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!

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.

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)

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 Breweries Well Represented At Seattle Beer Week

Ballard breweries represent a large slice of the Seattle-made beer pie, and with Seattle Beer Week starting today and running through May 18, you’ll have another reason to go out and explore some of the neighborhood’s (and city’s, for that matter) best local brews. To begin your beer journey, head up to Chuck’s Hop Shop on NW 85th all day today and tomorrow to sample rare sour beers from Almanac, The Bruery, Cascade, Black Raven, Deschutes and more. Here’s a rundown of the other SBW events happening in Ballard this weekend:

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Thursday, 5/8

Friday 5/9

  • The Bruery Draft Takeover at Bitterroot BBQ. A selection of 10 beers including Autumn Maple, Saison de Lente, and Tart of Darkness. 3:00-11:00 p.m.
  • Porkchop & Co. will be serving bread made from spent grains used by Reuben’s Brews and Fremont Brewing alongside meats, cheeses, mustards and sweets (and Reuben’s and Fremont beers, of course). 3:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Willamette Valley’s Block 15 night at The Noble Fir. 4:00-10:00 p.m.
  • Friday Night Trivia with HUB at Ballard Station. 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Chrome Satan finally in cans! Release party at Hilliard’s from 7:00-11:00 p.m.

Saturday, 5/10

  • Chuck’s 85th will be pouring 30 IPA’s all day Saturday and Sunday.
  • Rye Beer Fest at Reuben’s Brews with 16 rye beers on tap! Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • All Saison, all the time! Saison Fest at Urban Family Public House, featuring Jolly Pumpkin, Prairie Artisan Ales, Lost Abbey and more. Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Block party at 418 Public House with beer from Hood River, Oregon’s Double Mountain and California’s Black Market Brewing. Outdoor beer garden, local bands, BBQ and more! 2:00-9:00 p.m. rain or shine.
  • Hilliard’s beer tasting at BevMo! Ballard. Fill up a growler before you leave! 4:00-7:00 p.m.
  • 2nd Annual Bluegrass & Beer Festival at Hale’s Ales has paired up breweries and will feature the resultant beers from collaborations between Diamond Knot & Skagit River, 7 Seas & Port Townsend Brewing, and many more! 5:00-10:00 p.m. Tickets here.

Sunday, 5/11 (Don’t forget your mom while you’re out drinking beer)

  • New Belgium Mother’s Day Dinner at The Leary Traveler. This ticketed event will benefit Seattle charity The Benevolent Guild and features a four-course meal along with five beer tastings from New Belgium. 6:00-9:00 p.m. Tickets here.

Click here to see a full list of Seattle Beer Week events happening all over the city!

Easter Brunch In the Ballard(ish) Area

brunch

Besides the Easter bunny and eating your weight in chocolate, Easter means one thing: brunch! If you’re not preparing a meal at home while the little ones hunt for eggs this Sunday, you could choose to let someone else do the cooking for you at one of these Ballard (and surrounding area) restaurants, all offering delicious spring-inspired menus.

All three of chef Maria Hines’ restaurants will be offering special three-course menus for Easter. Albacore tuna benedict, blueberry apricot scones and omelets will be on offer at Fremont’s Sicilian-inspired Agrodolce. Oh, and most importantly: bottomless mimosas. $25 per diner. At Hines’ Ballard outpost, the Mediterranean-influenced Golden Beetle, diners can sample housemade yogurt, pork shank hash and rosewater baklava, among other offerings on the menu. $25 per diner. A little further up the hill in Wallingford, Tilth will offer a three-course menu for $30, or $40 including a mimosa and coffee.

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery on Ballard Avenue will be serving baked-to-order frittatas and Easter treats such as creme yvette and lemon curd milkshakes, along with a “brunch punch.” Sounds delicious!

Vif Wine and Coffee in Fremont will host a three-course brunch featuring a sweet and savory pastry board with house-made jam, polenta with spring vegetables, poached egg and ham, and buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb compote and pistachio shortbread. If that doesn’t get you in the mood for spring, we don’t know what will! $25 per diner.

 

Greek Festival is Back!

A tradition since 1960, the St. Demetrios Greek Festival returns this year,
September 13, 14 and 15 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. Traditional Greek food, music, dancing and culture will be in abundance when St. Demetrios Church’s grounds and parking lot, located at 2100 Boyer Avenue East, transform into a Greek paradise. 

Visitors will have plenty of time to enjoy all that the Greek Festival has to offer this year, with hours of operation from noon—9pm on Friday, September 13th; 10am—10pm on Saturday, September 14th and noon—7pm on Sunday, September 15th. As always, admission and parking are free, with free shuttle service offered from both the Seattle Prep Parking Garage and Montlake Elementary School Playground on Saturday and Sunday during festival hours. Bike racks will also be available all weekend

If you are looking to get outside and enjoy our extended summer this weekend, make the short trip from Ballard over to Montlake and enjoy everything the Greek Festival has to offer. For more information make sure you visit their website at SeattleGreekFestival.com.

5 Guys Coming to Ballard

Thanks to this tip from MyBallard.com it looks like the popular and delicious 5 Guys Burger chain will be expanding into Ballard. While some details have yet to be released it appears that they will move into the retail space of one of the new apartment buildings being built at 15th Ave NW and Market St.

5 Guys offers a limited menu with few burger options but they offset that with what feels like unlimited toppings that you can add as well as large portions of hand cut fries. Ballard already has its fair share of burger restaurants most notably Red Mill, so we will have to watch how 5 Guys fits in. As you drive by the new construction on Market St. keep your eyes open for the grand opening!

 

Ballard Ranks 5th According to Walkscore.com

According to this Ballard News Tribune article, Ballard has a walk score of 94 which ranks them 5th out of 100 neighborhoods in Seattle. Ballard features over one hundred restaurants & bars packed in its dense urban setting as well as grocery stores, libraries, parks, and a post office, all of which are within a short distance from each other. As the high ranking indicates, not many neighborhoods in Seattle offer as much variety and in such a close proximity as Ballard does.

One of the reasons why Ballard is ranked as high as they are is because of the diversity of places that are within a 5 minute walk. This is one of the strongest indicators of how walkable a neighborhood is according to Walkscore.com.  In case you were wondering, the 4 neighborhoods ahead of Ballard are:

4. Cascade
3. Belltown
2. South Lake Union
1. Denny Triangle

With this great summer weather that we are currently having get outside and walk around Ballard and make sure to let us know what you think about our walk score of 94!

New Ballard Burger Restaurant

This week Li’l Woody’s Burgers & Shakes opened up next to the The Bay movie theater (2040 NW Market St). With their previous success on Capitol Hill, they decided to try their luck in the heart of Ballard. Offering Molly Moons milk shakes, hand cut  french fries, and countless burger combinations Li’l Woody’s is a perfect option for one of our perfect Ballard summer nights.  

For a complete menu check out their website at lilwoodys.com.