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Topic: Fairs & Festivals

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Hansen, Gracie (1922-1985)

The irrepressible and brash Gracie Hansen -- best remembered for presenting shapely showgirls in her glamorous Las Vegas-style burlesque nightclub at Seattle's Century 21 Exposition (Seattle World's F...

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Issaquah Salmon Days

Salmon Days is a two-day affair held the first Saturday and Sunday in October in downtown Issaquah (King County). It is a family-oriented event that features numerous attractions and arts and crafts, ...

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Jim Ellis on Eddie Carlson

Among his many achievements as a civic activist, Seattle attorney Jim Ellis (1921-2019) led the campaign to clean up Lake Washington, pushed for development of the Washington State Conventio...

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Luna Park -- the Coney Island of the West (1907-1913)

Luna Park, Seattle's "Coney Island of the West," enticed visitors with thrilling rides, garish amusements, and the "longest bar on the bay" for only six years, from 1907-1913. Once a decade, its ghost...

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Marilyn Gandy Scherrer discusses Laurene and Joe Gandy's Seattle World's Fair memories

Laurene Tatlow Gandy (1908-1993) was widely acknowledged as the First Lady of the Century 21 Exposition -- 1962 Seattle World's Fair, and was one of that fair's most important assets. With her husband...

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Monorail (Seattle)

Seattle's monorail is a mile-long railway that travels between Seattle Center and Westlake Center in downtown Seattle. It opened in 1962 as part of the city's Century 21 Exposition, and shuttled visit...

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Northwest Folklife Festival (Seattle)

The annual Northwest Folklife Festival, held each Memorial Day weekend at Seattle Center, launched in 1972 as a free celebration of folk and ethnic music, dance, and arts. The first event, staged on a...

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Rainier District Pow Wow (1934-1992)

Seattle's Rainier District Pow Wow was founded in 1934 as a day-long, community-wide picnic designed to lift spirits and promote cohesion in the midst of the Great Depression. Like its cousin, downtow...

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Remembering the First Fat Tuesday: Marie McCaffrey's Exact Recollections

In this People's History, Marie McCaffrey tells the story of how Seattle's Fat Tuesday -- the annual carnival-style celebration that takes place in Pioneer Square -- got started. The first Fat Tuesday...

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Rodeo in Washington

Contests pitting humans against animals appear in cultures throughout recorded history. In the U.S., that tradition is the rodeo, which emerged from tasks cowboys did while working cattle in the 1800s...

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San Juan County at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909

Conceived as a showcase for the Pacific Northwest and northern Pacific Rim countries, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific (A-Y-P) Exposition in Seattle became one of the most celebrated regional events of t...

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Satsop River Fair and Tin Cup Races (1971)

The Satsop River Fair and Tin Cup Races started its troubled four-day run on Friday, September 3, 1971, as the first "legal" outdoor rock festival in Washington after passage of a state law regulating...

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Seafair -- Beginnings

Seafair, the gala annual Seattle-King County water festival, began in August 1950 and continues to this day. The festival erupts all over King County and has included hydroplane speed competitions, li...

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Seattle Center: After Century 21

The 74 acres that comprise Seattle Center have played a pivotal role in the region’s history. The defining moment came in 1962 when the Century 21 Exposition, also known as the Seattle World&rsq...

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Seattle Neighborhoods: Seattle Center -- Thumbnail History

The Seattle Center, located north of downtown at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, is a cultural and entertainment campus built in 1962 for the Seattle World's Fair. The World's Fair helped to transform Se...

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Seattle World's Fair, 1962: Being the 9,000,000th (nine-millionth) visitor -- Paula Dahl (Jones) remembers

Paula Dahl (Jones) was just 6 years old when she became the nine-millionth visitor to Century 21, Seattle's 1962 World's Fair. She and her family were greeted at the gate and given prizes and a red-ca...

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Seattle's Potlatch Bug (1912)

This essay on Seattle's Potlatch, the Ad Club, and Seattle's Potlatch Bug is based on materials found in the library of Seattle's Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). It was prepared by MOHAI his...

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Space Needle (Seattle)

The Space Needle, a modernistic totem of the Seattle World's Fair, was conceived by Eddie Carlson (1911-1990) as a doodle in 1959 and given form by architects John Graham Jr. (1908-1991), Victor Stein...

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The Exposition: A Contemporary Report on the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition by Mateel Howe (1909)

This is a contemporary report on the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Washington's first world's fair. The exposition took place between June 1 and October 16, 1909, drawing more than three million pe...

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Turning Point 13: Summer in the City: From Potlatch to Bumbershoot

The 13th article in HistoryLink's Turning Points series for The Seattle Times recaps the history of summer festivals from the first 1911 Potlatch though the creation of Seafair to help celebrate Seatt...

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West Seattle Memories Part 4: Luna Park

This file contains memories of West Seattle's Luna Park taken from oral history interviews conducted in 1999 by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Luna Park, Seattle's "Coney Island of the West...

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