Specials & Shorts

Bon Odori: Sights & sounds from one of Seattle’s oldest festivals
Bon Odori: Sights & sounds from one of Seattle’s oldest festivals

Every summer, one Seattle neighborhood is transformed into a colorful dance and music festival that brings centuries-old Japanese traditions to life. The Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple has hosted and celebrated Bon Odori since 1932, with many festivalgoers attending to honor the spirits and memory of their ancestors. Producer David Albright brings you the sights and sounds from this year’s Obon!


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Pink salmon spawning

Salmon anglers came out in droves near the mouth of the Duwamish Waterway where it was easy fishing. Of the five species of Pacific salmon, the pinks (also known as “humpies” after the hump that forms on their backs) are the smallest and have the shortest life span. They spend just two years in the ocean before returning to their home rivers. Most pinks return from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in odd-numbered years, and this year brought an estimated 3.9 million back to Puget Sound waters. The pinks usually start showing up in Seattle area waters toward the end of August. Since the pink salmon swim in groups and close to shore as they get closer to their home rivers, they’re relatively easy to see and catch from the shoreline. This location off of the SW Spokane St. Bridge is a popular place to cast a line, but sites like Coleman Point in Lincoln Park, Carkeek Park, Golden Gardens, and Alki Beach are also a lure.

If you decide to try your hand at shoreline salmon fishing, make sure to check in with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to learn about licenses and regulations.


Move & groove into the night at Dancing til Dusk

Whether you're a seasoned dancer or new to the groove, Dancing til Dusk invites anyone and everyone to join in a free community music and dance night. Company Dance for Joy! and Seattle Parks and Recreation host more than a dozen events in public parks around the city, with four more to go before the summer's out. Neighbors are welcome to join for a beginner-friendly lesson during the first hour, no partner required. Visit here for more information.

Seattle Youth Employment Program capstone

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), marking its 50th anniversary, is a comprehensive initiative that places interns aged 16 to 24 in various departments within the city. Last Friday, youth and mentors celebrated the program's milestone and this summer's intern class. Program leaders and participants say SYEP helps young people from minority and low-income households and communities open doors into the workplace and take control of their futures.

More information and application instructions: https://www.seattle.gov/human-services/services-and-programs/youth-and-young-adults/seattle-youth-employment-program

Courtney Marie Andrews serenades during Downtown Summer Sounds

Singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews performed "It Must Be Someone Else's Fault" from 2021 Grammy-nominated album "Old Flowers" at City Hall Plaza as part of the Downtown Summer Sounds program. Andrews grew up playing in punk bands, toured with band Jimmy Eat World at age 18, and released her eighth album, "Loose Future" in October 2022. For more 2023 Downtown Summer Sounds events, visit here.

Vanishing Seattle celebrates city's past through captivating collection of salvaged signs

A new collection of reclaimed local signs transports Seattle's history into the present. Vanishing Seattle's Cynthia Brothers has brought together a diverse collection of salvaged signs – from hand-painted to wood-carved – to this weekend's Seattle Art Fair. The exhibit is an ode to the artisans and spaces that brought soul to the city, and a celebration of old Seattle businesses, venues, and gathering places. 

The multimedia “Vanishing Seattle Opening Exhibit” debuts tonight, Friday, from 5-8p.m. in the historic RailSpur building in Pioneer Square. The exhibit runs this weekend July 28-30 and one more day, Aug. 3rd.

Bon Odori: Sights & sounds from one of Seattle’s oldest festivals

Every summer, one Seattle neighborhood is transformed into a colorful dance and music festival that brings centuries-old Japanese traditions to life. The Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple has hosted and celebrated Bon Odori since 1932, with many festivalgoers attending to honor the spirits and memory of their ancestors. Producer David Albright brings you the sights and sounds from this year’s Obon!

Massy Ferguson performs "Fire of Life" during Downtown Summer Sounds

Four-man band Massy Ferguson performed their twangy feet-stomping country-rock tune "Fire of Life" during a recent set at City Hall Plaza. Members of the band include Ethan Anderson, Adam Monde, Fred Slater, and Dave Goedde. For more 2023 Downtown Summer Sounds events, visit here.

MudHoney breaks through

"The machine looks like it's been through a lot. It has." MudHoney began work 22 months ago in Ballard and broke through two weeks ago in Wallingford. It dug 2.7 miles of tunnel, broke through a 12-foot boulder, and came out the other end (mostly) unscathed–all while we went about our lives on the streets above. Watch this short video by producer Randy Eng to learn more about MudHoney's mission to build a massive stormwater and sewage tunnel, and what happens now that it's complete.

Greenwood Car Show

Classic, modern, vintage, and just plain incredible, the Greenwood Car Show brings together the coolest cars, tricked-out trucks, hottest hot rods, and everything in between. It started 31 years ago as a way to create a showcase for car enthusiasts and bring a bit more foot traffic to the Greenwood neighborhood, but these days it's so much more. The Greenwood Knights, which puts on the event, is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to the community through scholarships for local youth and donations to benefit local organizations. Producer Chris Barnes takes us along to kick the tires.


"It tastes like home." Popular Filipino diner returns to Downtown Seattle

Ludi's Restaurant is back! The Filipino diner originally opened in 1930s Downtown Seattle and served up beloved dishes like longganisa and their famous ube pancakes until a fire and lease increase forced them to shut their doors in 2019, and the pandemic kept them closed. Now they're open again just a short walk from their original location. For long-time patrons and the owners themselves, Ludi's was worth the wait. "It tastes like home."

Video by Randy Eng. Produced in partnership with Cynthia Brothers of Vanishing Seattle.

Sharon Nyree Williams recites poem “Juneteenth: Freedom is...”

"Freedom is what Seattle could be, but isn’t yet.” Seattle poet, artist, and storyteller Sharon Nyree Williams recites poem “Juneteenth: Freedom is...”

Travel the MudHoney boring-machine’s subterranean commute

Tunnel-boring machine MudHoney, along with construction workers with a unique commute, have been working hard since 2021 on a 2.7-mile-long passage that will run under the city’s Ballard, Fremont, and Wallingford neighborhoods. When complete, the tunnel will divert sewage and stormwater away from the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Reuniting the Duwamish River to its past through art & sound

In the early 1900s, Seattle's Duwamish River was rechanneled, wiping out its natural curves and wetlands in favor of straight lines more friendly to industrial uses. Eirik Johnson's installation "Leviathan Rising" honors the river's past and its connection to the Georgetown Steam Plant. He fills the space with abstract images and haunting sounds pulled from the river itself.

Celebrating Pride 2023

The Seattle City Hall LGBTQ+ Pride Flag raising tradition dates back to June 1, 2013, just months after same-sex marriage was formally recognized in Washington state. In this year’s pride flag event, Mayor Bruce Harrell and other community leaders reflected on LGBTQ+ history and looked to the future work that remains.

One Seattle Day of Service 2023

Mayor Bruce Harrell kicked off the 2023 One Seattle Day of Service on Saturday from Pioneer Square. Nearly 4,000 volunteers came out to join in 160 volunteer events, including cleaning and beautification, gardening and restoration, and helping neighbors in need.

AIDS memorial inspires reflection & remembrance

“They’re people who gave us our strength.” The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway is a collection of public artworks located in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The memorial serves as a remembrance to those impacted by the deadly AIDS crisis of the 1980s and ‘90s, and how the local community united during the epidemic. Former Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who helped spearhead the project, explains more in this walking tour organized by the Capitol Hill Historical Society. Video by David Albright

Photo Credit: MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, 2000., photo by Grant M. Haller

Seattle Public Library takes a stand with Books Unbanned Initiative

With a rapid rise in banned and challenged books across the nation, the Seattle Public Library has joined the Brooklyn Public Library in its Books Unbanned initiative. The initiative makes the library’s entire digital collection available to young people, aged 13-26, throughout the United States.  

Seattle/King County Clinic provides care to thousands

"When you're in here, everybody treats you like you're a person." The Seattle/King County clinic provided thousands of people with medical, dental, and vision from April 27-30. The free clinic welcomed all, no insurance, employment, or documentation required.

Led by Seattle Center and Seattle Center Foundation, Seattle/King County Clinic brings together healthcare organizations, civic agencies, nonprofits, and private businesses to transform Seattle Center facilities into a healthcare operation. An average of 500 licensed healthcare professionals and 500 general support volunteers each day donate their time and expertise.

Seattle/King County Clinic is made possible through thousands of donated work hours as well as cash and in-kind contributions. Over eight years, that support has helped the Clinic provide more than $22 million in direct services to 27,000 patients.

R2-D2 Builders Club Expo

The fifth annual R2-D2 Builders Club Expo at the Museum of Flight was an assembly of droids from across the Star Wars galaxy, along with the hobbyist builders of all ages from the Pacific Northwest R2 Builders Club who bring them to life.

For more information on the Pacific Northwest R2 Builders Club, visit here. May the Fourth Be With You!


Seattle/King County Clinic volunteer translators

Volunteers gathered at McCaw Hall on the Seattle Center grounds to record a greeting for the upcoming Seattle/King County Clinic. Recorded in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese, the welcome message is for patients entering the clinic, introducing them to the clinic and its processes and putting them at ease. The recorded messages are just one task that goes into producing the giant volunteer-driven free health clinic at Seattle Center.

The Seattle/King County Clinic brings together healthcare organizations, civic agencies, non-profits, private businesses, and volunteers from across the state. The four-day clinic provides free dental, vision, and medical care to anyone in the region who struggles to access and/or afford healthcare.

The next Seattle/King County Clinic is April 27 – 30, 2023, offering dental, vision, and medical care. 

Moss, the brilliant green icon of the Pacific Northwest, and the microscopic world it supports

Over 700 species of moss grow in the Pacific Northwest. Bloedel Reserve's moss gardener says he sees moss as the underdog, playing an integral role in the look and function of the forest. One local urban naturalist takes us on a journey into the microscopic ecosystem moss support. Produced by David Albright

Community comes together to continue D'vonne Pickett Jr.'s legacy of love & positivity

"Shine light on our community.” - D'vonne Pickett Jr.

Last October, the Central District lost beloved community member D'vonne Pickett Jr. to gun violence. The Seattle University alum and father of three young children opened The Postman with his wife KeAnna Rose Pickett back in 2018. On Feb. 22, friends, family, community members, and city leaders came together to honor D'vonne’s legacy with an honorary designation of part of East Union Street that now bears his name.

Pink Gorilla engages Seattle’s passionate gaming community

Pink Gorilla specializes in selling new, used, and retro video games and consoles. Owners Cody Spencer and Kelsey Lewin talk about their passions for gaming and how Seattle's large video game industry and enthusiastic gaming community have played a crucial role in Pink Gorilla's growth. The duo takes pride in bringing people together through their shared love of gaming.

“As the crow flies” happens to be over Seattle

Crows may as well be the mascot of Seattle. Their large population, distinctive caws, and active behavior demand attention. David Albright brings us more on this highly-intelligent urban neighbor and how roosting crows animate the skies. Video by David Albright. Assistant editing by Andrew Wright.

Seattle celebrates Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Communities around Seattle are celebrating Tết, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year. “One of the great things about our city is the diversity of culture,” said Deputy Mayor Greg Wong. Vietnamese New Year is one of the most important celebrations of the year, can last for multiple days, and is when families come together to enjoy traditional food, music, and dancing. 2023 ushers in the Year of the Cat.