Seafair Weekend Air Show and Seafair Cup Hydroplane Races, Aug. 4-6, Seattle, and Jet Blast Bash, Aug. 5-6, Museum of Flight, Seattle.
It’s Seafair Weekend in Seattle, with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels in the sky and colorful hydroplanes racing on the water, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 4-6.
A favorite Northwest tradition since 1950, the weekend brings tens of thousands of fans to the shores of Lake Washington and Genesee Park with music, food vendors, beer gardens, exhibits and activities, along with Seafair Cup hydroplane racing and Air Show events, all three days.
Admission is free Friday. In a change from previous years, free advance tickets are available at HomeStreet Bank, Albert Lee Appliance and other locations for faster entry, avoiding the long lines expected.
Another new feature this year is free rides and inflatables in the Kids’ Zone, with visits with Princess Elsa and Spider-Man and other activities. There will also be a shaded seating area for parents.
The Blue Angels shows, always one of the most popular Seafair Weekend events, are scheduled for 1:40 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, preceded at 1:30 p.m. by Fat Albert, the huge C-130 plane that accompanies the Blue Angels on tour. Crowds gather along Lake Washington and other vantage points outside the Seafair admission area when the Blues are in the air, a strategy that takes some planning; many streets in the area are closed for the weekend, and Seward Park is closed for safety from midmorning to midafternoon all three days. The Interstate-90 floating bridge is also closed while the Blue Angels are in the air Aug. 3-6.
Other air-show highlights include Historic Flight Foundation Warbirds, U.S. Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force A10 flyovers and F-22 Raptor demonstrations Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Entertainment features Navy Band Northwest at noon Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, and Heart by Heart at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.
Most Seafair-goers sit or stand near the lake during the races. Folding chairs or a blanket to sit on come in handy, since grandstands are the only area providing reserved seating at extra cost. Strollers and small wagons, food and coolers are permitted, with bags searched at entry. Alcohol, weapons, drones, skateboards, enclosed tents, glass containers and pets are among the prohibited items.
Limited paid parking is available. Shuttles are available from University of Washington parking lots and from the Columbia City Light Rail station. Anyone who arrives by bicycle gets in for half price Saturday and Sunday, with safe bike storage adjacent to the Main Gate.
The Museum of Flight/Boeing Field is home base for the Blue Angels and other Air Show performers. The museum’s Jet Blast Bash Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6, celebrates with the Blues’ takeoffs and landings, a beer garden with live music, kids activities, and a display of classic Chevy Corvettes and Ford Thunderbirds. Museum admission is required for the outdoor events and includes admission to all museum activities and indoor Blue Angels-related activities.