Seafair, South-End Style: 10 Things You Need to Know

Seafair, South-End Style: 10 Things You Need to Know

Love it or hate it, Seafair is coming.

As evidenced by the sudden, weeks-long construction project designed to turn the usually tranquil shores of Lake Washington into a massive three-day party with thousands of people as Seattleites gather for one of the city’s oldest and most cherished traditions, including the worlds fastest powerboats racing on the usually tranquil waters of Lake Washington as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels soar overhead.

Some south-enders plan parties and invite friends from far and wide while others run for the hills. Meanwhile, kids activities, food vendors and interactive booths will be sprawled across Genesee Park and live bands will play all weekend long.

If you do stick around, here are 10 things you’ll need to know:

1. Cost: Tickets start at $10 for a single-day pit pass.

2. Timing: The gates will open at 8 am Friday and Saturday and 7:30 am Sunday.

3. Entertainment: The famed air show and hydroplane races will run Friday through Sunday on the shores of Lake Washington. A full schedule of events can be found here.

4. Traffic: Travelers should plan for delays and bus reroutes throughout the Rainier Valley during this massive regional event, including temporary closures of the Interstate 90 floating bridge for Blue Angles air show practices and performances Thursday through Sunday, August 4 through 7.

5. Free Shuttle: There’s a free 5-minute event shuttle from Columbia City Light Rail station to the main gate from 7 am to 6 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

6. Seward Park Closures: In the interest of public safety, Federal Regulations require the closure of Seward Park during performances by the Blue Angels, including Thursday, 9 am-2:30 pm and Friday through Sunday, 10 am-2:30 pm.

7. Lake Washington Boulevard Closures: Lake Washington Boulevard South will be closed between Mount Baker Beach and 49th Avenue South from 6 am on Fri., Aug. 5 to 11:30 pm on Sun., Aug. 7.

8. I-90 Closures: The Washington State Department of Transportation is required by the Federal Aviation Administration to close the Interstate 90 floating bridge to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians while the Blue Angels practice for and perform at the Seafair Air Show. The closures are to keep the public and pilots safe and to minimize distractions. The mainlines and express lanes of I-90 will be closed between I-5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island:

  • Thursday, Aug. 4: 9:45 a.m. – noon; 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (practice)
  • Friday, Aug. 5:  1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (practice)
  • Saturday, Aug. 6:  1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
  • Sunday, Aug. 7:  1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)

9. Bridge Access: The bridge highrises will still be accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. However, no one on foot or bike can travel beyond the highrises up to 30 minutes prior to posted closure times. I-90 east of Mercer Island will NOT be closed during the performance, although drivers should note that heavy congestion during these closures often restricts access to the exits.

10. Ramp Closures: Several I-90 and I-5 ramps will close 30 minutes to one hour before practice and Seafair Air Show times:

  • Northbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • Southbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • Northbound Rainier Avenue South to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • Southbound Rainier Avenue South to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • Eastbound I-90 to West Mercer Way (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • East Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (up one hour prior)
  • Island Crest Way to westbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • 76th Avenue to westbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
  • West Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (up to one hour prior)

Photos/Seafair

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4 Comments

  1. not a seafair fan says:

    thanks this is helpful

  2. Pingback: 5 Fun Things to Do in South Seattle this Weekend (August 5-7)

  3. Pingback: 5 Fun Things to Do in South Seattle this Weekend (August 5-7)

  4. Despise the noise and pollution of Seafair and the wretched Blue Angels. That kinda carnival show belongs in Alabama not in a city that hopes to rise from the second tier to the top tier. Ain’t gonna happen as long as we put up with NASCAR on the water every year.

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