Specials & Shorts

Seattle's MLK marchers “keep moving forward”
Seattle's MLK marchers “keep moving forward”

Seattle's 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and rally on Jan. 16 began with speeches and performances at Garfield High School, where King himself once visited. Participants said they value his work, but their focus is on the work ahead.


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2023 MLK march

Seattle's 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day march and rally on Jan. 16 began with speeches and performances at Garfield High School, where King himself once visited. Participants said they value his work, but their focus is on the work ahead.

Local tribes holds blessing at site of future canoe carving center

Canoes were once the dominant mode of transportation, zigzagging through our region's waterways, linking local Native American communities, and allowing for hunting and trade. Soon, the Northwest Native Canoe Center will help share this story through a 1,200-square-foot building that will be a home for canoe carving and reconnecting Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest to their heritage and homelands. In addition to a carving space, the center will include room for cultural events, a catering kitchen, and a gift shop. The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation (UIATF) recently held a blessing ceremony at the future site, with construction expected to start construction in the fall of 2023.

New Pioneer Square hub brings together beers, bikes & baristas

RailSpur, a transformative micro-district in Pioneer Square, is opening three new retail concepts – Cassette Club, Heard Coffee, and Beerdega. The bike club and retail store, artisan coffee and pastry shop, and Beerdega with craft beers and provisions are the first of RailSpur’s openings, designed to reinvigorate Pioneer Square through a collection of dining, retail, office, residential, and hospitality experiences.

The Festival of Lights brightens downtown Seattle

Members of Seattle's Jewish community came together Thursday night to celebrate Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. Organized by Chabad of Downtown Seattle, "Light Up the Night Chanukah Celebration" attendees lit a giant menorah and gathered with food and music to "spread that hope, spread that love, spread that light." Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days. This year, the holiday ends on Monday, Dec. 26th.

Small business pop-up strengthens ties

Business Impact NW recently hosted a holiday pop-up and networking event for local business owners who completed the Small Business Digital Accelerator Program. Participants said the event not only helped spread the word about their products, but fostered connections with other entrepreneurs. 

North Pole's Santa Claus was born here in Washington. Yes, really!

The world’s largest Santa Claus clocks in at 42 feet tall and 900 pounds, and was created in 1968 right here in Washington as a holiday promotion for the Westlake Mall. Learn more about Santa's journey to North Pole, Alaska (those reindeer must’ve been huge).

The Nutcracker looms large – and bright –  in Loyal Heights

The Nutcracker, Rat King, Fritz, and other characters from the beloved holiday ballet production loom larger than life in Seattle’s Loyal Heights neighborhood. The Nutcracker, measuring a whopping 15 feet high, shines his signature toothy smile to spectators passing by the home of John Carrington and Scott McElhose. The couple shares how these colorful figures found their way from an iconic Chicago department store to their front lawn.

View the holiday display on the 9000 block of Loyal Avenue Northwest.

“Kitty Hall” connects cats with their purr-fect person

These cats got our tongues and our hearts. 19 friendly felines took centerstage at "Kitty Hall," a Seattle Animal Shelter event that brought adoptable kittens and cats to Seattle City Hall on Tuesday. Many of these cats found new homes for the holidays, but a few are still looking for their furever home. Paws and take a look for more information: https://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter

Christmas Ships and Bonfires at the Parks

Christmas Ships and Bonfires at the Parks is an annual tradition that kicks off the holidays with Seattle Parks and Recreation and Argosy Christmas Ships. Community members can bring a warm drink, gather around the fire to watch the ships pass, and even sing along to the choir while the night lights up with holiday cheer.

Carkeek Park's salmon run

November visitors to Seattle’s Carkeek Park are delighted to encounter salmon leaping from Piper’s Creek as they return to their freshwater spawning grounds from the Puget Sound and beyond. The creek’s salmon runs died off around 1927 due to overfishing and urban-growth pollution. In the 1970s, the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project began a partnership with the Suquamish Tribe to revive the runs, by raising and releasing salmon into the creek. Volunteers hope seeing salmon up close and personal will inspire people to invest in protecting and restoring our environment. Video by David Albright.

Seattle Municipal Archives' images:
Carkeek Park image 28877: http://archives.seattle.gov/digital-collections/index.php/Detail/objects/62815
Carkeek Park Parking Lot image 77629: http://archives.seattle.gov/digital-collections/index.php/Detail/objects/116213
Carkeek Park Exp. A image 77631: http://archives.seattle.gov/digital-collections/index.php/Detail/objects/116215
Urban runoff drainage study image Doc_6945: http://archives.seattle.gov/digital-collections/index.php/Detail/objects/237573

Chihuly Garden and Glass' Winter Brilliance

The mesmerizing new exhibit “Winter Brilliance” uses light, color, music, and glass to create a tranquil, immersive experience. Video is projected onto glass ice-like sculptures, creating refracted light that makes them appear to glow from within. The new interactive installation, created by Dale Chihuly, is inspired by the glass artist’s fascination with ice and icicles. The artwork was originally created as a holiday window display for Barneys New York, but the interactive elements are brand new. Chihuly Garden and Glass plans to run “Winter Brilliance” every winter. See it now through Feb. 28, 2023.

Photos of Chihuly Artworks republished with permission: © 2022 Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved

Lushootseed, Seattle’s original language

Tribes in our region originally spoke a form of the Salish language, and here in the Seattle area, that language is Southern Lushootseed. Today, there are no people left who speak Lushootseed as a first language, but there are local efforts to keep the language and the culture it represents, alive. University of Washington Assistant Teaching Professor Tami Hohn explains why preserving the language – and sharing it with students – has been a fulfilling personal journey.

Photo Information:
MOHAI, PEMCO Webster & Stevens Collection, 1983.10.9458
MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Photograph Collection, 2000.

Celebrating Día de los Muertos in Seattle

Día de los Muertos is a two-day holiday celebrating and honoring the dead. Originating in Mexico, many celebrate the holiday using a home altar adorned in pictures of loved ones who’ve passed. Their images are often surrounded in flowers, skulls, and the departed’s favorite foods.

These traditions are celebrated in our region, too, including at Seattle Center’s recent Festál series and El Centro de la Raza’s six-day Día de los Muertos that ends in an all-day event Saturday, Nov. 5.

Seattle IT lends helping hand for annual Seattle/King County Clinic

The Seattle/King County Clinic is a giant free health event held annually at Seattle Center. Part of the clinic’s success is due to the handful of Seattle Information Technology employees who help with technical and digital infrastructure.

Viet-Wah, an anchor of Seattle’s Vietnamese community, closes after 41 years

The family-run Viet-Wah supermarket has anchored Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood for more than four decades, providing Vietnamese cuisine staples like fish and oyster sauce, rice vermicelli, pickled vegetables, seasoning, spices, and more. To many of the store’s longtime customers, Viet-Wah was not only a grocer, but a destination and a reminder of home.  Late last month, Viet-Wah’s owners and staff said goodbye to longtime customers and closed their doors, citing a looming redevelopment of the property, pandemic-related woes, and ongoing public safety issues. The Tran family, who started Viet-Wah, plans to focus on the store’s Renton location.

Grand opening of Detective Cookie Chess Park

The Rainier Beach neighborhood celebrated the opening of Detective Cookie Chess Park over the weekend. Named in honor of 35-year Seattle Police Department detective veteran Denise "Cookie" Bouldin, the park pays homage to the detective's passion for chess and features a large chess board and built-in chess tables. Back in 2006, Bouldin brought chess to Rainier Beach Community Center and Rainier Beach Library, and years later, the Detective Cookie’s Urban Youth Chess Club has taught thousands of youth chess skills and the art of strategy and patience. More information

Seattle Youth Employment Program

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) supports young people (ages 16 to 24) from qualifying-income households and communities that experience racial, social, and economic disparities. The goal is to increase youth and young adults' ability to pursue careers that pay well and are meaningful to them.

SYEP has three components: a stipend-based school year exploration and learning experience, summer internships with local nonprofits and Seattle city departments, and private internship opportunities for Seattle Promise students.

A stroll through Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market opened on Aug. 17, 1907, with just a few farmers’ carts. It quickly became a hit and by 1909, it boasted about 64 farmers per day and 300,000 visitors per month. Today it attracts about ten million visitors annually, making it Seattle’s most popular tourist attraction and one of its most historic. From buskers to florists to fishmongers, take a stroll through Seattle’s iconic market.

On The Block Capitol Hill artist market

Capitol Hill artists, musicians, performers, and small business owners have come together to create a new monthly marketplace. Coined “On The Block Second Saturdays,” the free community-run event transforms part of 11th Avenue in the Pike/Pine corridor with live music, art, and more. Aimed at boosting neighborhood artists and businesses, the event takes place every second Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and runs through October.

Recovery Day at the Mariners

Sunday, August 7, 2022, was Recovery Day at the Seattle Mariners. It was a day for the mental health and substance abuse recovery community to come together, loud and proud, to root for recovery. Supporters met at Occidental Square for a recovery rally and then marched to T-Mobile Park to cheer on the Mariners.

Learn more about ways to support mental health and substance use recovery at washingtonrecoveryalliance.org

From Hiroshima to Hope

Every August 6, on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, "From Hiroshima to Hope" floats candle-lit lanterns at dusk from the shores of Green Lake to honor victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other victims of war and violence. The annual ceremony brings messages of non-violence and hope and promotes peace through education.

Shell yeah! World’s largest marine snail calls Seattle home

The spherical shell of a Lewis' moon snail can have a diameter of nearly six inches, but despite their size they can be hard to spot in the Puget Sound. Urban naturalist and author Kelly Brenner shares tips on how to track down these shelled gastropods.

Salsa during Seattle sunset

Dance enthusiasts flock to Seattle’s Alki Beach Park each summer to move and groove to salsa and bachata music. Started back in 2009 by Belltown Dance Studio, “Salsa & Bachata On Alki” draws hundreds each summer, with participants dancing to Latin music beats under the shadow of the Olympic Mountains and setting sun. For dates and more information, visit: https://sazondanceevents.com/

Refugee Artisan Initiative opens doors to new home

Since 2016, the Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI) has provided artisan skills training and micro business development education for refugee and immigrant women who’ve left countries like Afghanistan, Burma, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Bhutan, Morocco, and China. But in January, the transformational organization had a setback when its temporary makerspace was damaged from a flood. With grants from the city, county, and state, RAI recently opened its doors to a new 7,500-square-foot space in Lake City that includes a makerspace and cultural center.

Lake Washington sticklebacks offer insights on rapid "reverse evolution"

Naturalist and author Kelly Brenner is on a mission to shed light on some of the lesser-known species that cohabitate with us in our urban ecosystem. The tiny three-spined stickleback is one of those creatures. Lake Washington's sticklebacks are famous in scientific circles for a unique evolutionary quirk. Before the lake was cleaned up, the murky water protected the stickleback from predators so well, they let down their spikey defenses. But in one of the first documented cases of reverse evolution, following clean-up efforts that began in the 1960s, they were forced to evolve again to survive. Produced by David Albright.

More info about Be'er Sheva Park and Mapes Creek: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/beer-sheva-park