August 5

Hot Happenings

South Lake Union Summer Guide

Summer may be slowly winding down, but there’s still a plethora of seasonal events that bring the culture of South Lake Union to life.

What would summer in Seattle be without the South Lake Union Block Party on August 7? While previous installments have featured an outdoor movie screening as entertainment, this year’s event switches the focus to music with a top-notch local lineup that includes otherworldly hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction, Kithkin’s wild and feral rhythmic rock, the gentle coo of singer-songwriter Tomo Nakyama, and more. Add Brave Horse Tavern’s beer garden, the annual SLU Best Burger Competition (tickets get you five sliders, a tote, and a chance to win a $100 gift certificate), art printing with steamrollers (really), and a family fun zone for the kids, and you’ve got a can’t-miss night.

After spending its first two years of existence in Cal Anderson Park, the Seattle Street Food Festival heads down the hill to offer its myriad of tasty morsels to SLU on August 15 and 16. Thanks to the omnipresence of food trucks, street food has moved past a trend and become a regular part of urban life. And while there’s a strong food truck presence at the Seattle Street Food Festival, the thing that really sets it apart from other local food events is the unique lineup of popup carts and booths from culinary spots that don’t normally take their cuisine on the road.

On the imbibing side of things, Cider Summit Seattle returns to the Discovery Center lawn on September 11 and 12. While the Northwest can certainly brew up a mean craft beer, it’s the booming cider scene that really makes the region stand out on a national level (thanks to our delicious apples). Cider Summit allows patrons to sample more than 150 of the best beverages on the market.

If the thought of consuming all that great food and drink sounds divine but makes you fear for your waistline, perhaps signing up for the Lake Union 10k on August 9 would help ease the guilt. Now in its seventh year, the race takes runners on a scenic path all the way around the water on the Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Trail.

You can’t make the most of South Lake Union without actually getting on the lake (it’s right there in the name, after all). The Center for Wooden Boats makes taking the water simple with its Cast Off! free public sails every Sunday. The center’s diverse fleets of classic ships—powered by paddle, sail, electricity, or steam—are ready to take any scallywag on a jaunt around the lake (sign-ups begin at 10am). For those folks that get too seasick to ride the waters but still want to celebrate that mariner spirit, Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center hosts its monthly Chantey Sing (August 14) so that wannabe sailors of all-ages can sing along with the songs of the high seas.

What’s a summer without taking in a few blockbusters? Cascade Park hosts outdoor movie nights on Fridays at dusk featuring plenty of family-pleasing fare: Disney’s exhilarating computer animated superhero adventure Big Hero 6 (August 21), a children’s classic come to the big screen in Paddington (August 28), the musical magic of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in Grease (September 4), and the timeless tale of little orphan Annie (September 11).

If you’re searching for a fun air of sophistication, the fourth annual Tom Douglas Lawn Party and Croquet Tournament busts out the mallets and wickets on August 9. Dahlia Lounge comes prepared with food and cocktails, and participating teams are encouraged either to dress up in croquet whites or wild costumes. On the other end of the spectrum, pack a brown bag on August 28, as the free Out to Lunch summer concert series brings the funk to South Lake Union Park in the form of Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme (which features a 13-member backing band with full brass).

—Story by Seth Sommerfeld, photos by Aaron Briggs, Patrick Lennox Wright Photography, Phototainment

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle