questions, until about 9 pm.
Dan Rosen at Verity Credit Union (4505 California SW; WSB sponsor):
Many artists’ work is displayed at the businesses all month long, so if you didn’t get out tonight, check out the venues some other time. Meantime, we have one more Art of Music scene – harpist Alyvia Miller played at Welcome Road Winery in South Admiral (thanks to linda McKelvey for the photo):
During Summer Fest, main-stage music is scheduled 3 pm-10 pm Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday – and stage setup was the first thing to happen as street closures began this afternoon:
See the music schedule here. We’ll see you at Summer Fest – starting at 1 pm Friday!
As we’ve been reporting, West Seattle Summer Fest street closures are starting earlier than past years – and the first one is in place now: California SW is closed between SW Oregon and SW Genesee.
This block is where you’ll find the main stage on Friday and Saturday, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on Sunday. Meantime, the other street closures – California between Oregon and Edmunds, and Alaska between 42nd and 44th – are scheduled to begin around 4 pm. (Oregon itself will remain open as an east-west corridor.)
Time to step up the West Seattle Summer Fest previews, with the festival just a few days away. As previously previewed, the fun starts early, with what’s become unofficially known in recent years as Summer Fest Eve – this year, that’s Thursday (July 14th). One important thing to know this year is that the festival-zone streets are closing earlier than before. Executive director Chris Mackay of the West Seattle Junction Association – which presents the festival – says this is what you can expect:
–California north of Oregon – closing at noon Thursday so stage setup can begin (this area will have the stage and beer garden on Friday and Saturday, Farmers’ Market on Sunday)
–California south of Oregon, to Edmunds, and SW Alaska between 42nd and 44th – closing at 4 pm Thursday for setup of booths (California) and food/kid zones
The street closures will continue until everything is broken down and packed up Sunday night.
FESTIVAL HOURS: If you’ve gone in past years, remember that these are slightly different too. Later start on Friday, with vendors open later, 1 pm-8 pm (with music continuing until 10); Saturday, 10 am-8 pm (also with music until 10); Sunday, 10 am-5 pm (no music on Sunday, because the Farmers’ Market will be on California north of Oregon)
MUSIC LINEUP: Starts at 3 pm Friday and noon Sunday – see the schedule here.
VENDOR LINEUP: See it here – including many year-round Junction businesses with sidewalk sales!
FOOD LINEUP: Here’s our preview.
We’ll be on the Info Booth team at California/Alaska again this year (our 13th) – see you at the festival!
Continuing our nightly previews … West Seattle Summer Fest is almost here! The party starts on Summer Fest Eve, Thursday (July 14th), as you wander the closed streets in The Junction where the festival is getting set up, and enjoy art and music as part of the July West Seattle Art Walk. The festival officially begins at 1 pm Friday (July 15th) – with later hours than past years – continuing Saturday and Sunday. One big point of interest every year: Food and drink options. From the Summer Fest website, here are the lineups:
Sidewalk cafes (set up by year-round Junction venues):
The Beer Junction
Dumplings Of Fury
Seattle Fish Company
Elliott Bay Brewing
Food fair vendors (mostly along SW Alaska east of California):
Kornman of WA (roasted corn, kettle corn)
LBee’s Filipino Deli
Bang Bar Thai Restaurant & Lounge
Sweet Art (cotton candy)
TornadoPotato/Langostino Sushi Burrito
Ray’s Food (elephant ears)
Cheers Inc (pulled-pork sandwiches)
Recetas de Abuelita
Fast and Fresh Foods
Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream
And on Sunday, with the West Seattle Farmers’ Market a block north of its usual spot, you’ll find the usual prepared food and treats there too. Plus always a few surprises! We’ll be covering Summer Fest as it happens, and we’ll be spotlighting the lineup on day 1 as the party starts. See you in The Junction!
Before the night ends, we need to remind you that West Seattle Summer Fest is now only a week away – Friday-Sunday, July 15-17, in the heart of The Junction. Tonight’s preview: Celebrating Springer at Summer Fest! It’s part of a Junction Association partnership with The Whale Trail for this year’s festival, explained as follows:
Springer is a Northern Resident orca who was discovered near West Seattle in 2002, lost, alone and 300 miles away from home. Later that summer she was rescued, rehabilitated and returned to her family on the north end of Vancouver Island. Today she is thriving with two calves of her own – it’s the only successful orca reunion in history!
The West Seattle Junction Association and The Whale Trail are teaming up to celebrate Springer’s success with family-friendly activities at Summer Fest.
Follow The Whale Trail in The Junction – look for orcas in local stores! We will have a Whale Trail table on Summer Fest Eve on Thursday the 14th where kids can pick up a map of where the Orcas will be in the Junction. They find them and merchants will sign the map. On Friday-Sunday the maps will be at the Info Booth (California/Alaska). Bring the completed list back to the Junction Info booth at the festival and kids will get a ticket for each Orca they found. They take the tickets to the Orca presentations below for a chance to win an orca-themed prize.
The Whale Trail will present 3 PM showings of “Orca Rescue! The true story of an orphaned orca named Springer” on Saturday and Sunday at the Senior Center. Hear Springer’s story and learn how you can help orcas today. All events are free and family-friendly. Hope to see you there!
We’re now looking ahead daily/nightly to the return of West Seattle’s biggest party of the year, Summer Fest. While official festival dates are Friday-Sunday, July 15-17, the night before has taken on a life of its own, with people enjoying wandering the Junction streets closed for festival setup. As with most years, this year Summer Fest Eve (Thursday, July 14th) is also the monthly second Thursday West Seattle Art Walk night. You can see the list of participating businesses/venues and some early previews on the Art Walk website. The Art of Music is back, with two performances on Art Walk night, one that will be outdoors in The Junction and in the heart of Summer Fest Eve – awardwinning West African musician Naby Camera will be playing 6-7:45 pm at KeyBank Plaza.
While wandering The Junction on Summer Fest Eve, you can also expect to see and hear buskers, and look for a chance to get creative with chalk art! You can also visit Mural Alley – the midblock breezeway on the west side of California SW between SW Alaska and SW Edmunds – to see the community murals from Summer Fest 2018 and 2019, and get inspired to join artist Stacey Sterling in creating one this year (Friday and Saturday).
A highlight of years past has been food/drink venues setting up temporary sidewalk cafés; this year, some are already in place, so you can dine/drink outdoor, Or just wander! We’ll see you in the street (California between Genesee and Edmundsm Alaska between 42nd and 44th) one week from tonight.
Just nine days to go until the return of the peninsula’s biggest party of the year – West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction, Friday, July 15th through Sunday, July 17th – shopping, music, food, kids’ activities. Tonight, two notes about the Kids Zone at the festival:
First, if you’re bringing kid(s) to Summer Fest and want to get your festival preps out of the way early, you can buy passes for the inflatables in advance online – $20 per day, for unlimited use of all five (including a giant slide and obstacle course). Passes will be sold at the festival, too, if you want to wait to buy until you get there. The inflatables are just part of the options for kids at Summer Fest. Also planned: Big games (free to play!) on Saturday, north of SW Oregon. Yes, you’ll also find face-painting at the festival. Plus a “Whale Trail” scavenger-ish hunt with prizes – more details on that soon,
If you won’t be there with kid(s), maybe you can spare a little time to ensure the youngest festivalgoers have fun. West Seattle Junction Association events are community-volunteer-powered, and that includes Summer Fest. Volunteers are needed, ages 15 and up; Chris Mackay of WSJA notes, “Volunteers get cool festival T-shirts and will be part of our gift lottery, with two winners per day getting over $100 worth of loot!” You can see the time slots and tasks available, and sign up, by going here.
We’ll be spotlighting Summer Fest (for which WSB is a co-sponsor) daily/nightly from here on out – tomorrow, a look ahead at this year’s plan for what’s become known over the years as Summer Fest Eve! (If you missed our overview about what’s different at Summer Fest this year, see it here.)
We mentioned back in the heart of winter that the Alki Art Fair would return this summer – and now with 2 1/2 weeks to go, organizers have gone public with the lineup of artists, musicians, and more. This year, it’s expanded to three days! Here are the basics:
The Alki Art Fair is celebrating our beach-side return with an extended schedule — with Friday being added to the mix of festivities.
Now in its 26th year, this FREE, family-friendly, annual arts-and-music festival brings Alki to life with over 80 professional visual artists, craftspeople and emerging artists. There will be live music, children’s activities, live demonstrations, and local artisan food vendors for everyone to enjoy.
When: Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24
Artist Booths & Food Vendors: 2-8 pm
LIVE DJ : 4-8 pm
Artist Booths & Food Vendors: 10 am-6 pm
Live Music: 11 am-8:30 pm
Artist Booths & Food Vendors: 10 am-6 pm
Live Music: 11 am-5 pm
-80+ local artists & crafters selling works in a variety of media including painting, pottery, glass, textiles, metal, jewelry & more. See the full lineup of participating vendors at alkiartfair.org/artists2022
-Live music and performances throughout the weekend on the Bathhouse Stage sponsored by Canna West Culture Shop and Busker Area along the promenade. This year we’re featuring a variety of genres including Brazilian, Jazz, Funk, Pop, Rock and more. See the full lineup and schedule at alkiartfair.org/music-22
-Interactive kid zone hosted by Outer Space Seattle (the galactic indoor playspace for kids of all abilities)
Silent auction in the historic Alki Bathhouse featuring unique items from local artists and businesses
-Local food lineup features a range of sweet, savory, spicy, and delicious options including Dippy’s Ice Cream, Shug’s Soda Fountain, Pop’s Sausage Grill, Simply Kettle, Road Dawg, Blue Elephant, and Moe’s Falafel.
And of course, the year-round Alki restaurants will welcome you too.
11:02 AM: We’re at Morgan Junction Park (6413 California SW), where the first Morgan Junction Community Festival since 2019 has just begun. As we’ve been previewing, the Morgan Community Association is presenting is an abbreviated edition – just two hours, until 1 pm. Two performers are scheduled – longtime festival favorites – The Bubbleman (who’s about to start), and acoustic musician Gary Benson. About half a dozen community organizations are here tabling too (as are we). Updates to come!
11:15 AM: MoCA says this may be The Bubbleman’s final show ever, after 40+ years – so they have a community card you can sign to wish him well.
11:40 AM: Bubbleman has wrapped up, with MoCA vice president Phil Tavel leading the crowd in a shouted “THANK YOU, BUBBLEMAN!” Music starts at noon; in the meantime you can visit the community organizations that are here:
The Whale Trail (above), Southwest Seattle Historical Society, CleanupSEA, Poogooder (first photo below), Westside HEY, 34th District Democrats, designers of the future park addition Board & Vellum (secon photo below), and us, all under canopies ringing the park.
You can also learn more about how to get involved with the Morgan Community Association (whose next quarterly meeting is July 20th).
12:03 PM: Gary Benson is performing now – quiet acoustic ballads, so people can visit the booths or sit on the park grass/benches and chat.
12:11 PM: And the sun has just made a guest appearance!
12:58 PM: And that’s a wrap. “Our festival will be returning more robustly next year,” MoCA promised in the closing announcement. (We’ll be adding more photos later.)
Our area’s biggest party of the year is now just a month away – West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction, Friday-Sunday, July 15-17. The music lineup is already out, as we reported three weeks ago. But that’s just part of the fun, We talked this week with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Chris Mackay about what’s different this year – and what’s not.
SUMMER FEST EVE: This year, they’re planning to close the streets (California south of Genesee to Edmunds, Alaska between 44th and 42nd) earlier on pre-festival Thursday – noon, if final approval is obtained from the city – so that setup can be further along before visitors start arriving (in past years, the setup started at 6). It’ll be West Seattle Art Walk night, with an Art of Music performance by Naby Camera at KeyBank Plaza. You can also expect buskers, and a chalk-art area, too.
SUMMER FEST, DAY ONE: Big change – opening-day hours are shifting: The festival will start at 1 pm (it’s been 10 am in past years), and booths will be open until 8 pm; music will continue until 10 pm. Artist Stacey Sterling will coordinate a community-painted sea-life mural Friday and Saturday near the booths north of SW Oregon that also will offer free “big games” for kids on Friday and Saturday. All three days, there’ll also be a ticketed kid zone with bouncy houses, on the west side of SW Alaska, managed by National Event Pros, sponsored by the Seattle Kraken. And a bonus this year – Elliott Bay Brewing Co. is celebrating its 25th anniversary and will have bonus music outside the restaurant at 7 pm Friday and Saturday nights.
SUMMER FEST, DAY TWO: 10 am-8 pm, music until 10 pm. More of what started Friday. You’ll see some community-group performances at the festival too.
SUMMER FEST, DAY THREE: 10 am-5 pm. Big change this year – the West Seattle Farmers’ Market will be on California north of Oregon, not in the KeyBank lot. That means no stage or beer garden on Sunday – that area will be dismantled after Saturday night.
WSJA has just launched its Summer Fest website – you can see the music schedule here, the food lineup (with booths on SW Alaska east of California, plus year-round restaurants throughout The Junction) here, and more. See you at Summer Fest!
for the return of its volunteer-powered Morgan Junction Community Festival tomorrow (Saturday, June 18th), the Morgan Community Association decided to keep things short and sweet. So it’s a two-hour event, 11 am to 1 pm, at Morgan Junction Park (6413 California SW), starting with the ever-effervescent Bubbleman at 11 am, followed by acoustic music by Gary Benson, with community tabling throughout. So far seven organizations are tabling – including us – so you’ll have a chance to talk with:
The Whale Trail
Southwest Seattle Historical Society
34th District Democrats
Westside HEY (Healthy Empowered Youth)
Board & Vellum (designers of the future Morgan Junction Park Addition, so you can learn about what’s up with that)
No shopping/food booths this year, but Morgan Junction has plenty of cool places to explore within a few blocks – come to the festival and then go have lunch and/or a beverage! See you there, rain or shine.
Though the weather doesn’t seem to want to get summery yet, festival season continues with another event returning this Saturday:
The Morgan Community Association is easing back into things with a condensed version of its annual (aside from the pandemic summers) festival. Stop by Morgan Junction Park (6413 California SW) between 11 am and 1 pm this Saturday (June 18th) for some low-key neighborhood fun. Well, the opening act isn’t quite low-key … The Bubbleman will perform at 11 am, and acoustic musician Gary Benson will follow. Some local organizations will have tables, so you can come chat about what’s happening in your neighborhood. Among the participants already announced are The Whale Trail – come talk about what you can see at sea! – the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and us. This is a volunteer-powered event. See you there!
Street-fair season has begun! First big one of the year is happening now on two blocks of 16th SW south of SW Roxbury in downtown White Center – the White Center Pride Street Festival.
Dozens of booths line the street, for local businesses large and small (like WSB sponsor Verity Credit Union above), as well as resource organizations. Entertainment too – DJ Baby Van Beezly was spinning while we were there (the full entertainment schedule is on the WC Pride website):
And we found something unexpected – a sneak peek inside the soon-to-open new location of the Lumber Yard Bar:
It’s right across 16th SW from the fire-ravaged original location. Proprietors Nathan and Michale say they’re aiming to open the bar side July 1st:
That’s the north side; the south half of the space will be the performance side. Back to the festival:
There’s plenty of room to roam, or to stop and savor (Moonshot Coffee has a beverage garden out front, for one). Vendors are open until 6, entertainment continues until 11.
The return of West Seattle Summer Fest is less than two months away! July 15-16-17, The Junction’s three-day street party is back. Today, we have a sneak peek at the music schedule – two days/nights this year, as on the third day, the West Seattle Farmers’ Market will be on the block north of SW Oregon (rather than in the parking lot behind KeyBank as in years past). Since it’s early, there’s a chance of schedule changes, but this is the lineup now:
3:00 PM – Appaloosa
4:00 PM – Chris King & The Gutterballs
5:00 PM – Caitlin Sherman
6:00 PM – Smoker Dad
7:00 PM – Acapulco Lips
8:00 PM – Spirit Award
9:00 PM – Naked Giants
(DJ Kurt Bloch)
12:00 PM – School of Rock
1:00 PM – Mode Music
2:00 PM – THEM
3:00 PM – Emily Stranger
4:00 PM – Johnny Nails
5:00 PM – Mark Pickerel & The Peyote 3
6:00 PM – Mala Suerte
7:00 PM – Chong the Nomad
8:00 PM – Battlestar Kalakala
9:00 PM – True Loves
(DJ Yo! Adrian)
Toward the south end of the festival, music is also planned on an Elliott Bay Brewing Company-sponsored stage Friday and Saturday nights, 7 pm each night – the Urban Achievers on Friday, Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supreme on Saturday. More Summer Fest previews to come!
If you’ve looked at our West Seattle Event Calendar for this weekend, you know this weekend has a long list of possibilities. If you’re planning to spend extra time with your mom on or before Mother’s Day, one standout option is the Peony Festival at the Seattle Chinese Garden. The garden’s at the north end of the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus. The festival’s happening both days this weekend, 10 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday, with live performances noon-3 pm, starting with a noon Lion Dance on Saturday. The first day also includes a tree-peony sale (while they last). More info here!