Say Välkommen To The Holiday Season At Yulefest!

Ready or not, it’s officially the holiday season.

The music has started, the decorations are going up, and each night, another house is lit up in the most festive of colors. If you ARE ready for some good ol’ fashioned Holiday cheer (so, basically unless you’re Scrooge?), head down to the Nordic Heritage Museum’s Annual Yulefest this Saturday and Sunday, November 18th and 19th!

Yulefest features all things Scandinavian and all things holiday, making it the perfect event to get in that ’God Jul’ (Merry Christmas) spirit!

 

Enjoy traditional Nordic-inspired items from many different vendors, plenty of delicious Scandinavian sweet and savory treats at the Nordic Cafe (even get some to go for later!) and traditional and contemporary Nordic music and dance will be performed on three different stages.

Kids are encouraged to have fun and get crafty with plenty of kid-oriented crafts,  a raffle and the opportunity to meet the man we all want a visit from in December, Santa Claus (or, Julenissen in Norwegian, Jultomten in Swedish)!

Grown-ups are also encouraged to have plenty of fun and toast the season in the Valhalla Beer Garden (which will be nice and toasty warm!) with a tasty beverage including the Nordic-fav hot mulled wine, glögg. Skål (cheers!) to that!  

This year, Yulefest celebrates its 40th year of bringing Scandinavian holiday fun and flair to our community, and it will be the last Yulefest celebrated at the Nordic Heritage Museum’s current location, before they move on to bigger and better things for 2018.

Yulefest is a wonderful celebration of culture, the holidays and community. If you’re ready for some serious holiday spirit, good food, fun music and maybe even some holiday shopping, Yulefest is the place to be!

God Jul!

Halloween in Ballard

Photo:  Julia Raasch

If you live in or frequent downtown Ballard often, Halloween might be your favorite time of year here (as it is mine). The sidewalks, especially along Market Street, are a moving panorama of little kids dressed in their Halloween costumes, holding hands with a parent or two, some of which occasionally dress in costume, too. It brings a smile to one’s face, watching them gather their treats, handed out by local shop owners. This year is no exception, with trick-or-treat happening from 4:00-6:00 pm on Tuesday, October 31st, along Market Street and Ballard Avenue, near Bergen Place Park.

MyBallard.com neighborhood treat map

There’s also a nifty map on MyBallard.com if you’d like to add your house as a place to stop in the neighborhood to collect more treats. Happy Hallow’s Eve!

Sustainable Ballard Fest

The Bubble Man entertains a crowd at the Sustainable Ballard Festival.

The 14th annual Sustainable Ballard Festival takes place on September 9th in downtown Ballard, from 11 am to 4 pm.  The Sustainable Ballard organization works to promote sustainability: environmentally, socially, and personally. They work to foster neighborhood community and connectivity. This is done through this yearly festival, hosting meaningful movies, sharing resources (like tools or books), coming together to knit items for the homeless, gardening/food and urban livestock education, and volunteering, among other things. Anything that positively increases our interconnectivity, especially in a future no longer based on oil.

So expect more family-friendly, community-building activities and vendors at this event. The festival takes place at Ballard Commons Park (the skate park at 5701 22nd Ave NW) that Saturday, and the first 200 people to arrive at the Chinook Book table (11 am) will receive their 2018 book full of coupons & sustainable resources, courtesy of Town & Country Ballard Market. Check out the extended list of things to do at their website or Facebook page below:

http://www.sustainableballard.org/festival https://www.facebook.com/SustainableBallard

 

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!

Christmas Ships Are Coming To Town!

If you’ve never done it before, the Christmas Ships are a Northwest tradition worth checking out!

The Argosy Cruise Christmas Ship Festival is an annual Pacific Northwest tradition, going strong since 1949. Each year, the Argosy Christmas Ship, adorned with twinkle lights and Holiday cheer, sets sail from a different port around the greater Seattle area. On board the Christmas Ship,  a local choir serenades passengers  with a 20-minute performance of beloved Christmas Carols.

The Carols are broadcast to the entire community through a state of the art speaker system, so if you can’t be on the ship, you can still enjoy the Christmas magic from a distance. Folks from all around the neighborhood gather on the shore to behold the glimmering lights of the beautifully decorated ship and to hear the Carols being sung on board. It’s a great opportunity for a bonfire and mug of cocoa with the kids!

There are multiple opportunities to see or be a part of the Christmas Ship, at over 65 different waterfront locations in the greater Seattle area.  Each Lead Boat has tons of fun going on board, like

* Choir performance on board

* Santa Claus reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

* Ho, Ho, Ho Contest and other holiday activities

* Holiday Gift Shop on board

* Kids holiday craft area and activities

* Full-service bar and snacks available for purchase

Argosy generously donates a portion of all tickets sold to the Seattle Time’s Fund For The Needy, so your purchase of a ticket goes to help those in need, right here at home.

The Christmas Ships Festival is a beloved tradition around here for a reason. Be sure to experience it for yourself this year!

For more information, click here.

Baking Up Something Sweet! Hood Famous Bakeshop Puts Down Roots In Ballard

 

Well known and loved pop-up Hood Famous Bakeshop is laying down roots at last, right in the heart of Ballard!

You may remember Hood Famous first gaining local fame and somewhat of a cult following after appearing with the Food & Sh*t pop-up series (which was co-founded by HFB’s owner Chera Amlag) with a routinely stunning rotating dessert course.

Hood Famous made a fabulous impression with it’s delicious and inventive desserts, drawing heavy inspiration from Filipino, Hawaiian and Asian flavors.

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While they have built their reputation on their not-of-this-world fabulous Ube cheesecake (just try and walk past that glorious purple color and not NEED a piece), they have expanded their menu to include even more exotic combinations like Coconut Pandan, Mango Calamansi, and White Chocolate Guava, much to the delight of patrons.

Amlag’s ability to blend the distinctive flavors of East and West so delicately and precisely is a testament not only to her skill and talent but also illustrates an obvious passion for food and culture.

Their new Ballard home will be a to-go only spot, with no seating space offered. However, in addition to grab-and-go goodies, Hood Famous will still be making items to order, taking catering orders and crafting luscious treats for selected retailers and restaurants in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue.

Hood Famous offers something truly unique and spectacular if you’re in the market for something sweet or just want to try something new.

Be sure to check them out when they have their grand opening this Saturday, October 8th, and see what all the buzz is about!

Hood Famous' violet hued Ube Cheesecake at Kraken Congee

Hood Famous Bakeshop 2325½ NW Market St,
(206) 486-6429
www.hoodfamousbakeshop.com

Open Thursday-Friday 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get Your Oompah On! Ballard Oktoberfest

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If you’re into local craft brews, pretzels, and German oompah band music, check out this weekend’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest in Ballard. According to The Ballard News, on Saturday, Sept. 17th, four local breweries will be hosting this mini event in a fun way, providing at least one Oktoberfest variety beer and a food truck at each location.

Leading a procession of impromptu participants from one brewery/taproom to another will be The Oompah Machine, a travelling oompah band, who were first assembled last year during the first Ballard Oktoberfest. They will lead a procession between the four breweries, which are only 2-3 blocks apart, for those who’d like to continue with the revelry. The traipsing between places starts at Reuben’s Brews at 2 pm, and then continues to Stoup Brewing (3 pm), Lucky Envelope Brewing (4 pm), and then on to Populuxe Brewing (5 pm).

The event is sponsored again this year by Verity Credit Union, who will be providing free pretzel necklaces! And commemorative steins will be available for sale at each location.

For more brew and kinship on a larger scale (and in a nearby neighborhood), check out the Fremont Oktoberfest the following weekend: Sept. 23, 24, and 25.

Celebrate Ballard’s Scandinavian Heritage at the Taste of Norway

When you think of anything Scandinavian in Seattle, you have to think of Ballard and there’s no better time to get your fix than at the Norway Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day this Saturday, March 19!

Get ready for a day filled with Norwegian-themed fun, and lots of tasty food! Enjoy a Scandinavian smorgasbord of delightfully authentic Norwegian favorites such as krumkaker, smorbrod sandwiches, ertesuppe pea soup and of course, lefse, to name a few. Watch live demonstration of how these tasty traditions are made, so you can make them yourself at home, when the cravings kick in. The festival will also feature plenty of lively traditional Norwegian music, live demonstrations of traditional Norwegian crafts, and genealogy experts to help you better connect to your Norse roots, or see if you have any to begin with. Folks are encouraged to dress in traditional garb, and, if they can, to participate in the Bunad Parade of clothing and jewelry, at 12pm.

The festivities kick off with the Leif-to-Leif walk/run (from the Leif Erikson Lodge to the statue of Leif Erikson at Shilshoe Bay and back) at 9am. Come (a little) hungry, as you will be rewarded for your efforts with a tasty heart-shaped waffle and the Norse’s favorite waffle-topper, homemade jam.

What better way to start your weekend then with some movement, tasty foods and a lot of fun in beautiful Ballard? There’s never been a better excuse to get your Viking on and there won’t be again…until next year, that is.

Annual Hot Chocolate Run Headed Our Way!

2016_HC_SEA_CourseMap_Small-791x1024Get ready to sprint your way to sweet sips!

Time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This fun and festive event will be held on Sunday, March 6th and is fun for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The 5k begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag to take home and, of course, delicious chocolate!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t sweat the calories, you will have earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not ready to lace up and race? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (above) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.

 

 

Street Closure

From

To

Side of Road

Closure Time

Anticipated Opening

2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM

“Safe Seattle” Meeting Tonight

safetyfirstIn a city as beautiful as Seattle, it’s easy to forget some ugly truths that linger beneath the surface.

A local group calling themselves “Safe Seattle” is having a meeting tonight, bringing to the forefront the growing public safety issues facing the city and calling the city’s inhabitants to action.

This meeting was organized by Cindy Pierce, a resident of Magnolia,  to shine a light on and address the growing problem of drug dealing and use, theft, illegal encampments and other public safety problems that are increasingly impacting residents and business owners in various areas of the city such as Ballard, Queen Anne and Magnolia, to name a few.  The goal of the meeting is to bring together residents of the community to talk about and demand action in regards to these issues, which, some say are reaching crisis level.

The meeting is expected to earn a potentially big turnout, due in large part to the response it’s had on social media. The meeting will include representatives from city hall and people from different neighborhoods throughout the city speaking on the issue.

The meeting will be held tonight, January 6th, from 6:30-8:30 PM at United Church of Christ in Magnolia 3555 W McGraw St.