Infobox festival
festival_name = Seafair

caption =
location = Seattle, Washington, USA
years_active = 1950-present
dates =
genre =
website =
[ [ History of Seafair - 1950's] ] .

The early stages of Seafair

Seafair begins in early July; since 1972, its arrival has been heralded by the Milk Carton Derby, a whimsical boat race on Green Lake in which all the boats have been constructed out of empty milk cartons. [ [ History of Seafair - 1970's] ] Entries always range from those carefully shaped for speed and stability to those designed for maximum amusement. The Derby is usually associated with a variety of activities for children and families on the shores of Green Lake.

The Seafair Half Marathon was added in 2002, and in 2005, the full 26.2 Marathon was added. Participants can run or walk the 13.1 and 26.2 mile courses. If a shorter distance is more appealing, participants can run or walk a 5 km course. The Seafair Half Marathon and Seafair Marathon both now begin at Husky Stadium, cross the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, and end at Bellevue, Washington's Bellevue Downtown Park. After the race, live music is performed. [ [ Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon] ]

The Triathlon and Torchlight festivities

The Seafair Triathlon is held on the shores of Lake Washington from Seward Park. It involves a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride, and 5 km run. Participants can compete individually or as a team. Typically, the Seafair Triathlon is held the third weekend of July. In 2007, the Seafair Triathlon saw a record turnout of 2,200 [participants [ Seafair Triathlon] ] .

The last weekend in July belongs to the Torchlight Parade and Torchlight Run. Many local organizations participate in these events, held on the streets of downtown Seattle. The local woman who has been selected as "Miss Seafair" (prior to 1972, "Seafair Queen") in the Seafair beauty pageant plays a prominent role in the parade. It is traditionally preceded by the Torchlight Run, a short (8 km) race through the city's streets in which many participants run in costume.

The Chevrolet Cup and the Blue Angels

One of the most popular events of Seafair is the American Boat Racing Association unlimited hydroplane racing circuit's stop at Stan Sayres Pits on Lake Washington in the Mount Baker neighborhood. The Chevrolet Cup races, which occur at the end of July or the beginning of August, attract tens of thousands of spectators, both those standing on the public shores of the lake, and those in boats anchored just outside the course in the lake itself. The same weekend, in a tradition re-started in 1972, the Blue Angels are brought to Seattle to perform their aerial stunts. (The Angels are a slightly controversial part of Seafair, as some local residents fear an accident involving the sometimes-low-flying aircraft, and some find the noise of the jet engines irritating. [ [ Capitol Hill Seattle blog - No More Blue Angels Over Homes Please] ] They did not perform at Seafair in 1994 and 1995 as a result of a dispute with the FAA about whether they could safely fly over Lake Washington. In 1996 the Angels flew over Elliott Bay, west of downtown Seattle, in a separate event from the hydro race, but this was a financial flop, and they returned to being part of the race-weekend festivities over Lake Washington in 1997.) [ [ History of Seafair - 1990's] ]

The Seafair Pirates

Another aspect of Seafair is the involvement of the Seafair Pirates, an organization that works year-round entertaining children in hospitals and performing other acts of community service including extensive fundraising. However, the Pirates also usually perform loud--occasionally offensive--antics at Seafair (in an attempt to live up to their name) that cause perennial objection to their prominent involvement in the festivities. Despite this reputation, most people who enjoy Seafair see them as an essential part of the event. [ [ The Seattle Times: Seafair hooked on its pirates, By Victor Gonzales, July 9th, 2005] ]

The Seafair Clowns

The Seattle Seafair Clowns organization, established in association with the Graduates Club of Seattle University, has been an integral part of Seattle's Seafair celebration for over 50 years.In addition to participating in community parades and festivals the Seafair Clowns spend countless hours visiting hospitals, nursing homes and retirement centers year-round in an effort to spread laughter and good cheer.


External links

* [ Seafair's Official Web Site]
* [ Seafair Pirates Official Web Site]
* [ Seafair Clowns Official Web Site]

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