Sustainable Ballard Festival kicks off

The 6th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival kicked off Saturday, and it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day.  
Sustainable Ballard
Once again, the free event is taking place at Ballard Commons Park and there’s plenty for everyone to see, do and learn about saving money and the planet. 
Charcoal Stove
Nearly 70 vendors with food, fun, how-to’s and how-not-to’s took part in this year’s fair.
Girl with Dog Cart
With some 4-legged help from Brett, this little girl took a test drive on a locally-developed sulky.
Undriver License
The Undriver Licensing Station returned for its 2nd year, recruiting people to make a one-month pledge to use an alternate form of transportation than a car. 
Sadie Undriver Photo
Since their launch at the 2007 Sustainable Ballard Festival, the organization has licensed more than 3,000 Undrivers.  People who make a pledge to reduce car use receive a license and eight free METRO bus passes.  (A $5 donation is suggested but not required.)
Undriver Help from Electric Car
When the Undriver Licensing station temporarily lost power, they sought help from what else – an electric car.
Dog Meets Goat
City dog, meet city goat.  The Seattle Farm Co-op returned with their urban chickens, rabbits and goats. 
Recycled Fashion Show
The Recycled/Upcycled Fashion Show featured creations from local designers, all of which were impressively made entirely out of recycled materials.
Flash Fashion
The first-ever Flash Fashion Challenge also kicked off.  The competition gives contestants 24 hours to build a new fashion from old.  Starter kits containing manufacture samples and partial-garments were available for people to pick up, as well as additional scraps and remnants. 
Little Fashionista
This junior designer couldn’t wait to get started.  We were told she plans to hand-sew her outfit.  The contest concludes tomorrow with a fashion show of all the creations at 4pm.

The Sustainable Ballard Festival continues on Sunday from 12-5pm.  Click here for a schedule of events.

Enjoy Free Museum Day on Saturday

Saturday is The Smithsonian’s Museum Day 2009.  That means you and a guest can get FREE general admission to any of the participating museums just by downloading one of these admission cards

Ballard’s Nordic Heritage Museum is one of the participants, where they recently opened the first Northwest solo exhibition of Swedish photographer and video artist Maria Friberg.  That exhibition will be on display through November 15.

Click here for a complete list of Museum Day museums and make a day of it!

Ballard is home to ‘Best Brew Pub’

Sorry Capitol Hill, looks like Ballard has the best Brew Pub in town.

Earlier this week, Capitol Hill Seattle pointed us to the Washington Beer Blog poll that had their Elysian pub in a tight race with our Maritime Pacific and the Jolly Roger Taproom. We posted the story and it seems Ballard is proud of our little watering hole. As you can tell from the graph above, the Ballard joint jumped way out in front of the competition.

The annual Fishermen’s Fall Festival is Saturday

Tomorrow is the 21st annual Fall Festival at Fishermen’s Terminal. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. come out and help celebrate the return of the North Pacific Fishing fleet to its home base.

The day is packed with activities. Kids will find booths including miniature wooden boat building, fish prints, oyster art, and a trout pond.

11:00 a.m. Salmon and Halibut Fillet Demonstration
Noon Shifty Sailors
1:00 p.m. Wild Salmon Fillet Competition
2:00 p.m. Lutefisk Eating Contest
3:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony for the Wild Salmon Fillet Competition
3:30 p.m. Oyster Slurp Competition
4:30 p.m. Kontagious Performing Company – Hip Hop Dancing

11:00 a.m. Sunshine from Polynesia – Traditional Hawaiian Dance Troupe
Noon J.P. Patches
1:00 p.m. Reptile Man
2:00 p.m. Music by Knut Bell
3:00 p.m. Survival Suit Race – at the west wall
4:00 p.m. Music by the Lost Varnets
6:00 p.m. Raffle, followed by more music by the Lost Varnets

There will also be a chance to donate to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial and efforts to honor the local fishing community and their families by purchasing a barbecue salmon meal for $10 that includes corn on the cob, beverage and dessert. There will also be tours of the Sea Star from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch show for $7.50 with proceeds going to the memorial.

Underwater vehicle closes Locks until noon

The Army Corps of Engineers is closing both the large and small locks today from 10 a.m. to noon to retrieve a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) that’s preventing fish from passing through the ladder.

Crews found the ROV blocking the locks’ saltwater drain system yesterday during an inspection of the adult salmon exclusion structure. “Our team immediately went into action when they realized the ROV was blocking the saltwater drain system,” said Marian Valentine, operations project manager for Lake Washington Ship Canal. “We plan to finish the repairs today and open the saltwater drain system, which will allow fish to pass through the fish ladder.” Boaters may call the lockmaster on duty at 206-783-7000 to verify that the locks are open.

Apparent suicide near Whittier Elementary

Police responded at 5:30 a.m. to the east side of Whittier Elementary School, on 13th and 75th, to investigate an apparent suicide. “There appeared to be a body on the ground and the police were setting things up for an investigation,” said My Ballard reader Wes, who was walking his dog at 6:15 a.m. Police had the area taped off for much of the morning.

Police tell us they’re conducting an investigation and it “appears to be a suicide.” My Ballard typically does not report on suicides, but given the public nature of this death, we decided to post a short story. (Thanks everyone for your tips.)

Sustainable Ballard Festival this weekend

Make sure you keep at a least one afternoon clear this weekend to visit the always-popular Sustainable Ballard Festival at Ballard Commons Park. The annual event features live music, interactive workshops, educational activities and family fun with an emphasis on neighborhood sustainability.

Last year, thousands of people visited the two-day event, visiting more than 50 exhibits. This year, all the favorites are back and more.

You’ll find green transportation ideas, a bicycle tour, giveaways and the Conference Bike (above) on Transportation Row. Over at the Green Home Center, a model home displays energy and conservation strategies for each room in the house. On Saturday at 1:15 p.m., local designers compete in the sustainable fashion show. And if you’re a budding designer, you can participate in the ReCycled Flash Fashion Challenge.

Visit goats and chickens at the Urban Farm Zone, and you can make your own mason bee house with the Ballard Boys and Girls Club. On Saturday at 4 p.m., local favorite Bubbleman entertains the kids. Then on Sunday at 2 p.m. Ballard’s own Gymboree hosts an outdoor class with games and songs.

That’s just the beginning — the full schedule of events is right here. Sustainable Ballard Festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and make sure to check back to My Ballard later this weekend for complete coverage.