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

Greenwood Street Soccer

Saturday August 10th is the 2nd annual Greenwood Street Soccer Tournament put on by Naked City Brewery, Summer Streets, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Innovators Network. This 3 on 3 soccer tournament will take place on Greenwood Ave between 85th and 87th with sectioned off fields lining the street. If you are interested in putting a team together you are encouraged to pre-register as only a limited amount of teams will be allowed to participate. 

Friday night Naked City Brewing will host a pre-tournament party from 7-10pm offering up drink specials to get everyone fueled up for the following days games. All proceeds from the event will go directly to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research.  For much more information about this event, please visit their website here.

  • Price: $150/team
  • When: Fri-Sat August 9th-10th
  • Where: Greenwood Ave between 85th-87th
  • Why: Sounds like a good time

Greenwood Parade is Back

This Wednesday July 24th is the annual Greenwood Seafair Parade. For 64 years Greenwood has hosted this event that will feature various themed floats, drill team performances, and the always loud Seafair Pirates. The parade route runs south along Greenwood Avenue from 95th to 85th and then heads west on 85th to 6th Ave NW. 

This year the theme of the parade will be “Funny in Greenwood” and the grand marshal will be Pat Cashman of “Almost Live”. The Greenwood Parade starts at 6:00 PM and should last until roughly 8:30 PM.

If you are looking for something to do this week, make sure you grab a blanket and head north to Greenwood to see one of the oldest Seafair sanctioned events around! For more information you can visit their informational website here.

Celebrate Norwegian Heritage Day and Run the Leif-to-Leif 5K in Ballard

Couldn’t get enough of the St.Paddy’s Day Dash, but still a traditional Ballardite at heart? Lace up your red, white, and blue running shoes and warm up for the Leif-to-Leif 5K Run/Walk this Saturday, March 24th. The race goes from the Leif Erikson Lodge to the Leif Erikson statue at Shilshole Marina and back. Check-in begins at 8am and the race starts at 9am. For more information, please visit the Leif Erickson Lodge website. It’s all a part of the Norwegian Heritage Celebration taking place in Ballard.

If running isn’t your forte, you can still honor Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day. The Leif Erikson Lodge is hosting numerous family-friendly activities to participate in, including a Taste of Norway. Starting at 10am, you can sample traditional Norwegian cuisine, such as pickled herring, krumkake, smorbord (open faced sandwiches), rommegrot (cream porridge), and more. Kids can enjoy arts and crafts, and even dance to the traditional Norwegian music, provided by the various choirs and bands. For more information, please visit the Norway Embassy website here.

Embrace your inner Norwegian (whether truly or honorary) and stop by the Leif Erikson Lodge on Saturday, March 24th. Festivities will go from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free. It will truly be an event honoring the culture of the people who settled Ballard and made it what it is today.

Ballard High School Invited to Prestigious Nationwide High Schol Jazz Competition

Ballard High School Invited to Essentially Ellington FestivalBallardites, toot your horns! Ballard High School is one of fifteen high school nationwide to be selected to compete in the 2012 Essentially Ellington festival in New York City. Ballard will be competing against various high schools, including Mountlake Terrace and Roosevelt High School. The annual jazz festival will take place May 4-6th at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan. It will be Ballard High School’s first year at the festival.

Participating at the Essentially Ellington festival is a high honor for a high school jazz musician. This year, there were 111 schools for the 15 available spots! What’s especially interesting is how the Seattle area high schools have continued to dominate the festival since being invited to participate in 1999. Most notable is Roosevelt High School’s continued appearance and repeat wins. This is just further proof that Seattle is still home to great music and musicians, including Quincy Jones!

As a former high school jazz musician and Ballard resident, I could not be more proud for Ballard High School. I hope they enjoy the experience and place well at the festival. If you would like to help out, you can support Ballard’s award-winning Jazz Band by getting tickets to see them perform at “Hot Java, Cool Jazz” at The Paramount on March 30th. Buy tickets through BHS band members, or at the Market Street Ballard Starbucks! 100% of proceeds for tickets sold thru Ballard will benefit the BHS Jazz Band’s trip to NYC.

 

Beloved Ballard Burger Place Closes

According to Seattle Weekly via MyBallard, Zesto’s Burger & Fish House is closed. The beloved retro restaurant at 6416 15th Ave NW will be replaced by RoRo BBQ and Burgers, a local Seattle chain.

I had a chance to stop by Zesto’s in December before it closed. I had no idea it was going to close. However, it makes sense, as the service and quality weren’t quite what it used to be in earlier years. Although it is sad that a restaurant is closing after 63 years, I’m glad it is being replaced by a local Seattle restaurant. I personally love BBQ and have only heard good things about RoRo’s.

Indulge your Inner Scandinavian at the Nordic International Film Festival

Yar, Ballard vikings. There’s a way to indulge your Scandinavian selves this weekend. The Nordic Lights Film Festival is happening from tonight to Sunday. You have the opportunity to see 9 feature-length films and a package of short films from January 6th – January 8th. If you see all of them, you might find yourself craving lingonberries, running out of butter, and wanting to shop at IKEA.

So, what can you expect at the 3rd annual NLFF? Unfortunately, no Ingmar Bergman. But, there is a slew of fantastic Scandinavian directors out there, so don’t fret. The Oscar and Golden Globe-winning Denmark movie, “In a Better World,” will be playing. Additionally, “When the Pepper Blossoms” will be presented at the festival; it is about Swedish emigration to Brazil at the turn of the century. Visit the NLFF website to see the full list of movies playing this weekend.

Price-wise, it’s $10 for each individual screening. Or you can purchase a festival pass for $50. There’s also a few discounts. Go here for more info. All films will be shown in SIFF cinema at the Film Center. I repeat – the Nordic Lights Film Festival is NOT being shown in lil’ Scandinavian, Ballard, which would be the rational location. In case you don’t know, the SIFF Cinema Film Center is located in the Seattle Center’s Northwest Rooms, between the Key Arena and the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

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.

Don’t Miss Ballard’s Thanksgiving Turkey Trot!

If you’re hoping to consume a few more helpings of stuffing than normal this year, it might be wise to get some exercise beforehand. Fortunately, Ballard is hosting its 5th annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, a casual 5k run/walk that takes place Thanksgiving Day and benefits the Ballard Food Bank.

Pre-registration ended November 22nd but you can still register day-of and participate (You just won’t receive a Thanksgiving shirt). The run starts at in Ballard at 32nd Ave NW and NW 85th Street by Caffe Fiore at 9am . The route winds down 32nd and 34th until it switches back at NW 57th St and heads down Seaview Ave NW towards Golden Gardens.

To register day-of,  bring a $25 check, with all proceeds being donated to the Ballard Food Bank. This year, the organizers are expecting around 2,000 participants.

For more information, visit the official Thanksgiving Turkey Trot website. Costumes are encouraged!