News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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What’s on this weekend

August 18th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The big event this weekend is the annual Viking Days festival at the Nordic Heritage Museum, from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. There are also a couple work parties to get your hands dirty on Saturday, and plenty of live music to choose from.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 18

  • Live Music:
    • Jazz at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St). 7pm: Decree Trio – Jyl Leininger (vocals), Chris Leininger (guitar/bass) and Steve Tanimoto (piano) ($5 cover). 9pm: Elena Maque Band – Elena Maque (sax/vocals), Eric Verlinde (piano), Osama Afifi (bass) and Jeff Busch (drums). Purchase tickets online – any remaining seats will be sold at the door
    • Cedar Teeth, TBD, and Elijah Dhavvan at $8 at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm $8.
    • An Evening with Rebirth Brass Band at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm. $30.

Saturday, August 19

  • Viking Days at the Nordic Heritage Museum, starting at 10 am. Highlights will be a traditional Viking encampment; interactive demonstrations of weaving, woodcarving, weapons-forging, and more; Swedish Pancake Breakfast (10am–1pm, both days); Salmon Bake (1pm–as supplies last, Saturday only); Nordic food hearths, with delicacies from the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) a beer garden, live music, and more.
  • Ballard Burrito Fest at Ballard Commons Park, 11am to 6pm. Food trucks, burrito contests, a beer garden, kids activities and more.
  • Carkeek Park work party 9am to noon: Join us for a restoration work party at Carkeek Park – See website for important details on what to bring and where to meet.
  • Ballard Corners work party  9am to noon: Please join us for a work party at Ballard Corners Park (17th Ave NW & NW 63rd Street) on Saturday, August 19th from 9am-12noon, rain or shine. Some tools and refreshments will be provided.  If you have your own gloves and tools please bring them.  Any questions, please contact Gabriella: or (206) 782-3238.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
  • Greyhound Meet and Greet at All the Best Pet Care (1909 NW Market St.) Saturday, August 19, from 11am-1pm. Join us to meet retired racing greyhounds, learn about adoption, volunteer opportunities and more. Click herefor more information.
  • Live Music
    • ThorNton Creekat Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St) 7pm, $8.
    • Lo Tom w/ TW Walsh and Chris Staples at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm. $15.
    • Michael Compton and Aaaron Starkey at 6pm and Ball of Wax #49 at 9pm at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm $8.

Sunday, August 20

  • Viking Days at the Nordic Heritage Museum, starting at 10 am. Highlights will be a traditional Viking encampment; interactive demonstrations of weaving, woodcarving, weapons-forging, and more; Swedish Pancake Breakfast (10am–1pm, both days); Salmon Bake (1pm–as supplies last, Saturday only); Nordic food hearths, with delicacies from the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) a beer garden, live music, and more.
  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Free zumba and fitness class at Ballard Commons Park, 11am. Led by Ballard Health Club.
  • Live Music
    • KEXP Presents: Kevin Morby w/ Shannon Lay at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9pm. $15.
    • Open mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) sign ups at 7:30 pm.

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First ever Ballard Burrito Fest on Saturday

August 18th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Ballard’s first Burrito Festival is tomorrow (Saturday, August 19), descending on Ballard Commons Park with food trucks, burrito contests, a beer garden, and family-friendly activities.

Organized by Seattle nonprofit The World is Fun, the Burrito Fest is not only to celebrate burritos, but also to draw awareness to food insecurity. TWIF executive director Amy Faulkner says the idea behind it was, “driven by wanting to get the message out that food insecurity is a serious issue in Seattle with 14.6% of Seattle’s population being food insecure.”

“We find burritos to be the ultimate food in fighting hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity because they’re simple, easy to make, and are a great balance of food groups,” Faulkner told My Ballard. “Plus, they cater to all types of eaters – vegetarians, vegans, dairy-free, gluten-free, etc. because you can fill them with anything and/or everything.”

The festival will run from 11am to 6pm; visit their Facebook event page for more info.

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Summer Salmon Bake fundraiser for clean water programs

August 18th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

On Tuesday, August 22, Puget Soundkeepers will host their annual Summer Salmon Bake fundraiser at Peddler Brewing Company (1514 NW Leary Way) from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

“Join Soundkeeper board and staff for our annual Summer Salmon Bake featuring grilled salmon, Peddler’s craft beer, and live music from jazz quartet Jazzalope,” the organizers say. Tickets are $25 for Soundkeeper members, and $50 for nonmembers. Tickets include the salmon dinner and one complimentary beer; additional beer will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to benefit Puget Soundkeeper’s clean water programs.

For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

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Mayor calls for removal of Lenin statue

August 17th, 2017 by Geeky Swedes

In the wake of Charlottesville, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has called for the removal of one of Fremont’s quirkiest landmarks: the Lenin statue.

Murray said in a statement today that the city “should remove all these symbols” that represent hate, racism and violence, including “both confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian soviet regime.”

Here’s his full statement:

“In the last few days, Seattleites have expressed concerns and frustration over symbols of hate, racism and violence that exist in our city. Not only do these kinds of symbols represent historic injustices, their existence causes pain among those who themselves or whose family members have been impacted by these atrocities. We should remove all these symbols, no matter what political affiliation may have been assigned to them in the decades since they were erected. This includes both confederate memorials and statues idolizing the founder of the authoritarian Soviet regime. Both are on private property, but I believe the confederate memorial at Lake View Cemetery and the Lenin statue in Fremont should be removed. We should never forget our history, but we also should not idolize figures who have committed violent atrocities and sought to divide us based on who we are or where we came from.”

Yesterday a small group of protesters inspired by Trump supporter Jack Posobiec gathered in front of the statue to call for its removal.

Murray concedes that Lenin stands on private property, so the statue is not the city’s legal domain — in effect, Murray is making a request. The statue is owned by the family of Lewis Carpenter, a teacher who discovered it in Poprad, Slovakia in 1989 and shipped it to Seattle, according to

Carpenter died several years ago, and the statue has been positioned prominently along N 36th St. “temporarily for viewing and sale.” The price tag is $250,000.

State Senator Reuven Carlyle disagrees with Murray. “This statue is distinctly not showcased in Fremont to celebrate the murderous, painful regime,” Carlyle writes. “It is instead installed as a testament to its defeat and the victory of open ideas through the medium and sometimes painful juxtaposition of art itself.”

Lenin is often decorated with red paint on his hands, signs and holiday lights. Explains “This sculpture is placed here in the Artist’s Republic of Fremont, as a symbol of an artistic spirit that outlasts regimes and ideologies, and as tangible proof that art does outlive politics.”

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Three Ballard street projects chosen for improvements

August 17th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The city has announced the park and street projects that received the most votes to receive funding for improvements. The program is called Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets, and is a participatory budgeting initiative in which community members democratically decide how to spend a portion of the city’s budget. There is $2 million available for the 33 city projects chosen by the community; ideas came from the community and the projects were voted on in June.

Our region, District 6, will receive the following improvements:

  • Ballard: Crossing Improvements on Leary Way NW & 20th Ave NW (Cost: $5,000, Total Votes: 590)
  • Wallingford/Woodland Park: Crossing Improvements on N 50th St & Whitman Ave N (Cost: $6,000, Total Votes: 317)
  • Phinney Ridge/Woodland Park: Crossing Improvements on N 50th St & Dayton Ave N (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 315)
  • Green Lake: Crossing Improvements at N 80th St & Corliss Ave N (Cost: $75,430, Total Votes: 310)
  • Crown Hill: Traffic Calming on 14th Ave NW between Holman Road NW & NW 95th St (Cost: $40,000, Total Votes: 301)
  • Sunset Hill: Accessibility Improvements on 24th Ave NW & NW 70th St (Cost: $9,000, Total Votes: 249)

“Now in its second year, we see how much interest there is in participatory budgeting,” said Kathy Nyland, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “The numbers tell us people want to be involved and thousands participated, suggesting projects and voting on them. Everyone has a voice. It’s our job to listen, and the success shows that people have been heard!”

According to the city, Your Voice, Your Choice is part of Participatory Budgeting, a civic engagement program in which community members decide how to spend a portion of a city’s budget. Your Voice, Your Choice is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

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Brown Bear to offer free car washes next Thursday to celebrate 60th anniversary

August 17th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Brown Bear Car Wash is celebrating their 60th with free “Beary Clean” car washes at their Ballard location, 5111 15th Ave NW, on Thursday, August 24.

All 23 Puget Sound area Brown Bears will be offering the free car washes on the day from 8 am to 8 pm. They’ve been offering free car washes on their “birthday” for the past ten years; they also offer free washes to veterans and current service members on Veterans Day each year.

“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community that has supported us for 60 years,” said Brown Bear founder and CEO Victor Odermat said in a statement. “It’s a fun and busy day as we celebrate with our customers while benefitting the environment.” 

Brown Bear will also be giving away free car washes for a year to two customers who get their cars washed on August 24 during the birthday celebration. Customers can enter to win by taking a photo of their newly-washed vehicles and posting it on Twitter (@brownbear) or Instagram (@brownbearcarwash) with the hashtag #FreeCarWashDay.


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One Night People’s Park Block Party next week

August 17th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Next Wednesday, August 23, there will be a block party to encourage support for more public, green spaces in Seattle. It’s called the One Night People’s Park Block Party, organized by Seattle Green Spaces Coalition and Groundswell NW and funded by the Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Small Sparks Fund. The block party will be from 6 to 8 pm on the 7700 Block of 28th NW.

“You are invited to celebrate the potential of repurposing public land for community good,” the organizers tell My Ballard. “How can Seattle balance growth with green infrastructure? Get ideas, share your ideas and help seed Seattle’s future. Plus make your own sundaes and lawn games! With thanks to the many supporters of all the surplus substations over the years and on this block. ”


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Ballard Oktoberfest back for the third year

August 16th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

In about a month, several local breweries will join forces to host the 3rd annual Ballard Oktoberfest.

“On Saturday, September 16, four Ballard breweries will bring a little bit of Bavaria to the Ballard corridor with a neighborhood Oktoberfest crawl made possible in part by returning sponsor Verity Credit Union,” Amy Besunder from Populuxe tells us. Other breweries on the crawl will be Lucky Envelope, Stoup, and Reubens.

The day will kick off with a “traveling oompah band,” the Oompah Machine, which will start at Stoup at 1 pm. They’ll then march to Populuxe at 2 pm, Lucky Envelope at 3 pm and Reuben’s at 4 pm. The breweries will have a special Oktoberfest brew and limited-edition 0.5 liter commemorative stein or boot. You can purchase glassware for $6 empty or $10 filled. Each brewery will have a food truck on site, plus, pretzel bites provided by Verity Credit Union.

Stoup will be serving a special Bavarian-style Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, German Pilsner & Marzen. The food truck on site will be Napkin Friends, who plan on serving latke potato pancakes.

Populuxe will have special brew Populuxe Oktoberfest and a Kolsch, with the Itty Bitty Schnitty food truck serving schnitzel, kraut and fritz.

Lucky Envelope will have an Oktoberfest Vienna Lager, Helles Lager and Smoked Tea Rauch Helles. Ravenleaf Food Truck will serve southwest and Caribbean barbecue prepared with fresh northwest ingredients.

Reuben’s plans to serve their Märzen, Gose, Roggenbier, and other German styles. Their food truck will be Burgerphenia, who will be featuring the Prague Dog: bratwurst, red kraut, spicy mustard on a brioche bun.  They’ll also be serving burgers and fries.

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Help out at Ballard’s parks this weekend

August 16th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

If you’re looking to get some exercise and fresh air this weekend, there are two work parties on Saturday, August 19 at local parks that could use volunteers.

At Carkeek Park, there will be a S.T.A.R.S. work party from 9 am to noon. They’ll be working on forest restoration and trail maintenance, and have a variety of tasks they need help with. Gloves and water will be provided, and teens are welcome to go help out. Contact Dale Johnson at 206-362-2980 with any additional questions.

Also on Saturday from 9am to noon is a Ballard Corners Park work party (17th Ave NW & NW 63rd Street). They’ll have a few tools and refreshments, but ask volunteers to bring gloves and extra tools if possible. Contact Gabriella with any questions at or 206-782-3238

Photo courtesy Green Seattle Partnership

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Frankie & Jo’s vegan ice cream is coming to Ballard

August 16th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The wildly popular vegan ice creamery on Capitol Hill, Frankie & Jo’s announced plans to open a new location on NW 70th St. The new shop will be in the collection of cafes between 12th Ave NW and 15th Ave NW, next to local favorites like Delancy and The Fat Hen.

The vegan creamery has been a hit on Capitol Hill since it opened. The owners, Hot Cakes creator Autumn Martin and Kari Brunson of Juicebox, developed an entirely plant-based range of flavors, from their Gingered  Golden Milk, Tahini Chocolate, and Salty Caramel Ash. They use cashew and coconut milks for most of their flavors, and have a rotating selection of seasonal flavors, such as Corn Basil Chili.

No news yet on when they’ll open – we’ll update when we know more.

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