Throwback Thursday: Graduating in Ballard

By Joe Veyera

With Seattle Public Schools finishing up the academic year last week, and local high schools and colleges recognizing their new crops of graduates, this week’s throwback recognizes a few of the past graduating classes to grace Ballard several decades ago.

The black and white photo below, taken in 1903, shows the Ballard High School graduating class from that year. The students, as identified on the back of the photo, were Will Maxwell, Tom Donald, John McCracken, Ida Kath, Josephine Josephson, and Ethel Armstrong.


The black and white photo below, taken in 1939, shows the final graduating class of Ross Grade School, located at 43rd Street and 3rd Avenue Northwest. The school was torn down after its closure.


The black and white photo below, taken in 1927, shows the 8th grade graduating class of the Irving School.


Do you have an historical photo or a story that readers would enjoy hearing about? Email us at with Throwback Thursday in the subject line.

Photo and information courtesy of Ballard Historical Society.

Emergency preparedness workshop at Ballard Library this Thursday


By Joe Veyera

A half-hour workshop at the Ballard Branch Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) on Thursday evening hopes to teach local residents about one of the most important essentials of emergency preparedness: How to put out a fire.

The Fire Extinguisher 101 workshop will teach those in attendance how to choose the right extinguisher, and the do’s and don’ts when faced with a fire, while also providing hands-on practice with a demo extinguisher. The event is free and suitable for all ages. No pre-registration is required.

The workshop is part of the Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) program from the City of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management. These 30-minute SNAP shot skills-based workshops, conducted in partnership with Seattle Public Library branches, focus on one aspect of emergency preparedness.

The SNAP program is designed to help neighborhoods create plans specific to their needs in case of an emergency, and breaks the process of organizing into three parts: getting together, getting organized, and getting confident.

For more information on the SNAP program, click here.

Registration open for new Run Like a Viking 5K


By Joe Veyera

The Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th Street) has announced a new addition to its annual Viking Days summer festival.

Runners are encouraged to don their Norse seafaring attire for the first-ever Run Like a Viking 5K at Golden Gardens Park on Saturday, August 16. Registration is now open for the new kick-off for Viking Days, which is now in its 31st year.

On-leash dogs are also welcome to run alongside their owners and are also encouraged to dress for the occasion. Prizes will be awarded on race day for best costume and best dog costume.

Registration is $40 per runner, and includes a performance t-shirt, goodie bag, and Inaugural Run Like a Viking 5K Finisher’s Medal. Packet pick-up will be on Friday, August 15 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Gun time for the race is 9 a.m., and runners will be chip timed. The 5K will be limited to 500 participants.

After the race, participants are welcomed to take part in other Viking Days festivities, with a Swedish pancake breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday, and a festival featuring Nordic entertainment, food, activities, and of course, more than a fair share of Vikings, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Saturday night will also feature a Salmon BBQ from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with alder-smoked salmon and live music.

For more information on the 5K and Viking Days, or to register online for the run, click here.

Photo by Jason Brooks, courtesy of the Nordic Heritage Museum

MOHAI to host pair of Ballard Avenue walking tours


By Joe Veyera

The Museum of History and Industry is inviting residents to get a better understanding of the history of their neighborhood, through a pair of walking tours in July and August.

Cass O’Callaghan of the Ballard Historical Society will lead attendees through the Ballard Avenue Landmark District sharing architectural highlights along with pieces of historical context about the Ballard of yesteryear.

The first of two Ballard tours will be held on Wednesday, July 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. If a weekend morning stroll is more your speed, the second walking tour is scheduled for Saturday, August 2, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The tours begin at Bergen Place, at the corner of Northwest Market Street and 22nd Avenue Northwest.

The cost to participate in either tour is $15 for MOHAI members, and $20 for the general public. Pre-registration is required. MOHAI is also hosting walking tours in the coming weeks in South Lake Union, and Maple Leaf, along with an exploration of neighborhood P-Patches from Uptown to Belltown, and a look at the legacy of the Forward Thrust ballot initiatives, beginning at Freeway Park.

For more information on the tours, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Photo of Ballard Avenue courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry

Loyal Heights hosts annual bike parade next Tuesday


By Joe Veyera

The Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St) is inviting community members to get a jump start on their Fourth of July celebrations next Tuesday evening, as it hosts the neighborhood’s annual bike parade.

The event starts at 6 p.m., with participants encouraged to bring a picnic along with their bicycles, tricycles, wagons, and strollers. Attendees will have the chance to decorate their wheels before the parade around the loop begins at 6:30 p.m. Following the parade, there will be activities set up for kids, including lawn games, a bounce house, and summer treats.

Participants of all ages are asked to wear a helmet while riding. The cost to participate in the parade is $5.

For more information on the event, click here, or call 206.684.4052.

Flyer courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Ballard Beer Company set to open on Market Street


By Joe Veyera

According to Eater Seattle, the Ballard Beer Company (2050 NW Market St) is getting set to open its doors in the former La Tienda space either this weekend or next.

Owned by Ballard resident Greg Anderson, the pub and bottle shop will have 15 beers on tap, and will focus heavily on Ballard and Fremont breweries. According to their website, there will be Sunday beer tastings, and Brewer’s nights on Thursday where patrons can meet local brewmasters. The website notes the hours of the tap room will be from 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, noon to 11 p.m on Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Manager Lindsey Allison told Eater Seattle there’s a lot of great beer in Ballard, and they want to be there to represent it.

“The overall community between breweries is amazing,” Allison told Eater Seattle. “There’s not that competitive feeling. We’re really excited about being a part of that.”

My Ballard had the chance to catch up with Anderson back in March, with the owner noting the quality of breweries in the area.

“I love that there is a beer culture growing right here in Ballard!” Anderson said. “Having experienced every one of our breweries I can tell you there is some very good beer being brewed here and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better,”

To keep up to date with the latest updates concerning the Ballard Beer Company, follow them on Facebook here.

Seattle Fire Department cautions against fireworks use this Fourth of July


By Joe Veyera

The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) is reminding local residents that setting off fireworks in a display of patriotism this Fourth of July next Friday is strongly discouraged and illegal within the Seattle city limits.

The use of fireworks, along with the possession, manufacture, storage, sale or handling thereof is prohibited. According to the Seattle Police Department (SPD), fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. However, the SFD & SPD asks residents to not call 911 for non-emergency reports of fireworks.

According to the SFD, around 35 percent of those hospitalized for fireworks injuries in 2012 were under the age of 15. As noted by the National Fire Protection Association, even small pyrotechnics like sparklers, fountains and novelties accounted for one-quarter of the emergency room fireworks injuries that year.

The SFD recommends taking in one of the many public fireworks displays to celebrate the holiday. The closest option for those in Ballard is the Seafair Summer Fourth celebration at Gasworks Park (2101 N Northlake Way). Gates open at noon for that event, with a full-day of activities capped off by a 10 p.m. fireworks show. To view a full list of professional fireworks shows in Washington state by county, click here.

Photo courtesy of the Seattle Fire Department

Fantastic Friday Family Fest at Sunset Hill Community Center this Friday


By Joe Veyera

The Sunset Hill Community Center (3003 NW 66th St) will play host to a family-friendly summer kick-off this Friday from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Doors open at 6:15 for the Fantastic Friday Family Fest, which will feature arts & crafts, games, snacks, local artists, and live music aimed to appeal to anyone between the ages of one day and one hundred years.

From 6:45 to 7:15 p.m., The Purple House will be performing family friendly covers, with Spare Rib and the Bluegrass Sauce taking the stage from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. with their brand of energetic blue grass music.

Families are also encouraged to bring their own dinner and drinks to have an indoor picnic, with tables available downstairs.

Tickets are $6 for Sunset Hill Community Center members, and $7 for the general public (babies-in-arms are free). Additional donations to fund more programming will also be accepted.

For more information on the event, click here. To purchase tickets in advance through Brown Paper Tickets, click here.

Sloth bears to make final appearance at Woodland Park Zoo before exhibit renovation


By Joe Veyera

A trio of sloth bears at the Woodland Park Zoo will make their last public appearance for nearly a year as construction begins to rebuild their home in the zoo’s new Asian tropical forest exhibit complex.

July 6 will mark the final day that sloth bear mother Tasha (pictured) — who has lived at the zoo for three years — and her two 18-month old cubs Randhir and Kushali will be in the exhibit, with the trio living off exhibit during construction.

The sloth bears’ current space and the zoo’s former tiger exhibit will be recreated to provide two new homes for the sloth bears and new Malayan tigers, with the new exhibit expected to debut May 2015. The new exhibit is three times the size of the bears and tigers’ current homes.

The construction is phase two of the Asian tropical forest exhibit complex. Phase one construction of the Bamboo Forest Reserve began in September 2012 and was completed in May of last year, and is now home to Asian small-clawed otters, a tropical aviary and a kids’ nature play area.

The project is the final initiative of the zoo’s More Wonder More Wild Campaign, which ultimately raised $83.5 million.

Sloth bears are an endangered species, and fewer than 10,000 remain in the wild in their native countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

To learn more about the new sloth bear exhibit, click here.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Suspect at-large after man cut at Ballard Commons Park

By Joe Veyera

(Update: 6/23, 9:30 p.m.) For those wondering about helicopters in the area, the KIRO-TV chopper was over the scene.

According to the Seattle Fire Department’s Real Time 911 dispatch, units were called to the scene at 5:08 p.m. for an assault with weapons incident, with SFD sending two medic units, one ladder, one engine, and the battalion chief.

(Original Post: 6/23, 6 p.m.) According to the Seattle Police Department, one suspect is at-large following an incident that left one man cut at Ballard Commons Park. Here’s what we know so far, from the SPD and Seattle Fire Department twitter accounts. We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.