It’s Time For Maritime

Seattle is surrounded by water, so it just makes sense to celebrate it. May 8 through 11 marks the Seattle Maritime Festival down at the waterfront. Both days will present an easy opportunity to get your fill of aqua activities, competitions, exhibits, tours and chowder- and admission is free. Many of the festival’s main events will be held Saturday at Pier 66 and Bell Harbor Marina. Sunday, the festival will finish up in Lake Union Park. Lake Union Park is one of Seattle’s newest parks, previously owned by the Navy. Transferred to Seattle Parks and Recreation in 2000, by 2010 it was 12 acres of park and waterfront for the city to use. At Lake Union Park, you can also find the Center for Wooden Boats and the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), both perfect for the weekend’s festivities. Speaking of the festivities, these include Tugboat Races, a 30 year tradition and largest event like this around. There will also be a workboat parade as well as displays and demonstrations by tugboats and fireboats. You can also tour several workboats, tugboats, and the actual harbor, as well as check out industry exhibits within the plaza at Pier 66. Hope you like boats. If boats aren’t really your thing, you can still get some decent chowder. Multiple restaurants will be competing with their signature chowders and you can judge their work after just a five dollar tasting fee. Perhaps you know a small child who is looking for some maritime fun, or you yourself particularly enjoy bounce houses. There will, in fact, be a bounce house for interested youth, as well as arts and crafts, tugboat storytelling, and boat building in the Center for Wooden Boats- which is admittedly an ambitious activity for almost anyone. On Sunday, there will be many of the same activities, as well as Sea Chantey concerts and survival suit races. Survival suit races are essentially competitions in which participants try to be the fastest to put on survival suits and swim to an emergency life raft. Sunday is also Mother’s Day, so if she’s said anything lately about being interested in something like this, it’d be foolish to miss this opportunity. The festival didn’t always last four days, but they expanded it to May 11th this year, and are including in that extra time Family Fun Day at South Lake Union Park. According to Three Sheets Northwest, the event is an acknowledgement that despite the fact that it’s a new park, it will be a new park amidst some construction for the next few years as State Route 99 gets altered. All in all, if you like anything aqua related, you will get

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a kick out of the Seattle Maritime Festival this weekend.