A Nordic Ballard Weekend

Ballardites: Norwegian events are happening this weekend in downtown Ballard! Even if you’re not into lye-soaked, fermented fish (aka lutefisk), there will be something for all of us to choose from, starting tonight Friday, March 16th, and running through Saturday, March 17th. Here’s a summary of what’s happening, and where to read more information:


Photo: Scott Radford

Tonight from 8 pm-11 pm, the Ballard Elks #827 are hosting Viking Bingo Night for a good cause. Add flair by coming in costume. Or come as yourself. Or better yet, come as yourself in costume. Either way, enjoy cash prizes, commeraderie, drinks and snacks.

Viking Bingo Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2016540948624324/
Ballard Elks site:  http://ballardelks.org/
Ballard Elks Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BallardElks827



Start with a 5k Run at 9 am, then immerse yourself in all things traditional Nordic after that. Does life get any better? Listen to live Norwegian music, learn about the beautiful murals in the Ballard Sons of Norway’s Leif Erikson Lodge, sample or watch authentic Norwegian cooking demos (lutefisk not required), as well as dance, clothing, handicrafts, genealogy, and more.

Funds from the run/walk go toward Leif Erikson Lodge repairs/upgrades and the Ballard Senior Center. Registration/Check-In is at 8 am, Run is at 9 am.  $10 for adults, $5 for children.
Run/Walk’s Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/178197896127596/


Norwegian Heritage Day Facebook:
Ballard Sons of Norway/Leif Erikson Lodge site:  https://www.leiferiksonlodge.org/

Proudly wave your Norwegian flag, and enjoy a culture that helped shape Ballard!








What is going into this space, just east of the Ballard bridge? Read on.

So what’s happening with that empty lot south of the Ballard Blocks? A second Ballard Blocks complex is planned, and some businesses have already signed on. A couple different theories as to why the space development for that block was previously put on-hold include the financial strife of the former recession and another, the drainage problem the area is reportedly plagued with.

Looking east from the Ballard bridge at the current Ballard Blocks complex. New development will be to its right.

PCC Community Markets will almost certainly be the anchor business located at 1451 NW 46th Street, on the west end of the block next to the Ballard bridge. Permits have not been issued yet, but last year the city conditionally granted approval for this building project to move ahead, although the decision can be appealed through January 25th. A new 25,000 square foot co-op is planned to open in spring 2019, with a projected 100 unionized jobs. It will be interesting to see how this store melds with our many other nearby grocery options: Ballard Market, Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer’s food section, a New Seasons store under construction, and right across the street, Trader Joe’s. This PCC store will not replace the Fremont store, which will receive an upgrade.

The proposed new site, look west.  Renderings: Weber Thompson

A walkway and seating area will lead from PCC between two businesses on the east end of the block, which will include West Marine. The all-things-marine/boat store will be located on the southeast corner and will also have about 25,000 square feet in their 2-story building. West Marine has two other established stores in Seattle as well: Shilshole Bay and Interbay. The future 12,000 sq. foot 3rd floor in the 5-story building on the northeast corner of the block is reserved for Bright Horizons childcare center, according to the leasing company, Real Retail. A fun feature of Bright Horizons’ space is a planned skybridge that will lead to West Marine’s roof to access an area for kids to play outside.

At the time of this writing, some spaces were still open for lease. There’s a retail kiosk space with about 950 sq. feet available near the southeast corner. In the northeast building, floors 1 & 2 would work for retail, and floors 4-5 are set up for office spaces, with a large rooftop deck. Total parking around or underneath the entire south Ballard Blocks will be approximately 300 stalls.

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! 

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.



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

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.

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



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.

Ballard’s ‘Up’ House Is On The Move

The new home of Ballard’s ‘Up’ house, also known as the Macefield house, has finally been decided and it’s ‘the best possible outcome’ Paul Thomas, the real estate broker listing the house, told the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Macefield Map

There was a scare earlier this year that the home would be bulldozed after the buyers planning to convert the home into a coffee and pie shop fell through. The news that a non-profit was selected on Thursday to receive the house came as a relief for local fans.

Though the home’s original owner and folk hero Edith Macefield passed away in 2008, her spirit and story, similar to that of the popular Pixar movie “Up”, have lived on in the community. “I can’t possibly imagine a more wonderful ending for this chapter of the Edith Macefield story,” said Thomas, of Realty Brokers Inc.

The name of the non-profit and additional details will be revealed at a press conference tomorrow, August 4, outside of Macefield’s bungalow at 1438 NW 46th St.

17th of May Festival Happening This Weekend in Ballard!


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.



10 AM – 5 PM


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

NOON – 2:30 PM

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



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


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


4 – 6 PM 

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



This Week In Ballard

TODAY! Wednesday April 8:

Ballard Chamber Monthly Luncheon
Rays Boathouse
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Central Ballard Residents Association
Ballard District Council Meeting
Seattle Public Library Meeting Room in Ballard

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, April 9:
Central Ballard Residents Association
Monthly Membership Meeting (all who are interested are welcome)
5350 Tallman Ave. Conference room A. First floor, main Swedish Hospital 
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, April 10: 

Sticks & Stones Art Exhibit Party

5402 22nd Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107

(Free beer and wine for those of age)

7:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Moisture Festival (last weekend before closing)
Hale’s Ales Palladium, the Ballard brewery warehouse is converted into a Spring-time spectacle of local magic, acrobatics, burlesque, comedy, fresh beer and pure fun!
Shows at: 7:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
General Admission: $20

SATURDAY, April 11:

Nordic Heritage Museum
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
COST: $60

Ballard ArtWalk
Downtown Ballard
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Moisture Festival (last weekend before closing)
Hale’s Ales Palladium, the Ballard brewery warehouse is converted into a Spring-time spectacle of local magic, acrobatics, burlesque, comedy, fresh beer and pure fun!
Shows at: 7:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.
General Admission: $20