News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Celebrate facial hair and help foster kids

January 4th, 2010 by master

I know the new year just began but February is gearing up to be a month to honor facial fuzz.  The second annual Beard & Stache Fest is looking for one hundred contestants who want to boast their bushy beard or flaunt a fierce Fu Manchu.  100% of the money raised throughout the month will go to Treehouse, a local organization that helps children in foster care. 

For Promo Use ONLY

(Photo of last year’s winner, Brandon Cook from Seattle)

Organizer Amy Faulkner says they created the event to bring the community together in a positive way.  “The event is 100% community supported and volunteer run and we recognized the bond men have with their facial hair and knew it would create a fun event.” 

The event even caught the attention of Mike McGinn.  He swore in as Seattle’s new mayor today, but he’s already been sworn in as a Beard & Stache Fest contestant.  Faulkner says, “Mayor McGinn was not hard to convince to participate at all! He has been nothing but supportive of our event and raising money for the foster kids and Treehouse. Despite his very busy inaugural schedule he spent a few minutes of his time for the photo shoot and we’re very happy to have his participation.”

The Beard & Stache Fest officially kicks off on January 31 at 8 p.m. at Blue C Sushi (3411 Fremont Ave N).  There you’ll see photos of all 100 contestants on donation cans.  After that, contestant cans will be on display at businesses around Seattle in groups of five.  Throughout the month-long competition, several “hairy happenings” are scheduled, including a cardboard tube fight, dance party and bearded lady competition.  It all culminates in an awards gala on February 28 that will recognize the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place individuals whose cans raise the most money for Treehouse.

Anyone who thinks they have the “chops” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) to join in the fun should apply here.  A photo shoot is taking place in the U-District this Wednesday, January 6, at 7 p.m.  More details will be given once your application has been received.

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Weekend To-Do List

November 13th, 2009 by master

It’s going to be a chilly weekend but don’t let that keep you from going out and enjoying what the hood has to offer.

  • Two area arts organizations join forces to present “Earth”, which features the Seattle Dance Project dancing to Rock-n-Roll music arrangements and Classical selections played live by Simple Measures musicians.  Performances run Friday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Fremont Abbey (4272 Fremont Ave N).  Tickets range from $10-$28.  Click here for more info.
  • The 7th annual Blue November MicroFilmFest opened last night but runs through Saturday at The Upper Crust in Greenwood (8420 Greenwood Ave).  See the trailer for Michael Falcone’s documentary on the Fremont Solstice Parade tonight at 8:00 p.m.  They’ll also be showing a segment from it on Luminata.  The festival features independant film, music and art.  Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.  Click here for more info. 
  • The Fremont Neighborhood Council welcomes volunteers for its Adopt-a-Street Cleanup on Friday from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  Anyone interested in helping should meet at the B.F. Day Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Ave N) for a community-wide clean up of Fremont Ave. and other parts of the neighborhood.  Bags, gloves and trash grabbers will be provided.
  • Experience wine at its best (which is the literal translation) at Le Vin A Son Apogee on Saturday from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at Fremont Studios (155 N. 35th St).  Purchase VIP tickets to meet Bob Betz of Betz Family Winery or just taste some rare and highly rated wines (all 90 points and above) from around the world.  Proceeds support Overlake Service League’s Breaktime/Mealtime program, which provides breakfast, lunch and snacks to children of low-income families during mid-winter and spring breaks.  Tickets start at $150.  You can make reservations here.

As usual for live music, check the calendars at High Dive, ToST and Nectar

If you have any events to add to our events calendar, email us at

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Weekend to-do list

November 5th, 2009 by master

It’s hard to believe but it’s the first weekend in November!  Only a few more weeks until…oh, I won’t go there yet.  There’s way too much to do first.

  • Intiman Theatre brings the play “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” to History House (790 N. 34th St) tonight at 6:00 p.m.  It’s part of their Front Porch Theater program which takes a play to different neighborhood gathering spots and gets everyone to join in.  Family and friends read the play aloud then talk about it’s themes and ideas.  Cost is free and everyone is welcome to participate or just enjoy.
  • It’s the first Friday of the month so that means Fremont First Friday Art Walk from 6:00-9:00 p.m. no matter what the weather.  Art fans can get free tastes of 509 Wine (1300 N. Northlake Way, Suite 509) before starting their trek.  There’s a jewelry trunk show at Fremont Jewelry Design (3510 Fremont Pl N).  And painter Tyson Anthony Roberts has a new opening at Fremont Coffee Co. (459 N. 36th St).  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Click here for an art walk map and a complete list of all showings.
  • After admiring Artwalk at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center (4272 Fremont Ave N), you can make your way upstairs and watch Sapience Dance Collective‘s fall show “Entitlement”.  Tickets are $15 general admission.  Performances are Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 3:00 and 7:00.
  • Dusty Strings Acoustic Music Shop (3406 Fremont Ave N) hosts the 8th annual Folk Harp Symposium starting on Friday.  In conjunction, there will also be two harp concerts.  On Friday, Nicolas Carter, Shira Kammen and Patrick Ball perform at 7:30 p.m.  On Saturday, it’s Kim Robertson, Laurie Rasmussen and Seamas Gagne, also at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at the door or by calling Dusty Strings at 206-634-1662.
  • Fremont Wine Warehouse (3601 Fremont Ave N) celebrates it’s 1-year anniversary this weekend.  In honor of the occasion, Wind River winemaker Joel Goodwillie returns to pour his wines.  From 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Saturday there will also be food pairings to go along with the vino. 
  • The 2nd annual Couch Fest Films goes from 11am-7pm on Saturday.  Watch short films in strangers’ houses.  $10 gets you an all-day festival pass to all 10 homes.  Each house plays the same program all day starting on the hour so you can choose your own schedule.  Click here for a map and movie info.
  • OmCulture (2210 N. Pacific St) debuts “Our Dancing Village” on Sunday from 4:00-5:30 p.m.  It’s a dance jam for the whole family that involves hula hooping, freestyling and ecstatic free form movement.  This will happen the 2nd Sunday of every month.  Cost is $3-$8 or $15 for the whole clan.

As usual for live music, check the calendars at High Dive, ToST and Nectar

If you have any events to add to our events calendar, email us at

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Halloween to-do list

October 29th, 2009 by master

Halloween is just two days away, and there are lots of treats in store for the weekend.  However, there’s no need to wait until Saturday for fun! 

  • Kids Halloween Craft Night – Theo Chocolate (3400 Phinney Ave N) hosts an evening of crafts for the kiddies from 5:30-7:30 p.m tonight (Thursday).  It begins with chocolate bingo, followed by decorating 2 oz. chocolate bars.  Cost is $7+ tax per child.  Costumes are optional.  No reservations required.
  • Stone Soup Theater (4029 Stone Way N) opens it’s 14th season with “Durang 7”, a series of seven one-act plays from award-winning playwright, Christopher Durang.  Preview show is tonight at 8:00 p.m.  Regular shows begin Friday and run through November 22 (with matinees on Sundays at 2:00 p.m.)  Tickets are $16-$20 and can be bought online here
  • Pumpkins, Knives and Beer – You heard right.  The Traveler (4354 Leary Way NW) is hosting a pre-Halloween pumpkin carving contest on Friday from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Show up at 6 and start cutting away (they’ll also have 22 oz. Dead Guy Ale for 5 bucks).  Judging takes place at 8.  Winner gets a big bottle of Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine.  Click here to RSVP.
  • “Tweak Show” at evo (122 NW 36th St) – Friday from 7:00-10:00 p.m.  Costume contest, games, prizes and showing of Ride snowboard team’s video, “Along for the Ride”.  First 50 people get a swag bag with a special Tweak Jones Soda bottle, Ride beanie and more.  Free and open to all ages.
  • Trick-or-Treat Fremont – More than 100 businesses are handing out treats to children in costume on Saturday from 2:00-6:00 p.m.  An orange flyer will hang in windows of participating stores.  You can also click here for a map of places to go, or to find where you can pick up a map in person.  (The photo is from a stop at the Fremont Library during last year’s Trick-or-Treat.  Photo courtesy of K. Lindsay.)


  • Trolloween – Halloween marks the Fremont Troll’s 20th birthday and the annual celebration is expected to be huge.  More than 400 performers and artists are expected to parade through Fremont.  SPD will escort the procession that begins at N. 36th St. and Troll Ave N. and ends under the Fremont Bridge with a performance of “Dante’s Inferno”. 
  • Trolloween After-Party at OmCulture (2210 N. Pacific St) – Live music and dancing at the recently-opened yoga/music/dance space.  Costume contest at midnight.  Cost is $10.   
  • BOO Costume Extravaganza – The neighborhood’s newest Halloween costume and dance party is at Fremont Studios (155 N. 35th St) on Saturday from 8:00 p.m.-2 a.m.  Costume contest, live music, light show and more.  Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door.  Must be 21 to attend.

As usual for live music, check the calendars at High Dive, ToST and Nectar

If you have any events to add to our events calendar, email us at

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The weekend to-do list

October 23rd, 2009 by master

This weekend’s weather is expected to be a 50/50 split between wet and dry.  Rain or shine, there’s lots to do both inside and out in Fremont this weekend.

  • Take your little ghouls and goblins to Pumpkin Prowl at Woodland Park Zoo.  There will treats and live entertainment throughout the weekend, or visit the creepy critters in Bug World.  Festivities go from 5:00-8:00pm Friday through Sunday.  Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for children 17 and under (kids 2 and under are free).  Get $2 off if you buy tickets from Bartell’s.  This is an after-hour fundraiser so zoo memberships don’t apply. 
  • Fremont Outdoor Cinema is showing a screening of “Dark Side of Oz”, which pairs the music from Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” with the visuals from the film “The Wizard of Oz”.  Movie starts at 8pm on Friday.  Don’t worry about getting wet; this one’s playing inside Fremont Studios (155 N. 35th St).  Cost is free.  You can also buy tickets to next weekend’s BOO Costume Extravaganza for $20 at the screening (regularly $30). 
  • Take Back The Bridge is leading a 2-day event to raise awareness for suicide prevention and money for the Crisis Clinic of King County.  It begins with a 24-hour prayer vigil on the bridge beginning at 5:00pm on Friday.  A pancake breakfast is on Saturday at 8:00am, followed by a group walk over the bridge at 10:30am. 
  • Learn what it takes to designate a historical landmark and all the ins and outs of the system.   The “Landmark This!” Nomination Workshop is from 8:30am-1:00pm on Saturday at the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Room 202).  Cost is $20 and includes refreshments and resource materials.  To register, call Historic Seattle at 206-622-6952.
  • The first artist’s workshop at ArtFX Gallery (420 N. 35th St) is appropriate for this time of year.  Leather Mask Making is a 1-day workshop that will teach you how to make a leather mask to fit your face.  Class goes from 10:30am-5:00pm on Saturday.  Cost is $75.  RSVP by calling 206-545-7459 or at
  • Help give the Troll his annual bath to get him spiffed up for his birthday on Halloween.  Donate time or money, which will be collected during the clean-up from 12:00-4:00pm on Saturday. 
  • Join actor Danny Glover, former NBA player James Donaldson, and community leader Suzie Burke as they participate in a benefit to help orphans of Sierra Leone.  The fundraiser for All As One is on Saturday at 6:00pm at Fremont Studios (155 N. 35th St).  Cost is $125.  Space is limited so RSVP Rob Bowman at or by calling (360) 710-9425.  

As usual for live music, check the calendars at High Dive, ToST and Nectar

If you have any events to add to our events calendar, email us at

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What’s up this weekend

October 16th, 2009 by master

There’s a lot going on in the neighborhood this weekend.  Whether you want to work outside or play inside, here is a list of a few highlights:

  • Jazz great Rebecca Kilgore and ukulele legend Lyle Ritz perform bossa nova in the basement space at Dusty Strings (3406 Fremont Ave N) on Friday.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $19 and can be purchased at the door or by calling 206-634-1662.
  • Chef Nordo Lefesczki turns the warehouse of Theo Chocolate (3400 Phinney Ave N) into his roving experimental restaurant, Cafe Nordo, for the first time.  “The Modern American Chicken” is a five-course pre-fixe menu that blends theatre and fine dining.  There is only one seating on Friday and Saturday (although dinners run Thursdays-Saturdays until November 21).  Arrive 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $85 and includes five courses plus a wine flight.  More info here
  • Friends of Fremont Peak Park is having a Fall Work Party on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Help plant, weed and mulch the top of the park, rain or shine.  Coffee, snacks and tools will be provided.  RSVP to so they know how many to prepare for.
  • The results of Seattle Weekly’s inaugural Homebrew Competition will be revealed at Brouwer’s Pub (400 N. 35th St.) on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.  Sample winners in six categories and one best-in-show.
  • Check out the Telemark film premiere of Josh Madsen’s “The Freeheel Life” on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Nectar (412 N. 36th St).  You can watch the movie trailer here

For live music, check the calendars at High Dive, ToST and Nectar

If you have any events to add to our events calendar, email us at


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Preview of Fremont Oktoberfest this weekend

September 18th, 2009 by master

One of the neighborhood’s biggest annual events is sweeping into Fremont this evening. The Fremont Oktoberfest kicks off tonight and goes through the weekend with a long lineup of events and brews. Over 35 breweries will be pouring, including the new neighborhood addition, Fremont Brewery.

The music begins playing tonight at 7 p.m. on the main stage, which is sponsored by The Simpsons as the show celebrates its 20th anniversary.

In fact, here’s Homer with the Oktoberfest folks this morning on Q13 Morning News. Here’s a few of the many events this weekend:

Miss Buxom Contest: Friday at 7 p.m., women dress up in funky German attire and compete to win $1,000 in prizes.

Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving: Watch chainsaw-wielding artists have their way with a pumpkin, Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. on the Village Stage (contest) and 2:30 p.m. on the main stage (exhibition). More details here, and take a look at our photos from last year.

Comedy Show: On Saturday at 7 p.m., Fremont Studios is hosting a comedy show from some of Seattle’s finest comedians: Jubal Flagg and Kane Holloway, to name a few. Ticket information here.

Brew HA-HA 5k: No better way to deal with a hangover from the night before than strap on your running shoes — just remember to hydrate. The run gets underway on Sunday at 10 a.m. at Solstice Plaza near the intersection of N. 34th Street and Fremont Ave N. Details here.

Street Scramble: If you’re not up for the run, you can “discover the mysteries of the Center of the Universe” with the Street Scramble contest on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. From a list of 30 Fremont locations, see how many you can visit on foot in 90 minutes. Ticket information here.

And by the way, the Fremont Chamber has crowned a “2009 King of Oktoberfest” as part of their membership drive — columnist Kirby Lindsay, who writes here on FremontUniverse as well as on her own site, FremoCentrist.

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Volunteering for Fremont Oktoberfest

September 14th, 2009 by master

The folks at Bold Hat Productions work hard organizing the Fremont Oktoberfest. They arrange for beer gardens (three this year, serving approximately 90 different beers), the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving (along with encore performances), a kids’ area (with Zucchini 500 races), Brew HaHa 5K race and a Brew HaHa comedy show, plus Dog Day Afternoon (including a canine model show and, this year, a Santa’s Little Helper look-alike contest). The office staff spends months leading up to the event, this year on September 18, 19 and 20, in preparation but according to Event Coordinator, Kelly Pflugrath, “if we didn’t have all those volunteers, this event wouldn’t run.”

Ultimately, it takes 700 volunteers to stage the Fremont Oktoberfest, and as of September 4, they still needed 125. “Those are ‘Definitely Needed’ volunteers,” Pflugrath admitted, “on some occasions the event can come to a screeching halt without them.”

Will Work

For one thing, the beer won’t pour without someone at the spout. Pflugrath also places volunteers as greeters at the entrance booth, “giving a good impression,” which can affect the tenor of the whole festival. Volunteers help direct runners along the 5K route and assist with crafts in the kids’ area (“they get the fun job, in my opinion,” Pflugrath said.) Volunteers provide free labor, and in return they get free admission and a t-shirt.

Yet, a large percentage of volunteer staff return each year, according to Pflugrath. “They have a blast!” and after each event, she fields a flurry of e-mails praising the experience. Also, as she walks the neighborhood throughout the year, Pflugrath has seen people sporting Oktoberfest t-shirts, with the special ‘volunteer’ designation, “I’m glad they like them.”

Volunteers also come from those who attended Oktoberfest in the past, and want to get more involved, those who volunteered at other Bold Hat events, community supporters who want to support Oktoberfest which raises funds for the Fremont Chamber, and, finally, friends of friends who volunteer together, just for fun. “We do some advertising, here and there,” Pflugrath admitted. She has sent notices to their large mailing list of Oktoberfest supporters and run ads, in past years, in The Stranger and on Craigslist. “The largest part,” she explained, “is word-of-mouth.” After all, this is a great insider deal – it’s ‘Will Work for Beer.’

For Beer, and Fremont

Bold Hat uses software called ShiftBoard to organize volunteers and since incorporating the software, “we’ve seen a much larger retention of volunteers,” Pflugrath said. ShiftBoard sends out automatic reminders, allows volunteers to manage, or cancel, their shifts, accommodates the scheduling of groups of friends, and sends notices to volunteers about next year’s event. The software, Pflugrath allowed, does send acknowledgements, but Bold Hat already sends out personal notes of thanks to volunteers.

“We definitely need every person who wants to come down,” Pflugrath said. Three days of fun, festival and fellowship – and beer – takes volunteers to happen. To those who give their time willingly to the cause, Pflugrath faithfully swore, “we’ll make sure they have a good time!” If you want to be a part of that, check out (Photo courtesy Patrick Lennox Wright Photography.)

Columnist Kirby Lindsay has written for The Seattle Press ( and the North Seattle Herald-Outlook ( about Fremont, where she has been for far longer than any sane person would manage. For more of her writing, visit her site at

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Review the decade-old Neighborhood Plan

July 22nd, 2009 by master

More than a decade ago the city created Neighborhood Plans to manage growth in Seattle’s neighborhoods. Now the city is revisiting the plans to see if they are achieving their goals and strategies. Tomorrow night, the Seattle Planning Commission and the Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee invites the public to review and comment on the plans that were drawn up for Ballard, Crown Hill, Greenwood/Phinney, Fremont, Wallingford and Green Lake. A second series of meetings will be held in October to review the status reports that will be written up after the city-wide meetings. You can review the Neighborhood Plan for Fremont here. The meeting is Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.

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Two big events at nearby neighborhoods

July 22nd, 2009 by master

Fremont has hosted some big events this summer, but two nearby neighborhoods will be drawing large crowds over the next few days. As many as 10,000 people are expected to attend the annual Seafair parade over in Greenwood this evening (Wednesday). The parade begins at 95th St. and heads south on Greenwood Avenue, then west on 85th St. to 6th Ave. And in Ballard this weekend, 60,000 people are expected to attend Seafood Fest, a two-day event with salmon, music and cultural favorites like the lutefisk eating contest.

Update: PhinneyWood shot tons of the photos of the SeaFair parade.

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