As Seattle’s jewel for over 60 years, the Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade continues to be the Northwest’s largest nighttime parade and a highly anticipated event for generations of spectators lining the parade route year after year. It’s FREE to watch the parade from the sidewalk along the parade route. Reserved seating is also available for purchase.
The parade features many familiar units: precision drill teams, community floats, regional and international bands, equestrian units, giant helium balloons, the comical Seafair clowns and the swashbuckling Seafair pirates, all in one magical night in downtown Seattle to celebrate community and summer and family-friendly fun.
Before the parade starts, you can also visit Torchlight FanFest at Seattle Center from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. There, you can see various parade units and floats lining up along Mercer Street. There will also be exhibit booths and food vendors. It’s your chance to get up close and personal. Especially if you don’t care to brave the crowd at the parade (estimated at over 250,000), you can pick up some of parade vibe, and then head home and watch the entire show from the comfort of your living room.
Young and old make their way to downtown Seattle early Saturday morning and stake a curbside seats on 4th Avenue along the two-and-a-half mile route hours before the 7:30 pm start.
Torchlight Pre-Parade Fanfest
At the Torchlight Parade FanFest, you can see the floats and entries up close and personal, watch them assemble and lineup, getting ready to take part in the annual SeaFair parade.
When: July 28, 2018 from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: Seattle Center, along Mercer Street
Cost: Admission is free and open to the public.
Bring your family for free entertainment on stage all day, visit exhibit booths with giveaways and participate in the Seafair Treasure Hunt at Seattle Center.
2018 Seafair Torchlight Parade
For one magical night, the city comes together in the heart of downtown to celebrate a variety of entertainment that makes The Seafair Torchlight Parade a truly special evening.
When: Saturday, July 28, 2018, beginning at 7:30 PM. However, to get a good spot, people start claiming a spot along the route 4-12 hours earlier.
Where: The parade route is in the heart of downtown Seattle. It runs south for over two miles along Fourth Avenue from Denny to Yesler.
Cost: The parade is free to watch from the sidewalk. BYOC (bring your own chair). Grandstand seating is also available for purchase ($35-$60), in grandstands along the parade route or at Westlake Park. Grandstand seats usually sell out, so if you’re thinking about spending some bucks on this event, do it sooner rather than later.
The Seattle Seafair Torchlight Parade offers something for everyone. Many people attend the parade to cheer on family members and friends. Still others attend the Torchlight Parade because it represents a civic celebration rich in tradition. Either way, the parade gives one a grand feeling of excitement with every unison step, floating display, musical accompaniment, and drum beat.