The Fremont Fair- Keeping Summer Solstice Splendidly Strange Since 1971

“Delibertas Quirkas” may well be the best (and likely most succinct) way to describe our favorite neighbor, the delightfully different Fremont neighborhood.

For those of you who weren’t Latin majors (probably all of you) “Delibertas Quirkas” means “freedom to be peculiar” and Fremont certainly embraces this motto readily, but never quite as much as at the annual and highly anticipated Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade.

The Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade are a traditional kick off to Summer around these parts, and are guaranteed to have something for everyone. With nearly 400 artists, craft vendors, food booths and more, you’re bound to find something beautiful, delicious or at least interesting around the city’s most well-loved street festival.

Worried there’s only booths to peruse? Fear not! The Fremont Fair is as diverse an event as Fremont is itself and the Crown Jewel and most famous part of the whole shebang is the Solstice Parade. If you’ve never attended, its sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. People powered floats, stilt walkers, giant puppets, dancers, musicians and the world-famous nude bicyclists all gallivant through the neighborhood from the intersection of 3rd and Leary Way to Gas Works Park in a display of color, joy and body paint unique to this event.

The parade takes place on Saturday at 1 PM and its canine counterpart will be on Sunday at 2:30 PM. That’s right, the festivities would not be complete without the Dog Parade! Led by Seattle’s beloved Blue Thunder, hordes of pretty pooches, dressed in their finest (accompanied by their people, of course) will strut along 34th avenue in what might be the cutest and cuddliest parade you’ve ever seen.

After that, check out the Art Cars, an incredibly unique display of over 75 pieces of art on wheels. You’ve never seen cars ‘tricked out’ quite like his before!

If that’s not enough excitement for you, be sure to bring your dancing shoes, as the fair features two all-free stages of musical groups and DJs scheduled throughout the weekend, including a mix of well-known and up and coming local acts.

And of course, there will be plenty of delectable food to feast on, including plenty of local favorites and a wonderful beverage garden featuring libations from this year’s event sponsors, Casa Noble Tequila and Corona.

The Fremont Fair is fun for the whole family and a Seattle-centric event you won’t want to miss.

Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade 2017 Hours-
Saturday June 17th:
Craft Market- 10 am-8 pm
Music- 11 am- 9 pm
Solstice Parade- 1 pm

Sunday June 18th:
Craft Market- 11 am-6 pm
Music- 11 am- 5:30 pm
Dog Parade- 2:30 pm

 

For more information about this colorful celebration including anticipated musical performers and food vendors, click here!

Help Ballard Bring Home The Curbed Cup!

We Ballardites know that we’re lucky enough to live in the BEST neighborhood in Seattle, right? Well, now’s our chance to let the whole city know!

The 2016 Curbed Cup is up for grabs and it’s down to us, Vs Columbia City. That’s right, we have made it all the way to the final round!

Now, it’s time to bring it home.  With 5 (yes, F-I-V-E) days to vote for Ballard, and a community of crazy-proud inhabitants, it would be a cinch to take the title. That is, THE title, the whole shebang, The Curbed Cup.

Head over to Curbed Seattle to cast your vote (or click here and skip the extra typing) for our ‘hood before midnight tonight for it to count.

And don’t just stop there, share the link with your friends! Text, them, email them, bribe them into casting their vote, whatever you have to do, get others to join so we can come out on top!

The title is within our grasp, so close we can taste it, let’s not let it slip away! We all know Ballard is where it’s at, let’s make sure everyone else does too! 

Who Painted That?

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henry’s mural on the Sloop Tavern at NW 54th & Market Street, Ballard (Photo: Alethea Myers)

If you live in or frequent Ballard often, you may have seen exterior walls filled with brightly-colored, whimsical creatures and wondered, “Who painted that?” In many cases, the answer is the prolific muralist/ artist Ryan Henry Ward, who signs his work simply “henry”. His outdoor canvases adorn buildings in Ballard, Fremont, West Seattle, Crown Hill, and beyond.

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Raccoon with banjo on Value Village’s store, 8532 15th Ave NW in Crown Hill (Photo: Alethea Myers)   His pink walruses on Axis Automotive building, Ballard (now demolished). (Walruses photo courtesy of seattlemurals.org)

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West Seattle home’s sea life at 3425 39th Ave SW. (Image courtesy of seattlecurbed.com)

Although henry has been artistic all his life, he painted his first mural only 8 years ago when a bar owner who admired his work asked him to cover up graffiti on the side of his building. A Ballard News-Tribune article drew more attention to his work. After a career as a social worker, the Puget Sound Business Journal mentioned henry ran a successful landscaping business with his brother. He had to stop, due to a spinal injury.

At last count, Ryan Henry Ward has painted around 200 murals since 2008 on different business buildings & homes: automotive, thrift store, children’s nursery, taverns, among others, and now works on commission. One of his mythical creatures, a sasquatch, is sandwiched on a fence between the Sip ‘n Ship store and Golden Beetle Restaurant, a ½ block east of 20th Ave. NW on Market Street in Ballard. His work has had a positive influence on the Sip ‘N Ship, according to Matt Beavers, the shipping manager for the past year. “We have people from all over who notice the mural first and it touches them in a way, from the heart”, he said. “Because once they see it, they’re drawn into the store.”

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Sasquatch (and bird pal) between Sip ‘n Ship and Golden Beetle on Market St., Ballard (Photo: Alethea Myers)

New Gastropub Graces Ballard This October

Ethan Stowell is opening a new gastropub in Ballard come October. Named Bramling Cross the venture will unsurprisingly feature upscale beer with gourmet food. We say unsurprisingly because the restaurant is named after a type of hop, so beer, and fancy beer at that, will be the focus here.

The gastropub will feature 8 taps of local beer and a large variety bottles and cans. Stowell feels that with so many well respected microbreweries in Fremont and Ballard, beer is becoming an upscale thing; might as well pair some upscale food with it.

According to Eater, Michael Giffrod, chef from Stowell’s How to Cook a Wolf will be “serving up Stowell-caliber fried oysters, hot wings, foie gras, Wagyu culotte steak, grilled chicken, house-made sausages, and more in shared plates.”

Bramling Cross will at 5205 Ballard Ave, taking over the old Portalis space (which moved to 6754 15th Ave NW)

12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival Is This Saturday!

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This Saturday is the 12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival from 11am-5pm at the Ballard Commons Park. This FREE family-friendly event is packed with some great activities, workshops, and great hands-on games. Join the Garden Party – make a mad hat and sample some of Ballard’s tastiest teas & sweets in the Taste of Ballard Tea Garden. There will also be a chance to win-prizes, listen to live music on the solar-powered main stage, enter to win an electric bike, learn new ways to upcycle, help make fresh cider and hang with some pretty neat farm animals.

This is a great opportunity to learn together, get inspired, and discover new ways to live more lightly on the earth. Also, this event has partnered with Seattle Summer Parkways and will be the base-camp of a 7 mile loop which will feature activities at a variety of stops along the way.

Here is a list and time frames of some of the great activities happening.

 

MUSIC STAGE:

11:00 AM: Ricky Gene Powell

12:15 PM: Hot Cider String Band

1:30 PM: Sustainable Brain: BrainDance for Everybody!

2:00 PM: Ped and Pet Parade Starts

2:30 PM: Charlie and the Rays

3:45 PM: Steven Curtis

4:45 PM: Raffle Drawing

 

MOVEMENT ZONE:

10:30 AM: Yoga with Ballard Health Club

11:45 AM: Qigong with Embrace The Moon

1:00 PM: BUBBLE MAN (Kids & Kidults Program)

2:15 PM: Tijiquan (Tai Chi) with Embrace The Moon

3:30 PM: Zumba with Ballard Health Club

Ongoing: Z-Ultimate Self Defense (Periodic 10 minute demos throughout the day)

 

LEARNING STATION:

11:00 AM: Chinook Book Giveway
Thanks to a generous donation from Swansons Nursery, the first 120 people to visit this station will receive a free 2016 Chinook Book (print edition)! Please no queue before 10 am.

12:30 PM: Bringing Nature to Neighborhoods
Mary Fleck, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
Learn about opportunities for bringing nature to neighborhoods through open spaces in Seattle.

12:50 PM: Benefits of Going Solar and Living Green
Aimee Carpenter, SolTerra
We will ask a few volunteers from the audience to participate in a demonstration, followed by a short talk on the benefits of going solar and living green.

1:10 PM: Energy and Water Saving Strategies
Leah Missik, Built Green
We will give a short talk on which energy and water saving strategies in the home have the greatest impact, so you can know where to concentrate your environmental efforts!

1:30 PM: Why Choose an Electric Bike?
Heidi Schlesinger, Seattle Electric Bike
What’s new in the electric bike world, including the health benefits, and our best answer to the question, Why choose an electric bike over a conventional bike?

1:50 PM: Climate Change and Initiative 732
Ben Silesky, Carbon Washington
We will explain the policy basics of Carbon Washington’s I-732 ballot initiative for a revenue neutral carbon tax, our political strategy, a campaign update and how everyone can get involved. We will then pass around boards to sign the initiative and volunteer.

2:20 PM: Bike Insurance
Sean Kuhlmeyer, Emerald City Bike Lawyer
Sean Kuhlmeyer, the bike lawyer, will be giving his famous and popular, but brief, talk about bicycle insurance, and how to make sure that you are protected if you get hurt in a bike crash. If you are a cyclist you need to know this information!

2:40 PM: Solar Impact
Chris Horne, Sunergy Systems
How many barrels of oil will be saved if your home converts to solar?

3:00 PM: Sustainability Within: Chinese Medicine Can Help The World
Avigail Cohen, Ballard Acupuncture Center
Chinese medicine is built on the natural sustainability that exists within the body. Learn about how your body systems parallel The Earth’s natural checks and balances, and learn how Acupuncture promotes an internal harmony that allows us to relate to the world in a more sustainable and harmonious way.

3:20 PM: Mastering Milking a Goat
Lacia Lynne Bailey, Ravenna Ridge Metro Milkers
Well, not really “master” it in this short demo but you’ll learn the basics of technique, equipment, sanitation and process, plus the all important after-milking ritual. Led by Lacia Lynne Bailey, breeder of Seattle’s only finished dairy goat champions since 2008 on her urban farm, Ravenna Ridge Metro Milkers.

3:40 PM: Shipping Container becomes ADU
Michael Vacirca, Lastingnest, Inc.
We are turning a shipping container into ADU (accessory dwelling unit).  Learn about the permitting process and details of this very affordable building method and how it could be used to create affordable housing.

 

SKATEBOWL: SKATE CLINICS

Come learn to skateboard at the Sustainable Ballard Festival!  Skate Like a Girl will be running four 30-minute co-ed clinics for FREE during the festival, as well as providing boards and protective gear. All ages and all abilities encouraged!   Be sure to register early — each clinic is limited to ten participants.  Skate Like a Girl will also be hosting demonstrations throughout the day. Don’t miss it!

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Register for clinics, free skate at park
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Clinic #1
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #2
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM: Clinic #2
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #3
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Clinic #3
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #4
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Clinic #4
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Gear return, free skate

Note:  Lesson spots will be given away if participant does not show five minutes after the clinic start time. Late entries may be allowed or not, up to the discretion of clinic leads. Demos are in free skate / jam format with no formal programming.

 

17th of May Festival Happening This Weekend in Ballard!

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It’s that time of year again! This Sunday, May 17th the streets of Ballard will fill with as many as 25,000 spectators and Norway enthusiast to celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day. The parade will feature more than 100 groups, including marching bands, Norwegian-American lodges, drill teams, classic cars and so much more.

The party kicks off with a dance party on Saturday night, May 16th, held at Ballard Elks (6411 Seaview Ave NW) from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. $10 at the door, snacks provided as well as a no-host bar.

Sunday, the daylong annual Nordic party will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is sure to be a really great day in the name of Norway! See below for the schedule of events.

 

ENTERTAINMENT AT BERGEN PLACE

10 AM – 5 PM

http://www.facebook.com/MusicSyttendeMai

Intersection of Market St., Leary Ave., and 22nd Ave.

Join emcee and musician Lori Ann Reinhall at Bergen Place stage for an incredible musical line-up featuring a number of acts with Nordic flair!

10:00 Opening Festivities with honored guests:
10:10 Invocation with Prof. Rolf Grankvist, Trondheim
10:15 National Anthem – Combined Norwegian Choruses
10:30 Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle
11:00 Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle
11:30 Traditional Dance with Leikarringen and Fiddler Bill Boyd
12:00 Matt Jorgensen Jazz Trio
1:00 Accordion favorites with Karl-Ivar Petersson
1:30 Barne Jam with Mäd Fiddlu
2:00 Children’s Dance with Barneleikarringen
2:30 Sing-along with Lori Ann Reinhall & Pianist Aaron Otheim
3:00 Traditional Fiddling with Seattle Lilla Spelmaslag
3:30 Skandia Kapell Folk Ensemble

LUNCHEON
NOON – 2:30 PM
LEIF ERIKSON LODGE

Grab some traditional Norwegian grub with Leif Erikson’s Grand Marshal and Honorary Marshals!
Address: 2245 NW 57th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-783-1274

 

BARNELEKER (CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES)

10 AM – 3 PM
Nordic Heritage Museum
Children can enjoy easy craft projects at the Nordic Heritage Museum. The crafts are free and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Address: 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-789-5707

NORDIC CAFÉ

10 AM – 4 PM
Nordic Heritage Museum
Free Museum admission all day! Enjoy Scandinavian food and beverages available for purchase.
Address: 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-789-5707

17TH OF MAY PARADE

4 – 6 PM 

Come early to save your spot! This year’s featured emcees are local radio personalities Tim Hunter & MJ McDermott.

 

 

Friday, April 24th – 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party

vNE8214NS9GOvXOy7DCu_DSC_0266Earth Day celebrations aren’t over yet – at least not in Ballard.

Set for this Friday, April 24th, 2015 the 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party will kick off at 4 p.m. and go until 8 p.m.

Hosted by Ballard based solar installation company, Sunergy Systems and Sustainable Ballard, the street party will take place on NW 46th Street between Leary Way NW and 8th Ave NW.

Event highlights include:

Keynote speaker, Tom Watson King County EcoConsumer

Burgers & Greens by Giddy Up and pints provided by Stoup Brewing

Live music: Robotic AboutUs, Matt Badger, Mic Pogo, & Earth Over Heaven

Local environmentally-minded businesses

Fireside workshops and presentations

 

Also, don’t miss the sustainably-themed Raffle with prizes like:

Electric Bike (model Giant Twist Freedom DX)
by Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest

Intro Yoga Certificates

Career Counseling Certificate

Local Ballard products like apparel, teas and candies

Local Ballard restaurant gift cards

 

 

http://www.ballardearthday.com/

Free Parking in Ballard Not Free For Long

According to this report by Kiro TV, the Seattle Department of Transportation is planning to turn 250 parking free spots in downtown Ballard into paid ones. In addition to this, there will be more time limit spots for areas where there are currently no restrictions on how long you are allowed to park. Johnathan Williams, senior transportation planner with SDOT,  states that the idea is “to create available access to businesses, so folks coming into the neighborhood can find a place to park.” Kiro TV says that the plan is to implement these changes in the spring.

The issue at hand is that with Ballard becoming more dense with the addition of new apartments and condo’s, along with a growth of new businesses, parking is at a premium. While extending paid parking times and adding more paid spots will increase turnover, it could also reduce the amount of time people spend in Ballard.

How do you feel about this? Do you agree or disagree with the plan from the Seattle Department of Transportation?

You can find more information on  this proposed plan here.

Ballard Celebrates 200th Anniversary of Syttende Mai This Saturday

Norway

Despite dramatic changes in Ballard over the past several years, the neighborhood retains its strong Scandinavian identity, which is no better demonstrated than at the annual Syttende Mai (17th of May in Norwegian) parade, a celebration of the signing of the Norwegian constitution in 1814.

Ballard has been holding its celebration of Norwegian independence for 150 years, and these days the parade, which begins near 24th Ave NW and NW 60th and makes its way through Bergen Place park and down Ballard Avenue through Old Ballard, draws as many as 20,000 spectators. You’ll see drill teams, marching bands, community groups and plenty of Norwegian musical groups such as the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle. Though the parade is the grand finale of the event, Ballard will be celebrating all day long with music, food, kids activities, and much more! Here’s a sampling of other events happening throughout the day:

10:00 a.m. – Opening festivities with Mayor Ed Murray at Bergen Place

10:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m. – Barneleker (Children’s Events) at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Bring your kids for free craft projects and a chance to pet fjord horses!

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Enjoy free admission to the Nordic Heritage Museum all day long and sample Scandinavian food and drinks in the Nordic Cafe.

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Cafe at Leif Erikson Lodge. Food, beverages, wine/beer, programs, flags, DVDs for purchase. Enjoy traditional Norwegian music from the Winter Band and connect with local Scandinavian organizations.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Parade! See the route here.

There will also be music all day long at the Bergen Place stage, see a full lineup and schedule here!

 

Best Ballard Mother’s Day Gifts

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Photo Courtesy of Blackbird

If you’ve shopped around and still haven’t been able to find the right gift for mother’s day this year, don’t worry we have a great list of items that every Ballard mom is sure to love! Does your mom love to keep the house smelling great? Head over to Blackbird and pick up an incense pyre sampler for $30, with scents like Ai, a bright green aroma with mossy and soil tones, and Izba, a warm wood and light smoky fireplace aroma. If she’s not into incense, Blackbird also has a variety of hand soaps like the tomato leaf and clay square soap perfect for the kitchen.

Does your mom love the outdoors? Check out Second Ascent’s collection of base layers and yoga pants. They also have a ton of camping gear, including this awesome Marmot trestle sleeping bag designed for the female physique. If your mom digs local art, head over to Venue and check out their collection of photography, paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other fun gifts. If your mom could use some time to unwind, get her a spa package at Habitude Salon and Spa, we like the Beneath the Spring Thaw Falls package which includes a hydrating salt glow, massage, scalp revitalizer, followed by a hot rocks sauna.  If your mom really enjoys dining out, take her to Ray’s Boathouse on the waterfront, or dine at Bastille and pretend you took her to Paris for the night! Whatever you decide to get her, make sure to tell your mom how appreciative you are for all she does this Mother’s Day, and Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful Ballard Moms!