What Your SeaFair Pirates Arrr Reading

When they’re not hoisting the Jolly Roger or broadsiding a parade crowd with their cannons, the Seafair pirates love to weigh anchor with a good book, just like the rest of us. When asked, they’ll admit that Readin’ is their favorite of the “Three Arrrs!” So here me hardies is a brace of the saltiest and swashbucklingest yarns found across the seven seas.

The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, by Gideon DeFoe. We all know pirates enjoy a good laugh, and few nautical yarns are more hilarious than Defoe’s zany series of misadventures in which the likes of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Napoleon rub shoulders with the Pirate Captain and his motley crew of rapscallions and rascals, including my personal favorite: the pirate with the nut allergy. Continue reading “What Your SeaFair Pirates Arrr Reading”

A Little History of Seafair

 Photo of Seafair royalty with Navy men, ca. 1950 Courtesy Paul DorpatWith Seafair just around the corner, ever wonder about the history?

The Seafair Beginnings article on HistoryLink,org writes, “The first Seafair took place from August 11 to 20, 1950. Hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed more than 100 events throughout King County. The events ranged from a 25-mile bicycle race around Lake Sammamish to a decorated-boat parade on Lake Washington with 350 participating boats. Spectators witnessed a Police Pistol Contest at 106th Ave S and East Marginal Way, a steamboat race on Elliott Bay, a Coast Guard lifeboat race, also on Elliott Bay, a “husband calling” contest at Seward Park, and an operetta called “The Desert Song” at Volunteer Park attended by 10,000. Continue reading “A Little History of Seafair”

Golden Potlatch: The First Seafair

1911 Potlatch Postcard, Seattle Historical Postcard CollectionYou’re probably familiar with the Seafair festival that Seattle holds every summer in July, but have you ever heard of its predecessor — the Golden Potlatch? Started in 1911, this annual celebration served as the inspiration for the Seafair festival that we know today. Continue reading “Golden Potlatch: The First Seafair”

There be Pirates!

Whether it be the sight of black sails of the Black Pearl upon the horizon or the roaring sound of the amphibious landing craft Moby Duck storming Alki Beach, pirates throughout history have been feared and romanticized by myth and legend. And once again, the most famous Pirates in Seattle return for the yearly storming of Alki Beach for the enjoyment of the thousands who come to be entertained.

The Seafair Pirates first banded together in 1949 to promote Seattle and everything Seafair while serving the community with appearances in hospitals and nursing homes. Despite the emphasis of Seafair during the summer months, the Pirates make appearances at charity events, parades, and fundraisers year round. Continue reading “There be Pirates!”

Historical Fiction: World War II at Sea

Click here to view Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk in SPL catalogSeattle’s Seafair Fleet Week (July 31–August 4) is a 64 year annual tradition that brings military ships to the Port of Seattle for public viewing, to honor the men and women who serve their country at sea. Historical novels about World War II at sea add a vivid and exciting dimension to our celebration. Older books, like Nevil Shute’s Most Secret, Tales of the South Pacific by James  Michener and Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny, reveal the danger and stress of sea battle, military life in close quarters and how people processed their wartime experiences. Continue reading “Historical Fiction: World War II at Sea”