Cultural events

This year's Ballard Seafood Fest may have hit its peak at early in the weekend.

That's because at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, 10 brave contestants took the stage to compete in the annual Lutefisk Eating Contest.

Lutefisk is a Scandinavian dish in which fish is soaked in lye until it takes on a gelatinous consistency. It is incredibly pungent and definitely an acquired taste.

Festival-goers packed Bergen place to catch a glimpse of the gastric feat. Sounds of simultaneous disgust and encouragement filled the air.

This year's competition consisted of three rounds. The five contestants who were able to eat a pound of lutefisk quickest were sent on to the second round.

The three who conquered the second-round's half-pound of fish first went on to the championship round.

The final round, consisting of contestants Dora, Keith and Sam, featured slightly more than a half-pound of lutefisk.

After a photo finish and some deliberation, the judges declared Keith the winner over Sam. But both were awarded cash prizes.

Did the judges make the right call? Watch the video and decide for yourself.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Lutefisk Eating Contest contestants Sam and Keith face off at the Ballard Seafood Fest July 25.

The annual West Seattle Hi-Yu parade entertained thousands of people along it's route with many special guests.

Former Project Runway contestant, and Hotwire Barista Blayne Walsh led the parade as grand marshal with special guests like J.P. Patches, Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin and King County Council member Dow Constantine walked the parade route down Calfornia Avenue.

Of course, Hi-Yu candidates were a feature in the parade and the Seafair Pirates entertained the crowd as usual.

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Photo credit: 
Photo by Rose Egge

The Annual Hi-Yu parade entertained crowds along California Avenue this afternoon. CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS.

This upcoming weekend is the annual Hi-Yu event and parade. Read on to find out what special events are happening.

Friday, July 17

12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Hiawatha Kids Fun Festival and Junior Court Coronation
Hiawatha Community Center

Saturday, July 18

10:30 a.m.
Rotary Club Kiddies Parade with Junior Court
California Avenue between Southwest Lander Street and Southwest Edmunds Street

11 a.m.
American Legion Grand Parade
California Avenue between Southwest Lander Street and Southwest Edmunds Street

Sunday, July 19

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Community Brunch
American Legion Post #160

Monday, July 12

7 p.m.
Miss West Seattle Hi-Yu Coronation and Reception
West Seattle High School Theater

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Photo credit: 
Joanne Murray

The 2007 Hi-Yu float, "Pearls of the Sea," in the American Legion Grand Parade in the Alaska Junction. The annual festival starts this weekend.

Editor's note: This letter is written for the community and will appear in this year's Ballard SeafoodFest guide.

Dear Community,

Ten—that’s the number of years I have been producing SeafoodFest. For the last three, festival materials have featured quirky, fun images, created to celebrate and pay tribute to Ballard’s cultural heritage. We’ve embraced three 20th century Vikings with ties to the Nordic countries.

Past posters featured Ozzie the Viking Banker and the handsome Leif Erikson in statue form. This year, SeafoodFest is celebrating its Viking Spirit in a GIANT way! At 8 feet 8 inches tall, Johann The Viking Giant, is Nordic on steroids.

While the Viking figure is an easily recognizable symbol of Scandinavian history and one with a general appeal, they are much more than caricatures. Vikings were explorers and entrepreneurs who introduced skills and ideals that we continue to value today.

Though most were not warriors, all possessed an enduring spirit. Struggling against cold, hunger, enemies and the unknown, Viking men and women were taught to prize bravery, strength and daring deeds.

Photo credit: 
Image courtesy Ballard Chamber of Commerce

The Ballard SeafoodFest is July 25 and 26.

People from a wide variety of area cultures gathered at High Point Commons Park for the annual Diversity Festival July 4.

The event, which has been taking place "For over 20 years," according to the organizers. The event featured ethnically diverse food including Vietnamese, Cambodian, Somalian, Ethiopian, Hispanic and American cultures.

LIve music played in the adjacent amphitheater stage.

Various organizations contributed to making the event possible, including the Seattle Parks Department, which provided volleyball nets, the Seattle Housing Authority, which provided organizational support, the High Point Neighborhood Association and Neighborhood House.

Highpoint Diversity Festival.jpg
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Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Miranda Taylor, High Point Neighborhood Trustee talks to a young man considering a T-Shirt at the 2009 High Point Diversity Festival. The event offered a chance to sample the food from a number of different cultures.

At the conclusion of the Duwamish Tribe Salmon Bake For Justice fundraiser at the Longhouse Museum Friday, July 3, Tribe Chairwoman Cecile Hansen drove two large trays of freshly baked smoked salmon to the homeless encampment many call "Nickelsville."

She also threw in some fry bread and coleslaw.

"I'm worried- I hope they have enough water to drink," said Hansen as her eyes swept the primitive village in the hot sun.

Nickelsville is two miles southeast of the museum, where 2nd Avenue Southwest and West Marginal Way intersect. The encampment has been there since June 5 and its future at that location is in Gov. Chris Gregoire's hands as it sits on state land.

The Duwamish Tribe is raising money for the Duwamish Legal Fund for its court case to pursue federal recognition. Federal recognition would place the tribe on equal footing with other Northwest Native America tribes.

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center is located at 4705 West Marginal Way.

cecile hansen knickelsville.jpg
Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

Following their salmon bake fundraiser at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center Friday, July 3, Tribe Chairwoman Cecile Hansen delivered the leftovers to Gregory Lewis, a Nickelsville resident, who distributed the food.

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center will hold the “Salmon Bake for Justice” Friday, July 3, from noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Duwamish Legal Fund to pursue tribal federal recognition.

Prices include $20 for a salmon dinner with Indian fry bread and $5 for a hotdog, chips and drink.

The Duwamish Tribe is seeking the political self-determination federally recognized tribes enjoy. Federal recognition would place the tribe on equal footing with other Northwest tribes.

On June 3 of this year, Rep. Jim McDermott introduced H.R.2678, the Duwamish Tribal Recognition Act. The Duwamish Tribe are 600 members strong and have traced their lineage back to the members present at the signing of the Point Elliot Treaty in 1855.

The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center is located at 4705 W. Marginal Way S.W., Seattle, (206) 431-1582.

Duwamish Tribe Salmon Bake July 3 photo.jpg
Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

James Rasmussen, director of the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, left, co-hosts “Salmon Bake for Justice” Friday, July 3, noon to 4 p.m. He is pictured with his friend, Snohomish Tribe Chairman didahalqid (Michael C. Evans.)

Line dance classes, level 2

In this intermediate level class, we’ll learn more steps to music like swing, rock and roll, waltz, zydeco and western. If you’ve line danced before and want to get back into it, come check out this class. $30 PNA member, $40 nonmember.

Repeats every 7 days until Tue Aug 25 2009 .

Line dance classes, level 1

Learn dances to music like swing, rock and roll, waltz, zydeco and western. It’s a beginning class but great for everyone who loves to move to music. $30 PNA member, $40 nonmember.

Repeats every 7 days until Tue Aug 25 2009 .

Skandia basics

Wednesdays. Focus on partnering skills and learn or refine the basic Scandinavian couple dances. Smooth-soled shoes recommended, no partner or experience required. $25 for Skandia members, $35 for non-members. Information: or 784-7470.

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