These September fairs, festivals, parades, consumer shows, and expos around the Puget Sound region have free or cheap admission ($15 or less). We include some significant events with an admission fee higher than $15, especially where there are ticket discounts or volunteering opportunities to bring the cost down.
The first Monday in September is the federal Labor Day Holiday. There are plenty of fairs and festivals to choose from to celebrate the unofficial end of summer over Labor Day Weekend. But the fun continues through the month. There are some really great events every weekend following, including: San Gennaro Festival Italian Festival in Seattle (September 7-9) , Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival (September 7-9), Boats Afloat Show on Lake Union (September 13-16), St. Demetrios Greek Festival in Seattle (September 14-16), two Oktoberfests (Fremont and Kirkland, both September 21-23), and a Romanian Festival in Mountlake Terrace ()September 29-30). But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
August 30 – 3, 2018. Getaway: Kittitas County Fair in Ellensburg (100 miles southeast of Seattle). Admission includes live entertainment, exhibits, inflatables, turn-of-the-century village. Tickets: GA (13+) $10, Child (6-12) or Senior (60+) $6. Free for age 5 and under and active military. Unlimited carnival rides $27/$35.
August 31 – Sept. 2, 2018. Oak Harbor Music Festival on Whidbey Island features two main stages, more than 30 bands in all types of musical genres, two beer gardens, food vendors, sidewalk cafés, arts & crafts booths, and OHMF merchandise. Free admission.
August 31 – Sept. 2, 2018. Getaway: Tumbleweed Music Festival on the Columbia River in Richland (200 mi SE). Five outdoor stages, over 75 acts, open mic stage, indoor dance floor, songwriting contest with cash prizes, Band scramble (amateur or pro, you are invited to join), workshops, food and craft vendors. Free admission.
August 31 – Sept. 2, 2018. Getaway: Olympia Harbor Days (60 miles southwest of Seattle). Celebrates maritime heritage with arts, crafts, food, music, tugboats, tall ships, and plenty of other family fun. Free admission.
August 23 – Sept. 3, 2018. Evergreen State Fair in Monroe:
August 31 – Sept. 3, 2018. SkiBonkers in Bellevue. Annual pre-winter sale of new skis, snowboards, and winter sport accessories. Sale event.
August 31 – Sept. 3, 2018. Ellensburg Rodeo
August 31 – Sept. 23, 2018. Washington State Fair in Puyallup:
September 1 – 3, 2018. Bremerton Blackberry Festival is a FREE, family-friendly festival on the Bremerton waterfront and one of the best summer-ending extravaganzas on Puget Sound. Find berry merchandise, blackberry treats, blackberry wine, along with live entertainment, beer & wine garden, and kid’s activities. Drive or take a ferry. Free admission.
September 7 – 9, 2018. San Gennaro Festival of Seattle:
September 7 – 9, 2018. Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival is Mukilteo’s biggest party of the year held the weekend after Labor Day. Food, entertainment, marketplace, parade, fishing derby, kids activities, and Snohomish County’s biggest fireworks show. Free admission.
September 8, 2018. Chinatown-International District Night Market in Seattle. Street food, restaurant specials, outdoor international market featuring handmade local goods, fresh cut flowers, and Asian inspired items. Live bands and break dancing groups will perform throughout the evening for an all-ages dance party. Free admission.
September 8-9, 2018. Flavors of India Festival in Bellevue at Crossroads Community Park featuring yoga, Vedic wisdom for modern age, entertainment, dancing, live music, shopping, henna, Vedic culture and arts, a FREE lunch, and kid activities. The whole family will enjoy exploring the unique educational displays, cultural exhibitions, cooking demonstrations, and “Cow Protection”. Replications of this festival take place all over the world, including in London, New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto. Parade Sunday at 2PM with colorful floats and traditional costumes. Free event.
September 8, 2018. Arts-A-Glow in Burien Dottie Harper Park is transformed with lanterns lighting up jugglers, acrobats, food trucks, and live music ending with a lantern procession at 8PM. Free admission.
September 8 – 9, 2018. Seattle Design Festival Block Party in Occidental Park celebrates the powerful ways design affects our lives. This fun outdoor event is an opportunity for the design community and the public to come together and interact through large-scale design installations, performances, and design activities all centered around the Festival’s 2018 theme, TRUST. The installations are designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. Families are welcome and encouraged. Free admission.
September 8 – 9, 2018. Frank Hansen Memorial Race Regatta in Seatac. This race presented by the Seattle Outboard Association features outboard hydroplanes and runabouts, with speeds up to 100 MPH racing on the 3/4-mile course. The north section of the lake will be open to the general public. Angle Lake Park will remain open to the public during the event; however, the boat launch will be closed. Free for spectators.
September 9, 2018. Hawaiian Cultural Festival at Seattle Center. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Hawaii through live performances of hula and mele, visual arts, hands-on activities, ono food, Hawaiian crafts, games, a lei workshop and a lively marketplace. Free admission.
September 13 – 16, 2018. Boats Afloat Show in Seattle:
September 14 – 16, 2018. Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds. Annual fall celebration of Puget Sound birds includes speakers, guided walks, land and water-based field trips, exhibits, and educational activities for children and adults. Many free activities. Some guided walks and field trips require advance registration and a fee. Free admission.
September 14 – 16, 2018. St. Demetrios Greek Festival in Seattle:
September 14 – 16, 2018. Philatelic (stamp collecting) Exhibition in Tukwila. Learn about stamp collecting or just come and be fascinated by interesting history. 200 Exhibits, 30 dealers. Free parking. Free admission.
September 15, 2018. Fishermen’s Fall Festival in Seattle:
September 15 – 16, 2018. Fiestas Patrias at Seattle Center. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of the nations of Latin America through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, and a lively marketplace. Dance to live mariachi music, join in a children’s soccer clinic and learn how Latin American countries celebrate independence from Spanish rule. Seattle Fiestas Patrias celebrates diversity and the Latino community in Western Washington. Free admission.
September 15 – 16, 2018. Edmonds Art Studio Tour. An exclusive glimpse into 15 private art studios showcasing the work of 30 local artists. This free, annual, self-guided tour, sponsored in part by the Edmonds Arts Festival, is an opportunity to meet professional artists, see how they create their work, and purchase pieces directly from the maker. Free event.
September 21 – 23, 2018. Fremont Oktoberfest:
September 21 – 23, 2018. Kirkland Oktoberfest is Seattle area’s largest authentic German Oktoberfest and München-style biergarten and includes the Festhalle (long tables swaying, arm in arm), SportHaus (watch the football game and man up at corn hole, beer pong, stein hoisting, and keg rolling), and Sausagehaus (the best German cuisine you’ll find this side of the Rhineland), plus food trucks, Northwest craft brewers, hot pretzels, and more. Must be 21+ with valid ID.
September 21 – 29, 2018. SketchFest Seattle:
September 21 – 30, 2018. Getaway: Central Washington State Fair in Yakima (145 miles southeast of Seattle). Since 1892, this fair has promoted farming in central Washington, now attracting 300,000 people annually. Features exhibits and demonstrations, livestock shows, free entertainment, carnival rides, food, beer/wine garden, and headliner concerts. Tickets: Regular Gate Admission Adults weekdays $14 and weekends $15.50. Reduced rates for Youth (6-12), Seniors (65+), Military, First Responders. Kids 5 & under FREE. Discounts: Advance admission before opening day Adults $11.
September 22, 2018. Children’s Festival at Seattle Center. An event where the whole family can play, dance, sing, learn, and try something new. All are invited to this intergenerational celebration of the dynamic arts, cultures, and traditions that thrive here in the greater Pacific Northwest community. Five stages of lively performances, three ‘Discovery Zones’ packed with hands-on activities, interactive dance workshops, multicultural arts and crafts. This festival is part of the year-round youth and family program, Our Big Neighborhood, presented by Northwest Folklife and Seattle Center. Committed to Access for All; Suggested Donation: $10 per person.
September 22, 2018. Protégé Show in Seattle at Emerald City Trapeze features students performing a diverse array of aerial arts, high flying trapeze, and circus acts. All Ages. Concessions will be available. Free admission (limited capacity, arrive early). General admission $10. VIP: $20.
September 22, 2018. Luminata parade of lights in Seattle. Celebrates the autumnal equinox. The lantern parade begins at the Green Lake Aqua Theater and goes clockwise to the Bath House. Bring your lantern, glowing umbrellas, luminous costumes, or other beaming creations. Hand-made lanterns will be available for sale. Free event.
September 22, 2018. Korean cultural festival “ChuSeok” in Tacoma. Celebrate the Korean autumn festival with activities for the whole family. Highlights include Korean culture and crafts including tea ceremony, lantern making, paper folding, instruments, wrestling, and of course food. Free event.
September 22, 2018. Sustainable Ballard Festival:
September 27 – October 4, 2018. SIFF French Cinema Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle. The latest in French language cinema from around the world for Francophiles. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $15, Seniors and Youth $14, SIFF Members $10. Passes: General $150, Members $100. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
September 28 – 30, 2018. Evergreen Fall RV Show in Monroe at Evergreen State Fairgrounds. Snohomish County’s largest multi-dealer RV Show features the region’s top RV dealers and huge savings on new or used RVs. Timed with “snowbirds” and hunters in mind, the Fall show features three days of close-out pricing on new models and show-only pricing on used RV’s along with industry experts and product demonstrations. Tickets (good for all 3 days): Adults $7, Seniors $6, Kids FREE with adult. Free parking. Discounts: Get free or half-price admission.
Sept. 28 – Oct. 7, 2018. Tasveer South Asian Film Festival 2017 at multiple venues in the Puget Sound region, including Bellevue, Seattle, Redmond, and Renton. Two words describe Tasveer: Not Bollywood. The largest South Asian film festival in the United States. The Tasveer festival seeks to provide a counterpoint to the images and stories prevalent in Bollywood. The festival include shorts, experimental films, and documentaries on themes related to South Asia in its entirety: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the various diasporas across the world. Founded in Seattle, Tasveer screens dozens of films for thousands of attendees in locations across the U.S. Tickets: Ticket price may vary at each venue. Individual screening: Regular $12, Student/Senior $10. Festival passes are regular $125, senior/student $80. Discounts: Early bird prices through 9/30. Early bird individual screening: $10. Early bird festival pass: $80.
September 29-30, 2018. Romanian Festival in Mountlake Terrace. Eat, dance and experience the hospitality that Romanians are famous for. Savor traditional Romanian dishes, enjoy lively music and dances, explore a marketplace with authentic Romanian crafts. Food, drinks and souvenirs will be available for purchase. Free admission.
September 29 – 30, 2018. Italian Festival at Seattle Center. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Italy through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, and a lively marketplace. The Italian Festival is a “Celebration of All Things Italian.” Food vendors, crafts, puppet theatre, Italian films, a grape-stomping contest and a bocce ball tournament honor and celebrate the “old country.” Free admission.
September 29 – 30, 2018. Medieval Festival in Carnation. The lord of Camlann invites you to attend his Michelmasse Festival, with cider pressing, puppetry, music, crafts, archery, and minstrels. Come to Somersetshire, ancient realm of Arthur the king, as the morning trumpet & charter proclamation open the village gates upon the colorful world of Chaucer’s England in 1376. The pace is leisurely: everything does not happen at once. The scale is small, intimate: leave behind the hectic 21st century. Tickets: Adults (13+) $10. Seniors (60+) and child (12 and under) $7. Five years and under free. Festival + Feast $45.
September 29 – 30, 2018. Getaway: Autumn Leaf Festival in Leavenworth (120 miles northeast of Seattle) celebrates the turning colors of autumn leaves with parades, local art, live music, and family activities. Free event.
September 29 – 30, 2018. Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival (free admission):
September 29 – October 5, 2018. Manhattan Short Film Festival presents finalists from hundreds of entries and countries around the globe. These short films will not only entertain a global audience but will be judged by them as well. Cinema-goers will become instant film critics as they are handed a ballot upon entry that allows them to vote for the Best Film and Best Actor. Tickets $12.
- September 29 – 30 – Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
- October 5 – Varsity Theater in Seattle’s University District.
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