Seafair, South Seattle Style: 11 Things You Need to Know

Seafair, South Seattle Style: 11 Things You Need to Know

Love it or hate it, Seafair is here.

A Pacific Northwest tradition since 1950, Seafair Weekend is the culmination of the Seafair Festival. Dubbed by some as an unofficial Seattle holiday, for many Seattleites, it’s the most anticipated event of summer. With boat racing on the water, aerobatic performers in the sky, live music and delicious food on land, Genesee Park on Lake Washington is the best place to experience Seafair Weekend.

Seafair Weekend features:

  • Boeing Seafair Air Show
  • Albert Lee Appliance Cup
  • Graham Trucking Seafair Cup
  • Monster Energy BMX Stunt Show
  • Hyperlite World Class Wakeboarding
  • Seafair Beach Water Polo Open
  • and more

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 and can be found here.

2. Timing: Gates will open at 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. 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 3 through 6. Find details here.

5. Free Shuttle: There’s a free 5-minute event shuttle from Columbia City Light Rail station to the main gate from 10:30 am through 3 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, so Seward Park Beach hours will be from 3-7 p.m. daily Thursday through Sunday.

7. Lake Washington Boulevard Closures: Lake Washington Boulevard South will be closed between Mount Baker Beach and 49th Avenue South from 6 a.m. on Fri., Aug. 4 to 11:30 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 6.

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. 3: 9:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.; 1- 2:40 p.m. (practices)
  • Friday, Aug. 4: 12:55 – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
  • Saturday, Aug. 5: 12:55 – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
  • Sunday, Aug. 6: 12:55 – 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)

9. Bridge Access: The bridge high-rises 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)

11. New Kids’ Zone: New this year is the Aetna Kids’ Zone that includes FREE Kids Rides and Inflatables Courtesy of Aetna. Come meet Princess Elsa and Spider Man, face painting, balloon artists, and more. There will be shaded seating for parents. Nominate your Favorite Teacher and School for Awesome Prizes at the Aetna Teacher Wall of Fame.



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