SeafoodFest in Ballard started as a two-hour dinner in 1971. Now an iconic two-day event that draws over 75,000 people, where you can enjoy food vendors, local music, arts and crafts, family entertainment, a beer garden, lutefisk eating (or not), giant fish, skateboarding competition, oceans of seafood and loads of fun all day.
History of Ballard Seafood Fest
In 1971, leaders from Ballard’s industrial and fishing community joined forces with the Ballard Elks to start SeafoodFest. The event began as a two-hour barbeque to raise money for a financially strapped Chamber of Commerce.
By 1978, the event had grown into a daylong affair held in Bergen Place Park. Over the decades, the event continued to evolve, move, and grow.
Instead of an emphasis on seafaring activities, more festival-oriented elements were added. A music stage featuring popular local bands, kid’s activities, a beer garden, and a variety of vendors brought an entire new audience to the festival.
What started as a two-hour dinner in 1971 is now an iconic two-day event. Today, the free Ballard SeafoodFest attracts over 75,000 people who come to enjoy the traditional salmon barbecue and so much more including live local music, one-of-a-kind local arts & crafts, family entertainment, a beer garden, all-ages skateboarding competition, and yes – lots and lots of seafood!
2018 Ballard SeafoodFest
When: July 13-15, 2018. Friday from 5pm-10pm Saturday from 11am-10pm. Sunday from 11am-9pm.
Where: In Seattle, in and around Ballard Commons Park, Ballard Avenue, and 22nd Avenue NW.
Free activities include playing in the water fountain, street games, yoga, drumming, lots of live local music, arts and crafts booths, and Festi-Bowl–the all ages skateboard competition with free clinics and lessons and a Lutefisk eating contest.
Not free: Activities that charge a fee include food of course (traditional salmon barbecue and more), a beer garden, face painting, big purple slide, and bouncy house.
Ballard Commons Park, 5701 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107