Seafair Weekend, Seattle’s summer festival, when traffic snarls because everyone’s eyes are focused skyward on the Blue Angels, and hydroplanes roar across Lake Washington. Parties are everywhere, by land and by sea: neighborhood block parties and boats laden with bikini-clad babes.
Seafair has been an annual event in Seattle since 1950, but its roots can be traced to the Seattle Golden Potlach Days of 1911. Since 1972, the arrival of Seafair begins with the Milk Carton Derby, a boat race on Green Lake in which all the boats have been constructed out of empty milk cartons. Entries always range from those shaped for speed and stability to those designed for laughs.
On the last weekend of July, there is a Torchlight Parade and Torchlight run. Local organizations participate in these events, held on the streets of downtown Seattle.
One of the most popular events of Seafair is the Seafair Cup with hydroplane racing on Lake Washington in the Mount Baker neighborhood. Tens of thousands of spectators (on the shore and in boats in the water) watch the fastest powerboats in the world careening around the lake at speeds of 200 mph.
Last but not least, in a tradition restarted in 1972, the Blue Angels come to Seattle to perform their aerial stunts. The Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron with aviators from the Navy and Marines. During their aerobatic demonstration, the Blues fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, performing maneuvers such as formation loops, barrel rolls, high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. The highest speed flown during an air show is 700 mph! Some of the maneuvers include both solo aircraft performing at once, such as opposing passes (toward each other in what appears to be a collision course) and mirror formations (back-to-back. belly-to-belly, or wingtip-to-wingtip, with one jet flying inverted).
Take the road less traveled, Beth