• ‘Tis the Season to Get Out and Have Fun

    POSTED May 5, 2015
    Photo courtesy of Seafair

Summer may not officially kick off until June 21 (at 12:38 p.m., EDT, if you want to be precise), but for me, nothing signals summer has arrived in the Northwest like the beginning of festival season.

In Seattle, my favorite kick off is the University District StreetFair—which this year, falls on May 16 & 17—then on to the Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day weekend. From there, seemingly every weekend has a festival—Fremont Solstice Fair (June 19–21), Pride Festival (June 28), and, of course, the mother of all festivals—Seafair, with the Seafair Pirates landing on Alki Beach on June 27, kicking off a month-plus-long party.

I asked our sales director (and Portland resident) Sheri Harbour de Vos to name some of her favorite festivals to attend in Portland, and she too had a long list: Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival (April 24-26), the Rock N Roll Half Marathon (May 17), the Rose Festival with the Starlight Parade (May 30) and the Grand Floral Parade (June 6), and the Portland Pride Festival (June 13–14).

How about you? What are some of your favorite in-season festivals or events? What are some of your earliest memories of going? Volunteering? Planning? I’d love to hear your stories.


Melissa Jurcan, president of ILEA Seattle, penned a moving tribute to the hospitality industry for the Emerald City Applause Awards. Here is an abridged version. 


Meet the The Old Vermont, a maple syrup-infused Old-Fashioned created by the folks at Ravishing Radish Catering. If this doesn’t stave off the autumn chill, nothing will. 

—2 oz. bourbon or rye
—3/4 oz. grade-A maple syrup
—2 dashes bitters 
—1 fresh mint leaf
—orange twist

Coat the bottom of a rocks glass with maple syrup. Fill the glass with ice and add bitters and bour - bon. Stir well for 30 seconds. Garnish with fresh mint leaf and orange twist.