Here Are the Seattle Summer Festivals You Can't Miss in 2023

Capitol Hill Block Party, Seattle Art Fair, and More
May 22, 2023
More from Our Summer Guide
This year, Capitol Hill Block Party offers a treasure trove of Gen-Z favorites. (CHBP via Facebook)
Longer days and warmer temperatures mean it's our favorite time of year: Festival season! It’s time to make the most of it by celebrating anything and everything under the sun. Get out there and fest with the best at events ranging from Bumbershoot to the Seattle Art Fair to the return of Bite of Seattle.



Fremont Fair Past Event List
Celebrate summer at the Fremont Solstice Parade, a Seattle rite of passage known primarily for its elaborately painted (and sometimes just wild ‘n’ free) nude bicyclists—but also offering plenty of stilt walking, giant puppet operating, and twirling around in circles. The procession, organized by the Fremont Arts Council and held on June 17, is the center of the Fremont Fair, a weekend-long event that draws over 100,000 people for shopping, street performances, local bands, a dog parade, and free-spirited, wacky artistic expression. Expect the unexpected. JR
Fremont (June 17–18)

Seattle Pride Parade Past Event List
Seattle’s Pride Parade is a little more than a can’t-miss—it’s a gargantuan gathering of over 200 participating groups, and 300,000 spectators will turn up to show off their sparkle. It’s the biggest Pride parade in the state by a landslide, and it swallows up downtown Seattle like a big, sweaty, rainbow-hued whale. Four hours of festivities will kick off at Fourth and Pike, at the tippy triangle point of Westlake Park, and end at Second and Denny, at the main entrance to the Pacific Science Center. There, you’ll also find Seattle PrideFest, consisting of food booths, nonprofit orgs, beer gardening, stages, and tons of live performers. If throngs of glittery gays are your thing, this one’s a no-brainer. LC
Downtown Seattle (Sun June 25)

Amazon Seafair Summer Fourth Past Event List
As Meg van Huygen wrote last year, “Seattle’s OG Fourth of July celebration is so popular that they don’t even bother putting ‘July’ in the event name, because everybody knows what’s up.” Seafair’s annual, nationally recognized fireworks show comes complete with pyrotechnics exploding up above Lake Union and “choreographed” to a very loud pre-recorded musical score. Gas Works Park is the traditional spot to watch it from, where you’ll find beer gardens, scads of food vendors, live bands, and a glow-in-the-dark dance party. On the other side of the lake at Lake Union Park, you’ll find a slightly more laidback vibe with food trucks, a bar, and a DJ, plus a darker sky view of the fireworks—though they’ll still be choreographed to the music. You can also watch it from the lake, if you’re lucky enough to have access to a boat! JR
Gas Works Park & Lake Union Park (Tues July 4)

West Seattle Summer Fest Past Event List
Whether you live in the neighborhood or you need an excuse to make the trek, West Seattle Summer Fest is a giant block party-style festival for everyone. Spend some time dancing to live music, shopping, drinking in beer gardens, and enjoying other summery activities. As always, the festival will highlight local talent with performances from electronic hip-hop producer/rapper Jarv Dee, beachy indie pop trio Warren Dunes, psych-rock band Acid Tongue, long-running indie folk ensemble the Cave Singers, and many others. The best part? There’s no charge to get in! AV
West Seattle (July 14–16)

Seafair Weekend Festival
Past Event List Every year, Seafair—the iconic summer festival that started in 1950—puts on dozens of community festivals throughout Seattle all summer long. It all wraps up in August with this three-day extravaganza of signature outdoor activities like Blue Angels air shows and hydroplane racing along the shores of Lake Washington. The noise and military spectacle that come with demonstration war planes flying over the city for the weekend are somewhat controversial, and you might choose to get out of the city the first weekend of August for just that reason. But it’s still quite the sight to behold and, as Seafair describes it, “the most anticipated event of the summer” and “an unofficial Puget Sound holiday.” JR
Genesee Park (Aug 4–6)

The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire
Past Event List August brings heat, summer malaise, and the annual Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. This time-honored tradition beckons city folk to squeeze into tights and bustiers before making their way to a park that, for a brief moment, becomes the English town of Merriwick. Over three weekends, Ren Faire-goers are living in a time where pirates, elves, and fairies delight and terrorize humans; turkey legs are the most delicious things on Earth; and men stake their egos on jousting. You can get lit off of mead at alehouses like your ancestors might’ve in the olden times and tip your hat at Queen Elizabeth herself, who’ll grace Merriwick with her presence. There’s also an artisan marketplace, where you can tipsily buy a necklace or a hat that you’ll literally never wear again. Go drink and be merry and forget about the plagues afflicting our society for but a moment. By former Stranger staff writer Jas Keimig
Sky Meadows Park, Snohomish (Aug 5–20)

PAX West Past Event List
Back in 2021, former Stranger staffer Matt Baume wrote, “One of my very favorite things about living in Seattle—one of the things that convinced me to move here, in fact—is PAX, the giant video game convention held every Septemberish at the Convention Center, a sprawling throng of fandoms and beep-boop screens and clattering dice.” This year, the gargantuan convention will be bigger than ever before, taking over the recently expanded Seattle Convention Center and adding on Nintendo Live 2023, an “all-ages Nintendo celebration with Switch gameplay, stage performances, tournaments, photo ops, and more.” Get your Zelda cosplay ready. JR
Seattle Convention Center (Sept 1–4)

Washington State Fair Past Event List
What’s summer without beer-fueled outdoor concerts, quilt and flower displays, impressive vegetables, baby bunnies, and a “SillyVille” farm experience, complete with animatronic chickens?! Close out the sunny season in the most all-American way possible at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, where you’ll find everything from produce contests to a real-deal cowboy rodeo. Dad rock legends Chicago will perform on September 1; you can also catch Kehlani, the Temptations, Babyface, Styx, and other household names throughout the month. LC
Washington State Fair Events Center, Puyallup (Sept 1–24)


Marymoor Live Past Event List
Pack up your picnic gear and head over to King County’s oldest (and largest) park this summer for Marymoor’s annual outdoor concert series. Big names like Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti (June 17), LA punk icons X (July 14), and Philly indie rockers Mt. Joy (July 21) will grace the spacious tree-framed lawn. If the names themselves aren’t enough to get you to drive to Redmond, know that these shows are typically accompanied by gorgeous sunsets and the occasional bald eagle sighting. I, for one, can’t wait to see indie folk ensemble Big Thief (Aug 5), who will co-headline with the one and only Lucinda Williams. They are precisely the combination that will make me sob through the night (in a good way). AV
Marymoor Park, Redmond (through Sept 16)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Summer Concert Series Past Event List
Every year, Chateau Ste. Michelle lays out a full summer season of music legends and cultural luminaries to grace their beautiful landscape of flowing wine. From the Barenaked Ladies (June 18) to Sheryl Crow (July 20) to Regina Spektor (Aug 5), this stacked lineup occurs in single shows every few days from June to September. So head over to Woodinville, do a free tour and tasting (hell, you’re already there!), and buy tickets to see some of America’s pop culture greats. AV
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville (through Sept 22)

BECU ZooTunes Past Event List
ZooTunes is a 40-plus-year summer tradition that brings big-name artists to the Woodland Park Zoo’s bucolic North Meadow to raise money for the zoo’s animal care, conservation programs, and education. This year’s highlights include folk double-feature Indigo Girls with Neko Case (June 28–29), punk poet/all-around national treasure Patti Smith (Aug 16), indie-pop sisters Tegan and Sara (Aug 17), and indie-rock phenoms Japanese Breakfast with Built To Spill (Aug 20). Plus, this is a kid-friendly event! In fact, one of my earliest memories is gnawing on a licorice rope while watching Aimee Mann perform at ZooTunes. If you’re attending without kids, lucky you—there will be two beer gardens and plenty of kettle corn. AV
Woodland Park Zoo (June 28–Aug 23)

Capitol Hill Block Party Past Event List
This year, CHBP offers a treasure trove of Gen-Z favorites. Droves of festival-goers will crowd the streets of Capitol Hill to see headliners like TikTok phenom PinkPantheress (you’ve probably heard “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2,” her viral collab with Ice Spice), electro-pop duo Sofi Tukker, innovative Florida rapper Denzel Curry, and electronic music group Louis the Child. This isn’t your typical lounge-in-the-grass-type music festival, but rather, a bustling party that involves nine stages—both indoors and outdoors—that are nestled within the city streets. Aside from PinkPantheress, I am most excited to see the indie rock trio MUNA, whose infectious hit single “Silk Chiffon (ft. Phoebe Bridgers)” is the sapphic summer anthem that the girls and the gays deserve. I also can’t wait to see the ethereal electronic gem Empress Of, meme-turned-hyperpop star Rebecca Black, and BFF pop duo Coco & Clair Clair. If you can’t tell, this lineup exudes femme pop power. AV
Capitol Hill (July 21–23)

Timber! Outdoor Music Festival Past Event List
Produced by the PNW culture-makers at Artist Home, this popular outdoor music festival provides a very full weekend of crowd-friendly folk, rock, and pop performances, as well as all-ages activities like camping, kayaking, and stargazing. This year’s lineup includes Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, dance-punk band Guerilla Toss, La Conner, Washington-based singer-songwriter Black Belt Eagle Scout, country folk troubadour Nick Shoulders, and plenty more. AV
Tolt-MacDonald Park, Carnation
(July 27–29)

Day In Day Out Past Event List
In my past life working the counter of a local record store, Leon Bridges’ Coming Home and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago unfailingly stayed on our bestseller list. Both artists have the unique ability to defy genres with their fanbases sprawled across demographics. For that reason, it’s a smart move to have them headline the Fisher Pavilion’s second annual Day In Day Out festival. Artists with broad appeal are threaded throughout the lineup, with beloved acts like legitimately talented nepo baby WILLOW, post-rock quartet Explosions in the Sky, psychedelic jazz ensemble BADBADNOTGOOD, and gothic pop singer-songwriter Ethel Cain. All performances will take place on a single outdoor stage in the heart of Seattle with access to food trucks, vendors, and views of the Space Needle. There really is something for everyone. AV
Fisher Pavilion (Aug 12–13)

THING Past Event List
With the exception of peak pandemic years, Port Townsend’s music and arts festival THING has filled the Sasquatch!- shaped void in Washington State ever since the festival ended in 2018. This year’s lineup shines with PNW favorites like the harmonizing indie folk band Fleet Foxes, legendary jazz-rap trio Digable Planets, and rising indie pop artist SYML. Other big-name acts like Lil Yachty, Sylvan Esso, Thundercat, and Cigarettes After Sex make this festival grander than your average small-town arts fest. There are also plenty of bright spots in the comedy portion of the lineup with body horror specialist/SNL cast member Sarah Sherman, surrealist comedian/actress Kate Berlant, and stand-up star Jacqueline Novak. If you need a break from the crowds, there are also beautiful beaches and trails nearby for independent exploration. AV
Fort Worden State Park (Aug 25–27)

Bumbershoot Past Event List
After a four-year hiatus due to financial problems, low attendance numbers, and production shakeups, local collective New Rising Sun and nonprofit arts/education organization Third Stone have refreshed Seattle’s most iconic festival with lower ticket prices and an eclectic lineup that expands the definition of “artist.” With promised attractions like a cat circus, robots, nail art, and witches, this year’s 50th anniversary event is reminiscent of Bumbershoot 2008, when I saw a sex-positive paper bag puppet show right after being trampled at the main stage while Paramore performed “Misery Business.” Ah, the good old days! Get ready for two days of local and national artists spread out across Seattle Center’s lush grounds, including PNW’s own Sleater-Kinney—who first played the festival in 1997!—the Revivalists, Jawbreaker, AFI, Brittany Howard, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Phantogram. AV
Seattle Center (Sept 2–3)


Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival Past Event List
Marking the kickoff of the city’s outdoor theater season, the Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival will return for another round of Shakespearean shenanigans in sunny Volunteer Park’s new amphitheater, which opened last summer. You’ll find a variety of approaches to the Bard’s dramatics, so pack a picnic and sit back for two packed days of up to 18 shows from 10 local theater companies. If you miss out, presenting company GreenStage will also be putting on shows like Romeo & Juliet and Comedy of Errors at different parks around town through August—for free! LC
Volunteer Park (July 8–9)

Seattle Art Fair Past Event List
Returning to Lumen Field for the seventh year, Seattle Art Fair will continue to offer Seattleites the opportunity to see cool, cutting-edge contemporary artwork from all over the world without leaving town. Plenty of local institutions and artists get involved as well, making for a jam-packed weekend of incredible art-viewing opportunities; I'm stoked to see artists like Catalina Ouyang, whose experimental furniture navigates themes of language, space, and power dynamics, get attention this year. The fair promises to be a bit like last year's—a hectic weekend of avant-garde, artsy goodness that rivals its pre-pandemic days—with public projects by big names like Marita Dingus, Sharita Towne, Tariqa Waters, and Jeffrey Gibson, plus talks on AI art and gallerists visiting from near and far. LC
Lumen Field Event Center (July 27–30)

Urban Craft Uprising Summer Show Past Event List
Urban Craft Uprising has blossomed from its humble, 50-booth beginnings in 2005, now billing itself as the largest indie craft event in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. (Judging by the show’s consistently strong turnouts, it ain’t lying.) This year, they’ll bring a two-day summer show back to Magnuson Park Hangar 30, where you can hide from the sun for a couple of hours while snatching up crafty wares by indie artists and bites from on-site food trucks. Serving up a thoughtful alternative to mass-marketed trinkets and big box stores, the show promises all the resin earrings and chunky ceramics my heart desires—I have a gut feeling you’ll find something nifty, too. LC
Magnuson Park Hangar 30 (July 29–30)

Seattle Tattoo Expo Past Event List
Peep impressive tattoo displays, shop counterculture vendors, and engage in a little lighthearted flesh adornment at this three-day celebration of permanently decorated bodies. Hidden Hand Tattoo hosts the expo, which has brought enthusiasts and professional ink-givers together for over 20 years; attendees can thrill their eyeballs at a tattooed burlesque revue or enter contests for best color tats, black-and-white designs, and more. On Saturday at 5 pm, there’ll be a competition for the worst tattoo, so roll up your sleeves and whip out your blurry anchors and tributes to Mom. LC
Seattle Center (Aug 18–20)

Local Sightings Film Festival Past Event List
Back in 2015, Stranger senior staff writer Charles Mudede wrote, “What is this city becoming? What have we lost in the rush and thrust of all these new developments? To whom does this growing city belong? The brilliant Local Sightings film festival will show films that reveal the answers to these questions, through features, shorts, and animation that are born here or hereabouts. There’s much to see and much to talk about.” The premise of the hybrid festival hasn’t changed much since then—Local Sightings will return for its 26th anniversary this year, offering up another round of curated screenings and transforming the city into a hub for indie filmmakers who forgo New York or LA for the Pacific Northwest’s endearing eccentricity. The always-great, hyper-local film festival also offers opportunities for regional filmmakers, emotional storytellers, and documentarians to meet-cute at the festival’s events. LC
Northwest Film Forum (Sept 15–24)


Ballard SeafoodFest Past Event List
Originally started as a celebration of the neighborhood’s fishing industry in 1974, this festival has expanded over the years to include a salmon barbecue dinner, a crab shack, a beer garden replete with local craft brews, food and artisan craft vendors, a skateboarding competition, and live music from amazing local bands. This year’s killer lineup includes “rock ‘n’ roll twins” the Black Tones, dreamy indie rockers La Fonda, the garage band Linda From Work, soulful singer-songwriter Shaina Shepherd, the funk group Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme, and way more. Gluttons for punishment can enroll in the lutefisk eating contest, an annual competition to see who can scarf the most of the salty, gelatinous fish. JB
Ballard (July 14–16)

Bite of Seattle Past Event List
Seattle boasts plenty of food and drink festivals year-round, but Bite of Seattle is the OG, having been in business since 1982—and, after a three-year hiatus, it’s finally back and better than ever. Now owned by the “mobile-ordering and social-gifting app” CHEQ, the event will be entirely cashless and will feature over 200 vendors from all over the city, slinging ice cream, poke, pizza, dumplings, Korean barbecue, and more—not to mention three beer gardens and a wine garden. They’ve also beefed up their music component substantially this year, with over 50 performances across three stages and heavy-hitting headliners like Sir Mix-a-Lot, the groovy eight-piece ensemble Polyrhythmics, and the '80s new wave tribute band Nite Wave, as well as local favorites like Tomo Nakayama, Linda From Work, Grizzled Mighty, and Grace Love. JB
Seattle Center (July 21–23)

Fremont Oktoberfest Past Event List
Break out the dirndls and lederhosen in celebration of “Seattle’s largest beer festival,” where you can taste over 100 German and domestic craft beers (excuse us, “biers”) and feast on Bavarian-style food like bratwust and warm pretzels, in addition to a lineup of food trucks such as Dumpling Tzar, Woodshop BBQ, Fremont Mischief, and Pike Place Nuts. You’ll also find games like stein hoisting and “Texas chainsaw pumpkin carving,” pups in costumes during the special Dogtoberfest day (Sunday), a DJ tower with a dance floor, a “street scramble” scavenger hunt, and more throughout the streets of Fremont. JB
Fremont (Sept 22–24)

Report This

Please use this form to let us know about anything that violates our Terms of Use or is otherwise no good.
Thanks for helping us keep EverOut a nice place.

Please include links to specific policy violations if relevant.

Say something about this item. If you add it to multiple lists, the note will be added to all lists. You can always change it later!

Gotta catch 'em all?
Click below to be reminded about every instance of this event. (You can turn this off anytime of course.)
Remind Me