Every year Seattle celebrates Summer with weeks of neighborhood events leading up to a few key city-wide celebrations (namely the Torchlight Parade, the Albert Lee Seafair Cup (hydroplane racing), and the Boeing Seafair Air Show).
And each year, Chad and I try to get to a few of the neighborhood festivals because it is the quirky uniqueness that each neighborhood brings to their own celebration that makes Seattle so fun and interesting!
Last year, we reported on the Seafair Pirates Landing on Alki Beach (always a favorite!).
We’ve also previously attended Dragonfest – the International District’s celebration.
This year, we were able to go to the Green Lake Milk Carton Derby and the beginning of Queen Anne’s Running of the Bulls.
This year marked the 45th year of the PCC Natural Markets Seafair Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake. This festival may take top prize for quirky fun (although the Pirate landing gives it a good run for its money). The milk carton derby features nearly 100 boats of various shapes and sizes all made out of milk cartons!
Other materials are allowed, but the key floatation device for each consists of lots and lots of milk cartons. Rumor has it that many participants save milk cartons all year long in order to have enough to create their craft!
Children, Adults, Families and Businesses build their watercrafts to compete for both design and speed. Races are held throughout the day, and a parade of boats for showboats (non-racing) highlight the event.
Despite gray skies, people lined up at the Green Lake Small Craft Center for various Stand Up Paddleboard races and demonstrations.
Various vendors lined the path of the southwest corner of the lake and there was an area for people to actually build milk carton boats on site.
Some of our favorite boats were the Swan (notice the milk cartons lining the swan’s neck),
the Lego Mobile cheering “Seafair is Awesome!”,
and perhaps the most ambitious creation – the Inchworm boat.
This Family Circus boat was fun because it included a trapeze and a trampoline for the kids to enjoy as launch pads into the water.
The Milk Carton Derby is such a great event for people of all ages. Here are some highlights in a video:
After the Milk Carton Derby, we headed up to Queen Anne Avenue where we had heard that the 6th Annual Running of the Bulls was about to take place. Technically, the Running of the Bulls is an unofficial event – not associated with Seafair – but it celebrates Queen Anne in such a fun, quirky way, it might as well be a Seafair event!
We found many bull-runners (clad in all white attire with signature red scarves – just like in Pamploma!) congregating on the Avenue and the meeting spot for the run, Paragon Bar & Restaurant.
Many runners were getting their liquid courage prior to the run.
We did not see the actual bulls (which are shopping carts dressed up to resemble bulls)…and the pre-run celebrating was taking too long for us – we had a prior engagement – so we took off, but plan to return next year for the full bull-running celebration. Next year, we too, will choose to run.