At 87, Bill Wurster is a man of many talents. Business owner, family guy, hydroplane racer and one of the seven founders of the Seattle Seafair Pirates, he attributes much of his success to his good friends and his father’s mantra that he could do whatever he wanted, if he applied himself.
Wurster’s father died when he was 17, placing Wurster at the head of the household.
“He has a very deep devotion to his family that continues to this day,” said lifelong-friend John Dowbroski.
Though he was still in high school at the time of his father’s death, Wurster lied about his age and landed a job with Boeing.
In 1948, after a short stint as a commercial artist, Wurster opened his own advertising agency. It was in advertising that he would learn the business skills needed to succeed in what would seem to be a very different career path – that of a hydroplane racer and Seafair Pirate.
That same year a new owner called Seafair Inc. appropriated the hydroplane races and summer parades that would become defining features of today’s Seafair celebration.
The Alki Art Fair, which took place over the weekend of July 24 and 25 got outstanding weather with virtually cloudless days and temperatures in the 80s.
While many people were there for the beach alone, thousands took the time to stroll through the art on display by more than 70 artists.
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The 77th Annual West Seattle American Legion Grand Parade held on Saturday, July 24 beginning at 11:00 am was hot, sunny, and punctuated with loud booms set off by the Seafair Pirates. Grand Marshall's for the event were West Seattle's own well known radio and podcast personalities Marty Riemer and Jodi Brothers.
HERE ARE THE WINNERS
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Riemer said, "Jodi and I are truly humbled by this honor. And that's saying something because you walk around for a day with the title Grand Marshall attached to your name and it gets hard to be humble. Like Supreme Leader. Thank you, West Seattle!"
The grand parade featuring 78 entries began in the Admiral District and headed south down California Ave SW for 1.5 miles from Lander Street to Edmunds Street. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles flew down the parade route as it got underway.
Scandinavia, which encompasses Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, is a land that brings to mind long winters, saunas and fair-skinned natives. But, the northern European culture is also deeply rooted in the Ballard community.
Viking Days took place July 17 and July 18 at the Nordic Heritage Museum. The festival, now in its 27th year, featured reenactments, Scandinavian food, tables lined with Nordic arts and crafts plastic sets of Viking armor and for the children.
Eric Nelson, CEO of the Nordic Heritage Museum and a third-generation Swede, said the two-day festival is a community event.
“One of the favorite stops is the Taste of Scandinavia,” Nelson said, pointing to a line of women busily producing sugary edibles. “We have a group of volunteers from each of the five countries who all prepare specialty foods. Those are all community members, most of them live in Seattle and help out at the museum.”
While the weekend attraction used to include a broader celebration of Scandinavia, it has since shifted its focus to Viking culture.
Nelson said the festival was particularly pertinent to the Ballard neighborhood.
This is your chance to not only eat Mediterranean food but dance the calories away at this non-stop festival of music and entertainment.
275 dancers will take part with vendors selling a wide variety of ethnic crafts and goods. The event is FREE.
This event is locally-sponsored and focuses on the dances of the Mediterranean area. Traditional Greek food, will be sold.
It takes place from 11 AM to 7 PM on Saturday July 17 and Sunday July 18 at the Hiawatha Community Center adjacent to West Seattle High school at 2700 California Ave SW.
Ballard SeafoodFest 2010 kicked off July 10 with sun, crowds and not just a little lutefisk.
Stan Boreson, accordion player and humorist, opened the day with some Ballard-style jokes – "A Swede asks a Norwegian how many chickens he has in a bag. The Norwegian says if he guesses how many chickens he has in the bag, he'll give him both. The Swede guesses five. The Norwegian says, 'You missed it by two.'"
Elsewhere, children made boats with help from the Center for Wooden Boats, and salmon after salmon was slathered with butter and cooked to perfection.
As always, the annual Lutefisk Eating Contest was a major draw.
State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson said she remembers participating in the challenge 18 years ago.
"Well, I didn't throw up," she said when asked how she did.
After a moment of silence to remember fallen contestants of years past, it was time to meet the 10 souls brave enough to guzzle down 3.25 pounds of gelatinous, lye-soaked fish for the chance to win $250.
The contestants were split between those who had eaten the Scandinavian delicacy before and loved it and those who were lutefisk rookies.
The 28th Annual West Seattle Summer Fest is here again July 9-11, hosted by the West Seattle Junction Association.
Summer Fest is host to dozens of bands (see the lineup below or download a printable schedule at the link above), hundreds of merchants and artists, and over 30,000 attendees. This year people attending will enjoy a food court, beer gardens and plenty of family activities.
Live music on two stages, a skateboard exhibition, and a large kid friendly family activity area are all part of the show this year.
Closing out the show on Sunday July 11 are The School Of Rock All Stars (performing Live Aid Remade, with songs by David Bowie, Queen, Judas Priest, U2 and more) and the Polyrithmics an all original, 8-piece Funk and Afrobeat Orchestra comprised of some of Seattles finest rhythmic and melodic musicians.
The West Seattle Summer Fest started as the West Seattle Sidewalk Sale. Over time more and more activities were added, and more people began attending until it grew into what is now the West Seattle Summer Fest, voted “favorite annual event” by West Seattle Herald readers and attracting visitors from the entire Puget Sound region.