Sunny days in Seattle are hallowed, making summer the season to get outside, eat, drink, and be merry. As temperatures soar, outdoor events in the city’s tree-lined neighborhoods, parks, and waterfronts offer a fun respite from the heat wave. Enjoy the seasonal menu at Harry’s Beach House during Alki Beach Pride, relax with a glass of wine at Palisade’s first wine fest, support reproductive rights at the Bakers Against Racism bake sale, or try a new local restaurant at Umoja Fest. Whether you’re looking for a sunset view to pair with your citrus cocktail or a festival to celebrate Seattle’s brightest months, these events can be found at some of Seattle’s coolest haunts.
Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade
August 5 to August 7
Umoja Fest celebrates Seattle’s Black community and rich history from Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7. With origins that began in the 1940s as a festival in the International District, Umoja Fest has been called the “Soul of Seafair.” The weekend’s events in Judkins Park include live music, performances, artisanal crafts, community resource tables, vendors, and a parade featuring beautiful choreography on Saturday. Local chefs and food trucks from across the city will offer dishes prepared with ingredients sourced near and far. Festival updates are available on Instagram.
August 6 and 7; Torchlight Parade on July 30
After a two-year hiatus, Seafair returns this year. The Torchlight Parade kicks off events on Saturday, July 30. The following week on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 includes Seafair’s airshow, hydroplane races across Lake Washington, Fleet Week, Lake Union fireworks, and the weekend festival at Genesee Park. Food vendors will arrive from all across the state including Kaleena’s Piroshkis, Lemon Grass Thai, and Tornado Potato — a food truck that has engineered a spiral-cut potato that optimizes the maximum Maillard reaction to an unrivaled golden crispness.
Bakers Against Racism Bake Sale for Reproductive Rights
August 4 to August 7
Bakers Against Racism will be selling pastries for a fundraiser to support abortion access and broader reproductive rights all across Seattle from Thursday, August 4 to Sunday, August 7. With participating locations in neighborhoods close to beaches, parks, and lakes, bring a concha or cookie to your picnic. Check Instagram for updates, locations, and news on how this bake sale supports abortion access.
August 2 to September 5
Lil Woody’s celebrates seafood August 2 through September 5. Partnering with celebrated chefs from a variety of different culinary influences, the menu at all three locations will offer specialty sandwiches for one month. The summer seafood menu includes standouts like a surf and turf burger from Estuary founder, chef Jonathan Ragsdale who grew up in Seabeck, Washington. Ragsdale created a petrale sole and chorizo patty, topped with green romesco and tender radicchio. Joining him is chef Terrell Jackson whose grandparents opened Seattle’s original Catfish Corner in 1985. This August at Lil Woody’s, Jackson’s signature catfish sandwich will be featured. Other chefs include Tom Douglas with a salmon and fennel relish pairing, George Hofgren’s fried oyster sandwich with a remoulade and pickled jalapeños, and Cory Alfano’s beer battered fillet-o-fish.
Alki Beach Pride
August 13 to August 14
Across Elliott Bay lies the culinary gem Alki Beach. Although the West Seattle Bridge is still closed, Alki Beach Pride is well worth the trip. If you arrive before 3 p.m., Ampersand Cafe is a good place to relax, recharge and grab coffee before Pride festivities. Before you dance on an empty stomach, stop in at Christo’s for Mediterranean fare that pairs well with sunshine, or Duke’s Seafood for fresh seasonal fish and burgers. Have fun in the sand, cool down in the water, then top it all off with a dinner and a cocktail at Harry’s Beach House that you’ll be dreaming about for days.
If festivals feel too frenzied and you want something that’s slower-paced, the Puget Sound region offers many foraging classes, workshops, and groups. Summertime is also an easier season to learn safe foraging practices if you’re new to identifying plants. As a courteous rule, learn how to not over-harvest so plants can grow back, and be respectful of other people and their relationships to the land and foraging. There are many foraging classes to find year-round. For a small fee, you can join the Seattle Foraging Club that meets on the first Thursday of the month at the Asian Art Museum. For online resources, Alexis Nikole teaches how to forage responsibly and safely cook what you’ve found, all while singing catchy Broadway-esque showtunes about kelp and magnolia blossoms.
Explore Washington’s wines with a beautiful ocean view on Saturday, August 20 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Palisade’s first wine fest offers spectacular views of the Elliott Bay Marina with live music and thoughtfully crafted bites. With over 24 Washington wineries, you’ll get to taste the different regions of our biodiverse state. Tickets cost $65 pre-sale or $75 general admission and include a chance to win special giveaways. Attendees must show a valid 21-plus I.D.