Seafair is more than a single event. Seafair is a summer festival extravaganza encompassing many events, large and small. Some like the Torchlight Parade and Seafair Pirates Landing are well-known far and wide, and others are smaller neighborhood affairs. But one thing is sure—Seafair is one of Seattle’s most popular summer festivals.
Seafair takes place annually and events start in late June or early July and go until late July or early August.
Why You Should Go to Seafair
- The Seafair airshow brings in the Blue Angels.
- The Seafair Pirates!
- Lots of kid-friendly events.
- The Seafair Torchlight Parade is one of Seattle’s coolest parades.
- Even if you don’t make it to any of the large events, there are lots of small neighborhood happenings, too.
Things to do at Seafair
Click for this year’s schedule.
Marathon: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon or half marathon is the Northwest’s largest long-distance run with over 25,000 people turning out. The marathon course starts and finishes at Seattle Center and passes by many of Seattle’s main attractions. All along the course are cheerers and live bands, situated about every mile.
Seafair Pirates Landing: The Seafair Pirates sail into Alki Beach for their annual landing, and then much revelry ensues. Live music, inflatable rides for kids, vendor, craft and food booths, games, and pirate songs all create an undeniably fun atmosphere.
Milk Carton Derby: This is a series of boat races like no other—all boats must use milk cartons are their primary source of floatation. The event entails a full day of races on Green Lake in a number of categories. Some events are open to any kind of milk-carton boats, others pit boats against each other in speed trials. There is a boat parade, food booths, and plenty of on-land fun to be had.
Triathlon: This is Seattle’s only Olympic distance triathlon course, meaning a one-mile swim, 20-mile bike, and a 10K run. Other events provide simpler access points, including a sprint course, relay team events, and a triathlon for kids too!
Torchlight Spectacular: The Torchlight Spectacular is the first of several Torchlight events, and kicks off this Saturday event with booths, food, meet and greets with those in the parade, Torchlight Parade floats on display, and more.
Torchlight Run: If the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon wasn’t enough for you, take part in this evening run. An 8K and a 5K course follow the parade route.
Torchlight Parade: This parade finishes off the Torchlight events for the day and is a beloved Seattle tradition for many. The parade is held in the evening and many floats use lighting. Huge balloons, marching bands, drill teams, pirates, and community groups follow the more-than-two-mile parade route. Many diehard fans show up the day before to reserve a spot, but tickets are available for bleacher seating along the route if you want a great seat, but don’t want to stake out a claim.
Miss Seafair and Seafair King and Queen: The Miss Seafair competition allows young women to compete in the areas of academics, public speaking, interviewing, and creativity for scholarship opportunities. The Seafair King and Queen are chosen based on philanthropic contributions.
Fleet Week: Fleet Week brings Navy, Coast Guard, and Canadian ships into Seattle piers. Watch the ships come in or tour the ships once they’re docked.
Seafair Weekend: Seafair Weekend is perhaps the best-known of all Seafair events (or at least the loudest and hardest to ignore!). This takes place as Genesee Park on Lake Washington. Seafair Weekend brings in the hydroplane races for the Seafair Cup on the lake and the Blue Angels zipping through the sky, but also lots of food, beer gardens, live entertainment, exhibits, and displays.
Neighborhood Events: There are many, many Seafair events that take place in local communities. These include parades, pow wows, festivals, and food events.