ParentMap Summer

Summer festivals, 2008

Yes, during the summer there really is a festival for everything. Here’s a sample of what’s up around Puget Sound:


Opening Day. A parade of decorated boats travels through the Montlake Cut in Seattle to mark the official start of the boating season. Festivities kick off with a dragon boat and crew races. 

Maritime Festival. Tugboat races, maritime-themed kids’ activities and harbor tours on Seattle’s waterfront. Family Fun Day includes tons of activities for all ages. 

Lacey Spring Fun Fair. Two days of free entertainment and lots of kids’ fun at St. Martin’s University in Lacey. 

Seattle International Children’s Festival. Eclectic, sophisticated children’s performances in Seattle and Tacoma. This is one of the best entertainment deals in town.

Poulsbo Viking Fest. Parade, crafts and activities in celebration of Syttende Mai (that’s Norwegian Constitution Day). 

U District Street Fair. The fair runs through the heart of the University District in Seattle, and you’ll find the usual arts and crafts booths, entertainment, kids’ activities — and some good people-watching. 

Northwest Folklife. It’s always on Memorial Day Weekend at Seattle Center, and it always includes an incredible lineup of musicians and dancers. Great stuff for the kids, too. 


Maritime Gig Festival. Kids’ activities aplenty and entertainment on a children’s stage, parade, regatta, and more in downtown Gig Harbor. 

Super Saturday. One day packed with activities, music, food — you name it — at Evergreen College in Olympia. 

Edmonds Waterfront Festival. Visit the Port of Edmonds Marina for kids’ entertainment, classic yachts on display and other waterfront-themed activities. 

Marysville Strawberry Festival. The long-running celebration includes a two-hour parade down State Avenue, fireworks and the always-popular Pig Out on the Farm at Biringer Farms near Everett. 

Edmonds Arts Festival. Held over Father’s Day weekend, the festival includes fine art for the adults to look over, a juried children’s art show and art activities and entertainment in the Children’s Corner.

Old Bellevue Strawberry Festival. Heritage displays, entertainment, a family fun area and (of course) strawberry shortcake. 

Greenway Days. Geocaching and scavenger hunts, hiking, farm festivals — your outdoorsy family can stay close or travel far. Events are held in towns and cities along I-90 from Mercer Island to Thorp. 

Taste of Tacoma. It’s all about the food, but there’s entertainment and kid fun, too. 


Tacoma Tall Ships Festival. The graceful sailing vessels are back at the Tacoma waterfront and Thea Foss Waterway. Take a tour or go sailing, and don’t miss the ships on parade.

Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival. Held on Lake Union over the Fourth of July weekend, the festival is a boat bonanza for kids. Take a spin around the lake, build a toy boat, listen to sea chanteys. 206-382-2628.

Seafair. Seattle’s old-timey maritime festival has grown to encompass most Seattle neighborhoods — and many neighboring towns. Parades and street fairs, the kick-off Milk Carton Derby, the Torchlight Parade and Blue Angels — activities spill from early July into August. 

King County Fair. The Enumclaw fair is inexpensive and old-fashioned, with free entertainment, rides and farm animals on view. 

Bite of Seattle. Three late-July days of crowds at the Seattle Center, food tastes from local restaurants and plenty to do for kids in the Family Fun Zone. Admission is free. 

Capital Lakefair. Music and entertainment, a bed race, sports activities, Kids’ Day and a finale of fireworks at Olympia’s summer festival, which turned 50 last year. 

Sequim Lavender Festival. Enjoy the glorious sight of lavender in peak bloom by taking a lavender farm tour, or comb the street fair for crafty treasures.

Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair. Browse fine crafts stalls and visit Kidsfair, where children can go crafty-wild. Held in the Bellevue Square Parking lot. 

Ethnic Fest. Crafts, performances and food from cultures from around the world, plus events just for kids. Held in Tacoma’s Wright Park. 


Pierce County Fair. Entertainment and kids’ zone, carnival and 4-H displays, located in Frontier Park in Graham. 

Festival at Mt. Si. The North Bend festival features a parade, entertainment, helicopter rides, fireworks and food events. 

Evergreen State Fair. In late August and early September, the fair in Monroe revs into action with animals on display, midway rides and the rodeo. 

Sand in the City. Downtown Olympia turns into a beach for a weekend to benefit the Hands On Children’s Museum. 

Harbor Days. Tour tugboats moored at Olympia’s Percival Landing — and watch ‘em race. 

Kris Collingridge is ParentMap’s Out & About editor.


Originally published in the February, 2008 print edition of ParentMap.

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