The 49 Best Things To Do in Seattle This Weekend: July 31-Aug 2, 2020

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Instead of an in-person festival in Genesee Park, Virtual Seafair Weekend activities will include a Saturday-night retrospective special on KING 5, featuring footage from hydroplane races and Blue Angels shows from years past. Plus, on Sunday, tune in to a livestreamed, virtual hydroplane race. JASON TANAKA

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing across the state, it’s more imperative than ever that you wear a mask and keep your distance at the in-person events listed below (like the Umoja Parade March & Day of Unity and the Beacon Hill Walkabout Party). With that in mind, there are also lots of great events happening that don’t require leaving your house, from Virtual Seafair Weekend to Welcome to El: An Intimate Night of Comedy with El Sanchez, and from the new Joan Didion installment of The Stranger‘s Quarantine Book Club to Lollapalooza. Read on for all of our top picks for the weekend, or check out our guides to movies to stream this weekend. For event more options, check out our complete streaming events and protests & resistance calendars, as well as our guides to the best movies to stream at home this weekend and anti-racism resources and events.


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday


FRIDAY

COMMUNITY

Friday Night Feminism with NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue
For this installment of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s Friday Night Feminism series, NARAL America CEO Ilyse Hogue will discuss The Lie That Binds, her new book co-written with her colleague Ellie Langford that details how abortion was a historically non-partisan issue that was weaponized by conservatives. 

LGBTQ+2s Resilience: Thriving or Just Surviving During COVID?
Listen to an online panel discussion on LGBTQ+2S (two-spirit) strength in challenging times, moderated by local drag performer Aleksa Manila with Harborview Medical Center’s George Dicks, Seattle LGBTQ Commission’s Mitchell Hunter, and others. 

Solitude Social Club
Hugo House’s bookish happy hour gives the digital floor to guest writers every Friday evening. This week, tune in to hear how author Elise Hooper (The Other Alcott) is finding happiness and meaning through literature during this period of isolation.

FILM

Movie Night and Panel Discussion: Jono Oliver’s ‘Home’
NAMI Washington, NAACP Snohomish County, and Seattle King County NAACP will host this online screening of Jono Oliver’s NAACP Image Award-nominated film Home. The director and members of the cast and crew will join the organizers for a post-film Q&A.

FOOD & DRINK

Nights on Meeker
Every Friday night in July, Puyallup’s West Meeker Street will close to cars to make room for diners. Order takeout from your favorite South-end restaurant and enjoy a glimpse of normal summer behavior. 
Meeker Street (Puyallup) 

Summer of Food & Wine
Head to Efestē’s Woodinville tasting room for special food pairings and tasty snacks. At the Sodo location, they’ll be serving up pizza and cheese and charcuterie plates.
Efeste (Woodinville, Sodo)

GEEK

Atlas Obscura Trivia Night
Round up five of your brainiest friends every Friday for general-knowledge virtual trivia with Atlas Obscura.

Dino 101
Dustin Growick, host of the YouTube channel The Dinosaur Show, will impart his knowledge of prehistoric creatures onto curious adults with the help of middle-school teacher, geologist, improviser, and “museum megastan” Kristina Gustovich.

MUSIC

Concerts on the Screen
Tune in to Facebook Live every Friday for virtual renditions of Issaquah’s Concerts on the Green series. Tonight’s installment features a preview of the acts who will (hopefully) perform in person at next year’s event, including Stonesy, DoctorFunk, and PseudoTramp.

HDLSC Presents: The Kathy Moore Super Power Trio
Lead guitarist Kathy Moore heads up a trio composed of “steady-yet-nimble” bassist Alyssa Martini and “thunderous” drummer Faith Stankevich. Join them for a virtual concert, courtesy of High Dive. 

NVCS presents: Reposado
Queens-bred blues-funk outfit Reposado will bring their infectious rhythms to Nectar’s virtual stage. 

PERFORMANCE

TumbleWEEDS
Copious Productions will stage a virtual reading of a play by Anuhea Brown, which deals with her experiences growing up in Las Vegas through the eyes of six characters. 

SPORTS & RECREATION

Seattle Mariners Viewing Party
Wear your blue, green, and silver to the honky-tonk bar for a limited-capacity viewing of the Mariners games against the Oakland Athletics.
The Little Red Hen (Green Lake)

VISUAL ART

Chile Woke: The Uprise of Chilean Graphics and Street Photography
Chile Woke’s first open-air show will highlight the work of graphic artists documenting the unrest in Chile in response to the actions of President Piñera.
Volunteer Park Amphitheater (Capitol Hill)
Closing Friday

FRIDAY-SATURDAY

COMMUNITY

Food & Mask Drive with WashMasks
In partnership with WashMasks Mutual Aid, Seattle Rep will hold a drive to benefit local farmers in need of food and face masks (especially baby food and child-sized masks) for four days at their Patron Services office. Gather what you can and stow it in the trunk of your car—volunteers will pick it up without contact.
Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)

FOOD & DRINK

Cheneyville Grab N’ Go
For two weekends only, fans of baseball and the refreshments that go along with it can pick up stadium fare from the Tacoma Rainiers’ home base via a drive-through. Choose from items like Ivar’s fish and chips with Alaskan cod, five-cheese pizzas, pulled-pork sandwiches, and brats in individual or family-sized portions.
Cheney Stadium (Tacoma)

GEEK

Zoom to Mars with the Pacific Planetarium!
Now that NASA has officially launched its new rover to Mars, join Bremerton’s Pacific Planetarium for four virtual shows on Zoom focused on the elusive Red Planet. 

MUSIC

Icicle Creek Virtual Chamber Music Festival
Instead of gathering at Canyon Wren, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts’s annual Chamber Music Festival will be livestreamed from an otherwise empty Snowy Owl Theater.

PERFORMANCE

Oedipus the King
Play Your* Part is a theater company that partners with nonprofits to bring productions to underserved, “under-invited” communities. For this ASL-incorporating adaptation of Sophocles’s Oedipus the King, perhaps one of the most fundamental works of Western literature, they’ll stage the play digitally. 

SPORTS & RECREATION

Strictly Seattle 2020
If you love dance, you can’t miss this online festival of innovative choreography and experimental virtual workshops with Velocity Dance Center.

FRIDAY-SUNDAY

COMEDY

Welcome to El: An Intimate Night of Comedy with El Sanchez
Beloved local comedian El Sanchez recorded an intimate, hilarious show at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center just before the quarantine took effect. For those who missed it, the show is now on demand!

COMMUNITY

Nordic Sól
Seattle loves a good opportunity to bliss out over our Nordic culture (Reykjavik is our sister city, in case you haven’t heard), and this summer extravaganza is no exception. While it won’t take place in person this year, you can look forward to a whole month of virtual activities focused on sustainability and the beauty of the outdoors. The Virtual Artisan Marketplace continues this weekend, and Saturday brings a virtual “crash course” about Nordic artists communing with nature.

Virtual Fleet Week
From ship tours to interviews with Blue Angels pilots, you’ll find a slew of virtual Boeing Maritime events for a whole week in this year’s socially distant rendition of the Seafair highlight. Check the website daily for new activity links.

Vote in the Primary Election
There’s an important Washington State Primary Election on August 4, and the Stranger Election Control Board has painstakingly interviewed candidates via Zoom to help you fill out your ballot. Grab a pen, read their endorsements, and stuff your nearest ballot box with purpose. 

FOOD & DRINK

Pike-Pine Summer United
Get 10% off your bill at local bars and eateries like Amandine Bakeshop, A Pizza Mart, Bateau, and tons of other places on Capitol Hill moving into Phase 2 of reopening by mentioning The Stranger‘s Pike-Pine promotion.
Various locations (Capitol Hill)

GEEK

Gen Con Online
Gen Con—the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America, apparently—will move online this year, boasting thousands of events, games, and exhibits for geeks of all stripes. 

MUSIC

Doe Bay Fest
Local artists have been invited to post up in the Orcas Island-adjacent Doe Bay resort (which is currently operating at 50% capacity) to bring live music to the people throughout the summer. The Sons of Rainier will kick things off this weekend with some easy, breezy, open-range country folk.
Doe Bay Resort (Olga)

Lollapalooza
Never made it to Grant Park, Illinois, for the massive Lollapalooza music festival? This year’s event will take place on YouTube for all to enjoy. The four-day lineup is packed with big names, from Arcade Fire and A$AP Rocky to Lorde and Portugal. The Man. The event will benefit and raise awareness for the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, and When We Vote.

Newport Folk Revival Weekend
Spend your weekend listening to archived sets from over 60 years of Newport Folk Festivals, including a 2018 set from Courtney Barnett, a 2017 set from John Prine (RIP), and a 2013 set from Beck. Plus, don’t miss “fan favorite” collections like Mavis 80 on Friday, featuring Mavis Staples, Brandi Carlile, and others; a House Party Live from Fort Adams on Saturday with Deer Tick; and a screening of Our Voices Together on Sunday, an original film by Josh Goleman chronicling the Newport Folk Festival’s 60-year history.

Pickathon at Home Finale
Pickathon’s hugely ambitious (and hugely successful) Concert a Day series comes to a close this weekend after raising over $200,000 for MusicCares over 100 days of streaming, with help from Spotify’s matching program. Now for the grand finale, they’re aiming to raise $60,000 over the 2020 festival’s originally scheduled dates with over 12 hours of hi-def, multicamera livestream sets from Khruangbin, Dan Deacon, Drive-By Truckers, and more.

PERFORMANCE

Saint Joan
Despite George Bernard Shaw’s trenchant atheism, his classic depiction of the Maid of Orleans stresses her strength, bravery, faith, and humanity in the face of political and religious oppression. The original date of this production, staged by Mathew Wright, was canceled due to COVID-19. This is a digital rendition. 

SPORTS & RECREATION

2020 Gigantic Bicycle Festival
Celebrate the Northwest’s favorite populist transit option, the bicycle, by participating in remote, prize-bearing biking challenges and tuning into live performances (like sets from Labasheeda, the Black Tones, and Your Heart Breaks) and events online for a whole month. Festival care packages include an album by a local artist, a bag of coffee from Middlefork Roasters, and other goodies. 

SATURDAY

COMMUNITY

2020 Virtual Obon Festival!
Get a slightly condensed taste of Tacoma’s Bon Odori Festival, which celebrates Japanese culture, with livestreams of Taiko drumming, dancing, and cooking. 

Lady A Presents The Truth is Loud Session II
BIPOC folks and white allies are invited to listen and/or share their thoughts on how to continue raising up Black voices at this Zoom panel discussion with singer Lady A (not to be confused with the band FKA Lady Antebellum).  

Sensory Journeys: Romanian Films, Food & Wine
Take a virtual trip to Romania and explore some of its films, cuisine, and wine by watching Russel Fleming, owner of Petunias Market, cook a few recipes from Irina Georgescu’s new book, Carpathia

FILM

Collide-O-Scope Saturday Surprise Party
Celebrate Collide-O-Scope programmer Michael’s birthday with some extra-weird videos on YouTube. 

FOOD & DRINK

Sweet Tooth Saturday
Grab a cold treat from the ice cream sandwich truck Sweet Wheels for one day only. 
The Counter at Old Ballard Catering Co. (Ballard)

GEEK

Ren Faire From Afar
Every Wednesday and Saturday in August, the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire will come to wherever you are with special live performances followed by cocktail and crafts sessions. Don your pearls and silver medallions like the lords and ladies that you are. The first installment will feature a set from the Scuppermonkeys and a wine bottle oil lamp workshop on Facebook Live.

MUSIC

Ball of Wax 60: A Zoomtastic Celebration
Catch minute-long live sets from artists like Green Light Cameras, Great Unwashed Luminaries, Phoebe Tsang, Vir(us), Too Tired to Say Anything, Darryl Blood, Amy Denio, and Black Ends in celebration of the new volume of the Ball of Wax Audio Quarterly.

PERFORMANCE

GreenStage Virtual Play Reading Series
It’s not Shakespeare in the Park, but GreenStage’s virtual play-reading series will still provide you with the Bard’s most famous works, performed live over Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook. Tonight’s performance is Henry V.

PROTESTS & RESISTANCE

Umoja Parade March & Day of Unity
The organizers of Umoja Fest, an annual celebration of African diaspora culture in the Northwest, will honor the current swell of Black Lives Matter activism and visibility with a march and parade from the Central District to Jimi Hendrix Park. They promise drill and dance teams, speakers, kids’ activities, and more all-ages fun. 
23rd and Union (Central District)

READINGS & TALKS

Quarantine Book Club: Joan Didion’s Creative Nonfiction
For The Stranger‘s book club, we usually read fiction by authors who are dead, like Muriel Spark or James Baldwin. But this summer we’re shaking things up by reading some nonfiction by a legendary author who’s still alive (although just barely). Joan Didion’s essays changed literature and journalism forever. By centering a woman’s perspective in the major events of her day, and by combining the instincts of a reporter with the techniques of a novelist, Didion’s work did things that hadn’t been done before. The Joan Didion book club will be a slightly longer experience than the previous two book clubs, which were four weeks long. This is six weeks long, and we will be reading Didion’s essay collections The White Album (1979) and After Henry (1992). These are arguably her best books, but we’ll talk about Didion’s successes as well as her stumbles. Although this is a book club for the socially distant, it’s also a class: You get a new lecture each week (by me!) providing background details about the author’s life, new ways of looking at the text, and critical analysis. There are also (entirely optional) opportunities to engage with everyone else in the club about what you’ve just read each week. Bonus for anyone who was in the Giovanni’s Room book club: James Baldwin himself makes an appearance in one of these essays—at a dinner party in Hollywood. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

SHOPPING

Retail Pop-Up: Maker’s Market
Shop for wares from Sunwink glasses, Jamie Slye Hats, and 206 Vintage while you enjoy a swirl of soft serve from Cosmic Ice Cream at this limited-capacity market.
Northwest Marketplaces (Phinney) 

VISUAL ART

Kim Van Someren: The Slant of Line
Drawn from structures found in farms and forests, Kim Van Someren’s collection of works on paper explores how the “metaphorical gender of structure” can be altered through lines, mass, and translucency. The artist will be joined by gallery owner Judith Rinehart for a virtual tour on opening day. 
Opening Saturday

SATURDAY-SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Virtual Seafair Weekend
The iconic summerlong festival Seafair may have canceled its in-person events, but you can still tune in to KING 5 on Saturday night to see footage from memorable H1 Hydroplane races from all the way in the ’80s, plus a look back at the Boeing and Blue Angels air shows. Paul Silvi and Chris Egan will host. Plus, on Sunday, Seafair will post a rebroadcast link for their 2019 Boeing Seafair Air Show and HomeStreet Bank Cup online, and you’ll be able to watch a virtual, livestreamed hydroplane race at noon, in which “drivers race virtual replicas of H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes on digital replicas of H1 Unlimited’s greatest courses.”

VISUAL ART

Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair
The Seattle Art Fair was canceled, but a bunch of local galleries—many of which are in Pioneer Square—are taking it upon themselves to keep the tradition alive while abiding by social distancing guidelines with a DIY, self-guided version featuring exciting new pieces by artists like Anthony White.

SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Beacon Hill Walkabout Party
Support Beacon Hill businesses like The Station, Musang, Bar del Corso, and other spots while staying socially distant. DJ PAX will spin all the while for a street fair vibe. 
Various locations (Beacon Hill)

MUSIC

Olympia Music Festival 2020 Virtual Salon Concerts
This Port Townsend summer classical music festival will bring you a whole month of (free!) virtual programming. In honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, many of this year’s concerts will pay special attention to the German composer.

PERFORMANCE

Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation
The Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, presented by Velocity Dance Center, will move online this year, allowing you to register for the whole festival or mix and match to build your own schedule. Just like the past 26 festivals, this one will feature a week of intensive and drop-in workshops, including one with local dancers Morgan Thorson and Fox Whitney.

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