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.

Small Biz: Mezzanine Records & Vintage

5In one of downtown Ballard’s oldest buildings on Market Street is a cozy vintage shop, a just south of the intersection of 20th Ave. NW and Market Street. If you walk up a
4few steps, you’ll find Mezzanine Records and Vintage, which feels similar to browsing a friend’s oversized, well-appointed closet. A 1940’s mustard yellow dress with multi-striped skirt hangs near prints from past eras, a beaded cardigan from the 1950’s, men’s classic polished boots and hats, vintage tumblers, a colorful scarf, kitchenware, decorative jewelry made from Italian mosaic, and plenty of vinyl records.

This small business just celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Karl Zwick and Buffy Ritt, who own the shop, both share a love of vintage clothing, and in Buffy’s words, “We also love shopping together.” They had previously rented a space for three years in Fremont Vintage, an antique vintage mall. 6A woman tries on a long dress that looks “Art Deco” in style. A guy peruses the albums in the other room. Visitors chat with the owners about the shop, and life in general. “Our goal is not to be restricted to any one style”, Karl says. “This is a highly-inclusive store; all people are welcome.” They keep their prices in the affordable range, too. 9Karl, who has been collecting and trading vinyl since the 1980’s, also has 30 years of experience buying men’s & women’s vintage clothing. Opening a store in the heart of Ballard was “an intersection of good timing and the right place”. He always tries to pay attention to what people wear, and listens to “fill in the blanks” for what’s needed. “It’s a learning process,” he says. 11

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A dress from Mezzanine Records and Vintage

Buffy has previously worked in different fields, including massage therapy and
photography, among others, feeling very lucky to enjoy their current business. “We wanted our store to be a place that we [she and Karl] would want to shop,” she mentioned. “I feel good, excited about coming in to work each day.”

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Owners Karl and Buffy


8Address:
5418 20th Ave. NW (words above the doorway read “5416 1/2”)
Hours: check their Yelp page for updates, but usually afternoons and evenings
Phone #: 206.789.6269
Email: Mezzrnv@gmail.com
Instagram:
Mezzaninerecordsandvintage

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)

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.

“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.

Sign Up Early For Seattle Turkey Day Trot

With Halloween behind us, and only a few weeks until Thanksgiving, it’s almost time for the annual Turkey Trot around Ballard! The 5k fun run was created by three people who wanted to get in some exercise on Thanksgiving morning to counteract all of the eating that takes place later on in the day, and 30 of their friends showed up to join them that first year; the next year 200 people showed up, and 5 years later, it’s one of the most popular 5k fun runs around Seattle.

The run starts at 9am on Thanksgiving, (November 22 this year) and starts at NW 85th & 32nd Ave NW, traveling down 34th and looping along Seaview to end at Golden Gardens. All proceeds for the run are donated to the Ballard Food Bank. Early registration is $25, and ends November 13th. Late and day-of registration is $30, (day-of sign up is cash or check only). To sign up for some pre-turkey calorie burning fun, or to learn more about the race, visit the Turkey Trot website today.

Golden Gardens Yard Work Party Tomorrow!

Tomorrow at Golden Gardens Park, Green Seattle Partnership will host a forest restoration work party to help clean up the area. The weather forecast for this weekend is sunshine and blue skies, with a high of 74; perfect weather to be working outdoors! According to

Photo Courtesy of Myballard.com

Ballard-based Groundswell NW, volunteers are needed between 10am to 2pm, and duties will include removing various invasive plant species from the grounds. Earthcorps will be providing all of the necessary equipment, gloves, and positive attitudes to get the job done; and will also be offering light refreshments for their appreciation. If you’d like to sign up to volunteer for the event, you may do so by visiting the Earthcorps website.

The Annual 2011 Christmas Ships Are Coming to Ballard!

2011 Christmas Ship Festival in SeattleSeattle’s annual Christmas Ship Festival officially kicks off this Thursday, December 1st, and you don’t want to miss it when it floats by Ballard.  The 62 year Seattle tradition is a sure way to get you and your family into the holiday spirit.

On December 7th, head over to either the Ballard Locks or Golden Gardens Park in the evening to see the largest holiday floating parade in the world. The brightly decorated Christmas ships will stop in front of the Ballard Locks for 20 minutes, starting at 8:10pm. It’ll continue on to Golden Gardens Park and be there from 9:05-9:25pm. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, warm your hands by the bonfire and listen to the Dickens Carolers.

If you’re busy on Wednesday, you can catch the ships up near Carkeek Park on Sunday, December 11th. The Christmas Ships arrive in Carkeek Park a bit earlier, around 6:00pm. For more information, check out the full schedule here. Happy Holidays!

Golden Gardens Playground in Ballard to Close This Week

Yarr Matays! Have your lil’ Vikings sail to different ships and embark on adventures at other Ballard playgrounds this week, as the Golden Gardens vessel will be closed this week until Saturday. It appears the Golden Gardens Explorer Dome needs a bit of fixin’. In the meantime, venture over to the Salmon Bay vessel or the Ballard Playfield for adventures and playtime expeditions. The Golden Gardens Explorer Dome will be good as new by Saturday.