For May 2019, we inspected the Greater Seattle on the Cheap calendar and website for free events that might be especially worthy of your consideration. Since we publish hundreds of events every month, we like to highlight a few of the free unique or popular events throughout the region.
May 3-5 and May 10-12, 2019. Getaway: free family friendly Irrigation Festival in Sequim. Sequim Irrigation Festival is the state’s oldest festival, celebrating the initiation, development and support of the irrigation ditches which brought water to the once dry prairies of Sequim. Festival admission is free. Free and paid activities include kids activities, art & craft show, car show, parades, fireworks, food, carnival rides, and tours. Different events each weekend.
May 4, 2019. Noon-2PM. Free opening day boat parade in Seattle. Opening Day of Seattle’s boating season, always the first Saturday in May, includes a celebration of many kinds of water activities. Festivities will include a morning of crew races, a sailboat race, and of course, the Opening Day Boat Parade. The Parade starts at noon with the blast of a cannon and the raising of the Montlake Bridge. Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day has become the nation’s largest regional celebration of water in Seattle. Participants decorate their boats for the festivities and parades. Spectators line the shoreline to watch the parade while enjoying a picnic. Onlookers dream of the boats they will own someday. There’s nothing like it in the U.S. and possibly in the world. The only comparable event is the annual parade of commercial vessels in Venice, Italy. The parade takes place on the Montlake Cut, the easternmost section of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which passes through the city of Seattle, linking Lake Washington to Puget Sound. It is approximately 2,500 feet long and 350 feet wide. FREE event.
May 4, 2019. 1:00PM. World Labyrinth Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in May. Join thousands of people worldwide who are taking steps for peace by ‘Walking as One at 1’ in the afternoon. Find a local labyrinth you can walk on the Greater Seattle on the Cheap meditation resource page. Scroll down the page to find a long list of walking labyrinths throughout the Puget Sound region. Get more information about labyrinths on the Labyrinth Society website. FREE event.
May 5, 2019. 11:45AM. Free Asian Pacific Islander Festival at Seattle Center. Seattle Center Festál presents Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, Sunday, May 8. Explore and experience the cultural roots of the Asian-Pacific Islands through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, and a lively marketplace. The festival launches Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Seattle with spectacular lion dances, youth drill teams, drumming, martial arts, and artists from around the state. FREE admission.
May 10-11, 2019. Friday: 2-7pm. Saturday: 9am-5pm. Northwest Paddling Festival at Lake Sammamish is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Featuring more than 60 paddle sports businesses offering canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddling equipment, accessories and gear. Shop, compare and browse the best in paddle sports brands side-by-side, enjoy a tour down Issaquah Creek, or learn a new skill at a seminar. There is a nominal fee for on-water demonstrations and tours. FREE admission.
May 11, 2019. 11AM-4PM. Free family day at Seattle Maritime Festival in Ballard. The free and very family-friendly Maritime Festival in Ballard is not your ordinary festival. It’s Seattle’s largest celebration featuring the maritime industry. Highlights include a tour of Seattle’s inland waterway–the ship canal, plus working boat tours, boat building for the kiddos, demonstrations and displays, and hands-on practice of several maritime skills. Want to pilot a tugboat or a ferry boat? Try your hand at welding? Fire an emergency flare? Or be in a Survival Suit Race? Toss a line? Practice with the U.S. Coast Guard? Learn the 7 steps of survival at sea? These are just some of the things you can do. It’s a Family Fun Day featuring more than 30 free activities. Free event..
May 18, 2019. 9:00AM-4:30PM. Free Jazz Connection Festival in Edmonds. The Edmonds Jazz Connection is a local music festival, including a full day of performances from nationally recognized and award-winning High School and Middle School jazz programs from throughout the Pacific Northwest, and highlights numerous student groups that have performed in prestigious competitions nationwide. At the conclusion of the academic year, Jazz Connection is an encore for these accomplished students to perform for the community, and showcase their improvisational talents while playing side-by-side with professional musicians. Admission is FREE; donations are encouraged. All proceeds from this annual event go directly to student scholarships and district grants to help further enrich music education in our schools. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted.
May 18, 2019. 11AM-7PM. Armed Forces Day at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. JBLM opens its gates to the public to celebrate service men and women with historical reenactments, military vehicles, music, entertainers, food vendors, a beer garden, and carnival rides. Be sure to read the requirements for entry onto the military base (valid ID, vehicle inspection, weapons, pets, etc.). Free admission.
May 18-19, 2019. 10AM-6PM. Free boat show of working vessels in Seattle. Come down to Lake Union Park to the Historic Ships Wharf for the Classic Workboat Show and see a collection of visiting working vessels including tug boats, fishing boats, and emergency response vessels. There will be activities for the whole the family, sea story telling, and a beer garden. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted.
May 18-19, 2019. 10AM-6PM. The University District StreetFair is the kick-off event for the Seattle summer festival season. It’s a family-friendly event with a special Kids Area, featuring activities and entertainment. The longest running festival of its kind in the nation and an exciting celebration of arts and crafts, community information, music, and food. You’ll find a whirl of color and creativity. Free event.
May 24-27, 2019. 11AM-10PM (9PM Monday). Free Folklife Festival Memorial Day weekend at Seattle Center. The annual Memorial Day weekend celebration of ethnic, folk, and traditional arts. Folklife is Seattle’s unofficial leap into summer, with four days of jam-packed excitement all day and into the night. Artists from the Pacific Northwest along with special guests from around the world create an ethnic extravaganza. The artists and guests present music and dance, visual arts exhibits, demonstrations of traditional arts, hands-on children’s activities, dance and music workshops, crafts, food, imported goods, and more. Free admission.
May 25-26, 2019. 10AM-5PM. Free Kitsap Harbor Festival at Bremerton Marina. The family-friendly Kitsap Harbor Festival is the opening of the summer boating season in Bremerton. The Marina fills up with boaters and historic ships, such as the Tug Comanche and Turner Joy. Pirates will be roaming the festival — take your picture with your favorite pirate. Bremerton Boardwalk Events include booths featuring fabulous food and crafts vendors. Enjoy the beer garden on the marina viewing platform with a great view of the Port of Bremerton Marina and Main Stage Entertainment. Free admission.
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