News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Check out the 2017 Lake Union Boats Afloat Show

September 12th, 2017 by Sara

Don’t miss Seattle’s 39th annual Lake Union Boats Afloat Show, the West Coast’s largest floating show. Fun for all the family – free power boat and sailboat rides for kids and adults, sailing lessons, kids toy boat building, women’s docking clinic and free boating seminars

 The show drops anchor at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14 on South Lake Union and sails on through 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Chandler’s Cove, South Lake Union, 901 Fairview Ave N.

The big boys are in town: This year there are five yachts over 90 feet in the show. They feature the latest in technology with the finest luxury appointments such as custom furniture, deck top jacuzzis and galleys (kitchens) fit for gourmet chefs.

Small but mighty. At 13 feet, the Bremerton-built Life Proof RIB (rigid-inflatable boat) is the smallest boat in the show but it’s a little rocket and can get up to speeds over 35mph while still carrying three adults.

The Riva Iseo is an Italian luxury ski boat/runabout with a sports car-like helm, hand-stitched leather steering wheel, electric operated bimini top and a mahogany deck painted with 20, yes 20, coats of varnish.

Boat rides: Cruise Lake Union on a free 45-minute sailboat ride or a 20-minute electric boat ride. Every day of the show, Seattle Sailing Club will have 26′ to 35′ sailboats available to ride – get involved and help handle the lines or even steer yourself. You can also hop on an all-electric Duffy run by The Electric Boat Company.

Sailing lessons: For those who dream of sailing off into the sunset, this three-hour training course with Seattle Sailing Club is the perfect way to get started. This daily introductory program is ideal for new sailors as well as those who are simply looking for a refresher. Cost: $55 includes two days’ admission and hands-on sailing lessons.

Toy boat building for kids: The crew from the Center for Wooden Boats will help kids build and decorate their own wooden boat using traditional tools and decorating with bottle caps, corks, and crayons. Saturday and Sunday.  Sponsored by Banner Bank.



Info:               Thursday Sept. 14 – Sunday Sept. 17


Weekdays 11am – 6pm,                 Weekends 10am – 6pm


$14 for adults / $5 for kids 13-17 (kids 12 and under are free)

$25 for All Access Pass – Good for all days of the show

Weekdays 4-6 pm: $7

Purchase your tickets online and receive free admission to the Museum of Flight, $10 to Chandler’s Crabhouse and a one-year Sea Magazine/Boating World subscription.



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Discovering Duck Dodge: a Seattle sailing tradition

June 3rd, 2014 by master


All images from

For members of Seattle’s sailing community Duck Dodge on Tuesday evenings is an essential part of Seattle summer’s on the water. Begun in 1974, Duck Dodge (originally subtitled: Lake Union Beer Can Regatta) is celebrating it’s 40th year of coordinating Seattle sailboats in a casual race around buoys or markers on Lake Union. Truly a homegrown tradition, Duck Dodge is entirely volunteer run and hosts over 50 boats on the most beautiful summer evenings.

From shore Duck Dodge looks, pretty odd. Boats seem to be sailing somewhere with purpose but where and why? And what on earth are they wearing? Each week Duck Dodge has a costume theme, some more popular than others. You may see sailors  in togas, hula skirts, or dressed as pirates depending on the week.

Click the image above to visit the Duck Dodge "Histerical" Page for history

Click the image above to visit the Duck Dodge “Histerical” Page for history

So what does Duck Dodge entail?
Beginning in June, sailors (and drinkers) come out of hibernation to cruise around Lake Union on a somewhat logical race course.  Starting at 7:00PM the Race Committee (aka the amazing volunteers making it all happen!) runs 4 starts for “Fast Boats”, “Half-Fast Boats”, “Slow or Cruising Boats”, and “Dinghy (small) Boats.” The buoys or marks that are the racers destinations are associated with nearby landmarks such as “Aurora” for the mark closest to the Aurora Bridge and “AGC” for the tall building bearing those same letters in gold just behind the “Red Nun” buoy the boats sail around.

After zig-zagging around the lake avoiding paddlers and of course, ducks, the participating sailboats cross the finish line. For each start the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place boat receives a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Duck sticker, respectively. These Ducks are displayed on the sailboat’s mast or boom (the metal part sticking straight up or the one perpendicular to that) and add to the boat’s street (or water?) cred.

The Raft Up on Lake Union

The Raft Up on Lake Union

Following the race is the Raft Up where participating boats gather in a meandering line and tie up alongside one another. Boats of every shape, size, and condition become neighbors while their sailors catch up, welcome Duck Dodge “virgins,” and celebrate Seattle’s long evenings.

A "perfect" evening for Duck Dodge

A “perfect” evening for Duck Dodge

So this evening, or next time you are along the waterfront on a Tuesday evening (there is an especially good view from Gas Works), keep an eye out for all those boats dodging ducks and having too much fun. Curious about the theme of the week? The schedule is here. Interested in joining in on Duck Dodge? You can visit the Duck Dodge Facebook group or just ask a sailor!

Congratulations to founders Ron Lloyd, Mike Rice, and Bruce Gilbert for not only dodging plenty of ducks but creating a terrific Seattle tradition.

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2011 Fourth Of July Fireworks: Gas Works Park Getting Ready

July 3rd, 2011 by master

50,000 people will be descending on Gas Works Park tomorrow for the fireworks display. So you better believe they’re taking today to get as much set up as possible. I swung by and snapped a few photos of the pre-festivities.

Lady Liberty is in place, the banners and stage are set up and the fireworks barge is stationed for the big show.

If you’re planning on attending the 2011 Fourth of July festivities, check out MyWallingford’s guide of things to know before you go.

Meanwhile, if you’re in biding your time in Fremont, swing by Bliss and Dream, both of whom have some buy-two-get-one-free tank and tee deals going on.

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Lake Union Houseboat Changes Neighborhood

June 22nd, 2011 by master

Linda was kind enough to send in these photos of a houseboat getting moved across Lake Union Tuesday. It took two tugboats and a little bit of time but the house, previously moored on the west side of the Ballard Bridge finally went on its way. Where she ended up…we don’t know. Any ideas?

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One Reel Reaches $500K July 4th Fireworks Goal

May 25th, 2011 by master

After almost a year of fundraising for the July 4th fireworks at Gas Works Park, event organizer One Reel today announced the $500K goal has been reached and Family 4th will go on.

Interesting note: It wasn’t a Northwest company or person who got One Reel to the goal; instead support bubbled up from Coca-Cola Refreshments – Northwest Region, based in Bellevue. Other supporters include Microsoft, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Talking Rain, BECU, Charlie’s Produce, Merrill Gardens, Taco Time and Smith Brothers Farms.

From the press release:

“Fundraising for the 2011 event began in July of last year, and contributions have come from supporters throughout our region, all with inspiring stories and memories of this Northwest family tradition,” says One Reel Executive Director, Jon Stone. “With true appreciation for the partnership and dedication of the Greater Seattle Chamber, we are glad to put this year’s budget to bed, and look forward to putting on one heck of an Independence Day party for Seattle.”

Family 4th at Lake Union starts at noon at Gas Works Park (2101 N. Northlake Way) on Monday, July 4. The fireworks show begins at 10 p.m. See all our 2010 fireworks coverage here.

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Fire aboard 150-foot trawler on Lake Union

September 17th, 2010 by master

A large dispatch of firefighters descended on Northlake Way along Lake Union in Wallingford this evening for a fire aboard a 150-foot trawler.

Firefighters were able to get the upper hand quickly after arriving. My Wallingford has the photos and video from the scene.

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Saturday: Clean-up, Build a parade, Lupus walk, Fire Station Open House

May 14th, 2010 by master

The forecast says there may be clouds coming in to blot out a bit of this amazing and bright sunshine, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing the things this weekend you want to do!

Here are some ideas for Saturday:

Help clean and restore critical urban habitat in a Lake Union, Portage Bay & Union Bay Community Clean Up Event tomorrow morning, May 15 between 8 p.m. and noon. Check in at the Lake Union Park Armory Building. More than 200 volunteers in kayaks and small boats are expected to pick up trash in and along Lake Union, while shoreline cleanup involves  non-boaters.  A Community Celebration – with lunch – will be held afterward at about noon. Contact for more information.

After last Saturday’s massive clean-up and re-organization, the main grounds for building the Solstice Parade is ready! Come to the Fremont Arts Council‘s Open House at the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Ave. N.) from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and be prepared to do a myriad of things:

  • Make a mask
  • get started on your costume
  • dust off that float body
  • meet new people
  • nosh some snacks.

From Parade Coordinators:

We are holding a training for Workshop Mom and Pops at 2 p.m. We need your help to staff the studio this year- come sign up for a shift. There will be a drop-in mask making station, and snacks galore. Don yer apron and put on a smile, it’s time to make a parade.

  • There’s also a “Walk with Us to Cure Lupus” at Alki Beach at 9 a.m. If you want to join the Fremont group, contact Dr. Valerie Hunt:
  • If you’re looking for a more low-key way to begin the weekend, you can check out the design for the new Fire Station No.9 at its open house at 10 a.m., 3829 Linden Ave N.

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Waterfront center planned near Gas Works Park

July 19th, 2009 by master

The Center for Wooden Boats, which has a thriving facility on South Lake Union, is in the planning stages to create a maritime community center next to Gas Works Park on the north end of the lake.

The new facility, called Northlake Wharf, would be located on this property (aerial view), just west of the Harbor Patrol and Gas Works Park. The land was once used as a fuel dock, and it has 220 feet of waterfront as well as a short stretch of the Burke-Gilman trail. “The site has lain dormant for too long,” said Norma Jones, president of the Fremont Neighborhood Council, which supports the project. “The Center for Wooden Boats’ plan to improve and revitalize the site is a long overdue effort to better utilize our public waterfront.”

Over the weekend, the center held a public brainstorming session to gather ideas for the proposed project. Some of the suggestions included a public launch for small boats, a “floating fish and farmers market,” a community shop, a water taxi, boating classes, a place for kayakers to tie up, a sustainable shipyard and “boat in concerts.” Among the prevailing themes were making the facility neighborhood-friendly and inviting, as well as educational.

This is a very early “conceptual design” of the facility, which combines a community center and a maintenance facility for historic vessels with a behind-the-scenes look at the maritime industry. Jones imagines a day when “residents could buy lunch in Fremont then take a small boat for a picnic on the lake, or row to Lake Union Park and hop onto the streetcar for a day downtown.”

Just to the north of the property, the city closed this parking lot earlier this month with plans to convert it into a green space. Combined with the new Center for Wooden Boats facility, the hope is the redeveloped land will serve as a public extension of Gas Works Park. For more information on the project and how you can provide feedback, visit the Friends of Northlake Wharf website.

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Lake Union Loop Trail officially open

December 4th, 2008 by master

In a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor Greg Nickels has opened the six-mile trail around Lake Union, known officially as the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Trail. “The trail creates a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy access to neighborhoods and parks, and to explore some of our history along the shores of Lake Union,” Nickels said. As part of the improvements over the last year, the city extended the path along Westlake Avenue 870 feet to meet the Fremont Bridge. Now, as many hikers and bicyclists know, it’s far from a seamless journey around the lake (see the map in .pdf), and the city is planning more improvements to come.

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