Interest Pieces

The Best Festivals in Seattle

Seattle is one of the most liberal and progressive cities in the United States. This has resulted in a very youthful, vibrant, and non-conformist culture that injects an extra dose of fun into everything about the city.

At the same time, it is also well-known for its arts scene, being notable for its many art museums and public art installations, as well as its thriving film and music industries. Put these together, and you have a city that is the perfect setting for a wide variety of events and festivals.

Seattle organizes a whole bunch of events every year, which makes it seem like there is always something happening in the city. Here are some of the must-catch events if you are ever in town during the right days:


One of the largest Labor Day festival celebrations in North America, Bumbershoot shows that Seattle natives do know how to throw a party. Held annually in the area beneath and next to the iconic Space Needle (hence its name, which is an old colloquial word meaning “umbrella”), Bumbershoot features an incredible lineup of musicians, stand-up comics and films, which truly makes it a festival in every sense of the word.

Booking hotels that are next to the Space Needle will be ideal if you want to be there.


Being surrounded by the ocean, as well as a large number of lakes, it is no surprise that Seattle has its own festival dedicated to the waters. Seafair, which is popular with tourists and locals alike, takes place over several weeks over the summer and is packed with a wide variety of big events.

These include the Torchlight Parade and Run, the Seafair Triathlon, and the much-anticipated Seafair Weekend Festival, where one can witness the hydroplanes and Blue Angels in all their glory.

Fourth of July

Consistently ranked as one of the best fireworks spectacles in the country, the Fourth of July celebrations at Lake Union are truly a sight to behold. Most people typically spend the afternoon and early evening at Gas Works Park, with many family-friendly activities available there throughout the day.

Once it turns completely dark, however, all eyes from all sides of Lake Union turn towards the sky and watch as the light show begins.

Seattle International Film Festival

One of the largest and most prestigious film festivals in the country, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is a must-visit for any cinema enthusiast. The festival runs for over three weeks and showcases hundreds of films, many of which screen exclusively at SIFF.

Well-known for its diverse showcase of films and documentaries – a majority of films screened are foreign- or independently-produced – SIFF regularly draws cinephiles and ordinary folks alike who are looking to see something new and unique on-screen.

Capitol Hill Block Party

Capitol Hill is one of Seattle’s most vibrant districts, so it is no surprise that it plays host to this annually-held event that is both music festival and party. Capitol Hill Block Party takes place in July, right in the middle of summer.

It features a lineup that includes everything from local indie talent to some of the biggest names in the music industry. Expect a wild, raucous party throughout this weekend bash.

With many hotels located throughout the city, dropping by Seattle for a weekend of fun is easier than ever. Be prepared to experience something new each time, which is only guaranteed to keep you wanting to come back for more.