Dancing til Dusk in Occidental Park

July 19, 2015  |  Event, Fun  |  1 Comment

Chicarra Tango

by RaNae Vodder

My husband and I went for a walk down Occidental Thursday night and were surprised to see strings of pretty lights and people doing the tango in Occidental Park! There was live music, people of all skill levels dancing and a diverse audience of bystanders. It looked like so much fun I just had to know more. The program is called Dancing til Dusk  and is 15 nights of dancing outdoors on a real dance floor.  The first hour is a beginning dance lesson, with no experience or partner required.  Unfortunately, the two dates of Dancing til Dusk in Occidental Park have passed but there are 12 more nights planned over the summer in Westlake Park, Bell Street Park and Freeway Park.   Check out the dates, locations and themes by clicking on Dancing til Dusk.  I am a big a fan of our Seattle parks and loved seeing our own Occidental Park so vibrant and festive on a perfect summer evening!


Loggers and Lagers Pub Crawl

July 16, 2015  |  Event, Fun, PI, Uncategorized  |  No Comments

by Beth Berube

Mark your calendar! July 25th is the first annual Pioneer Square pub crawl. This year’s theme is Loggers and Lagers in commemoration of the early years of this gem of a district. Yesler Avenue, once known as Skid Road, was home to Yesler’s lumber mill. Logs were skidded down the hill and used in the construction of the new city. That was 1853 when the land was raw and so was it men. Lumberjacks and lumberjills are encouraged to deck out in woodsman swag and salute a centennial and a half of history by raising glasses at each of the six crawl venues. There will be cool prizes, drink specials and contests along the way.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/pioneersquarepubcrawl for updates, contest information and participating locations. 21 and over only, ticket required.

Summer Event Calendar

June 30, 2015  |  Announcement, Event, Families, Fun, PI  |  No Comments

by Courtney Crockett


FIRST THURSDAY ART WALK on 2 July from 6 – 9 pm. Seattle’s original Art Walk features more than 50 participating galleries and venues on the first Thursday of every month. Free and open to the public. Free parking with voucher at participating garages. https://www.facebook.com/pioneersquare.

DANCING TIL DUSK on 9 July from 6 – 9:30 pm. A night of free music, dance lessons and dancing in Occidental Square Park. Event is free and open to the public. http://www.danceforjoy.biz/dancingtildusk2015.html.

DANCING TIL DUSK on 16 July from 6 – 9:30 pm.  Another night of free music, dance lessons and dancing in Occidental Square Park. http://www.danceforjoy.biz/dancingtildusk2015.html.

GO KLONDIKE LEGACY DAY on 17 July from 11 am – 7 pm. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is offering a family day of food, music, gold panning, dog teams, living history shows, old time photography, kids activities and more. Event is free and open to the public. For a full list of summer events at the Klondike, visit http://www.nps.gov/klse/index.htm.

OUT TO LUNCH CONCERT SERIES on 17 July from noon – 1:30 pm. Weekly free concerts scheduled throughout downtown. This week in Occidental Square Park features the Jambalaya brass rock band, Tubaluba.#OTLconcerts. Concerts are free and open to the public. http://www.downtownseattle.com/Summer/.

PIONEER SQUARE SKID ROAD PUB CRAWL: Loggers and Lagers on 25 July, start time 3 pm. An exploration of Seattle’s oldest neighborhood via Pub Crawl. Honor the origins of Skid Road dressed like a lumberjack or lumberjill. Features include a “battle of the beards” contest and end-of-night karaoke. 21 and over only, ticket required. https://www.facebook.com/pioneersquarepubcrawl.

OUT OF SIGHT from 30 July thru 2 August. A temporary art exhibit in the historic King Street Station. Featuring Pacific NW contemporary art with work from over 80 artists in a 24,000 square foot space. 30 July at 7 pm kicks off with an early preview and opening night celebration, tickets available now. Exhibition times vary, 31 July and 1 August from noon – 8 pm and 2 August from 11 am – 6 pm. http://vital5productions.com/CurrentEvents/?p=347. 


ART OF THE CITY STREET FEST on 1 August from 11 am – 11 pm. An entire day of indoor and outdoor arts and activity at the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts. Event is free and open to the public. On Prefontaine Place S between Yesler Way & S Washington Street. https://www.facebook.com/TKstreetfair.

FIRST THURSDAY ART WALK on 6 August from 6 – 9 pm. Seattle’s original Art Walk features more than 50 participating galleries and venues throughout Pioneer Square. Free and open to the public. Free parking available with voucher at participating garages. https://www.facebook.com/pioneersquare.


OUT TO LUNCH CONCERT SERIES on 3 September from noon – 1:30 pm. The downtown concert series continues in Pioneer Square with horn-driven funk from Polyrhythmics. #OTLconcerts. Concert is free and open to the public in Occidental Square Park. http://www.downtownseattle.com/Summer/

FIRST THURSDAY ART WALK on 3 September from 6 – 9 pm: Seattle’s original Art Walk features more than 50 participating galleries and venues throughout Pioneer Square. Free and open to the public. Free parking with voucher at participating garages. https://www.facebook.com/pioneersquare.


Volunteer for Art of the City Fest

June 5, 2015  |  Art, Call to Action, Event, Food, Fun, PI  |  No Comments

by Courtney Crockett 

Images Courtesy of Art of the City Fest

Images Courtesy of Art of the City Fest

The Tashiro Kaplan Building (TK Artist Lofts) is busy programming its second annual Art of the City Street Fest slated for Saturday 1 August. The event is an entire day of indoor and outdoor celebration featuring artists, musicians and food from Pioneer Square and Seattle at large.

Last year’s event was a smashing success with nearly 3000 attending the closed-off street at Prefontaine Place S and the TK Artists Lofts interior. This year, Art of the City Fest is asking for a little help from the Pioneer Square community to make the event equally vital and an annual neighborhood happening. Pioneer Square residents can help make this year’s event an even bigger success by making an individual donation and neighborhood businesses can contribute through sponsorship. Volunteers are also needed for security, to act as guides, and as people power to set up and tear down structures.

AotCF valiseLocal creative talent is offering live music, dance, conceptual and visual arts. Food trucks and artisan booths, interactive installations, live painting and street art are also in the mix. In addition, artist studios and galleries are open for viewing inside the TK Lofts. To grasp the size and scope of this event, take a look at the list of participants and performers from last year’s lineup here http://streetfair.tklofts.com/.


Art of the City Street Fest –  Saturday 1 August at Prefonaine Place S – From 11 am to 11 pm – Event is Free and Open to the Public 

AotCF stage

For individual contributions, please donate directly at http://artofthecityfest.com.

To arrange sponsorship or volunteer, please contact Jay Mason, Development and Community Outreach at http://artofthecityfest.com or call 206.334. 5203.

A Golden Opportunity — Opening of a Special Exhibit at the Klondike

June 3, 2015  |  Announcement, Event  |  1 Comment

By Beth Berube

I visited the gift shop at the Klondike Museum once, to admire their collection of cute, little stuffed mammals and to buy a National Forest Recreation Day Pass to hike up at the pass. The gallery is, after all, part of our National Park System.  I never beyond the gift shop into the museum to explore their exhibit.  Until today, that is.

Seattle had many businesses that outfitted those eager to make a fortune and stake a claim in Alaska at the end of their journey.  Many of those companies were located in Pioneer Square. The museum puts you in the shoes of these hopeful, northbound adventurers.  I have agonized about what I need to stuff in my backpack for a two night wilderness trek.  If I was one of these starry-eyed souls, I fear my hopes would be dashed by disillusion before my mule and I crossed Pike Street on the journey north.

This Friday, the Klondike Museum is treating its patrons to something very special.  Meg Bye and Leeann Davignon are artists creating a special exhibit called “Under the Midnight Sun,” a compilation of moments, memories and mementos.  Meg’s display is tactile.  Visitors are encouraged to pull and push doors, revealing objects and recollections of our Native American and immigrant forefathers.

While I was there, Leeann was creating a poignant collage representing personal recollections in the form of letters that visitors can remove from envelopes and read.

This Friday, June 5th, is opening night. There will be story telling by Gene Tagavan, from the Raven Clan.  Tall Tales based on fantastical stories of historical events will by narrated by Ingrid Nixon and Caleb Kerr, a local actor, will read the poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”

You have until November to see this special exhibit, and this is something that kids will enjoy too.  To learn more about the weekend schedule, go online to www.4culture.org and search Under the Midnight Sun.

Velouria First Thursday Art Walk Event

May 4, 2015  |  Event, Fashion, First Thursday, PI  |  2 comments

velouria shop

Velouria First Thursday Art Walk Event on 7 May from 6-9 pm

by Courtney Crockett

beth naumann - velouria

lu - velouria

One of our lovely neighborhood retail stores, Velouria is having an event this First Thursday Art Walk as part of an ongoing curatory collaboration with Shawn Parks, Founder of QMNIQBL (pronounced communicable). The occasion features large-scale architectural mobiles by Bay Area artist, Beth Naumann. This is Naumann’s Seattle debut and she will be in-store with selected works from her jewelry line Hellbent.

The evening event also features local designer Jenny Fort and her Seattle-made clothing line Lu. She and her team will be on hand for a special trunk show from the current collection of season to season pieces that are both modern and easy for women to wear.

Velouria is located at 145 S King St. http://shopvelouria.com/.

Soccer is Back!

March 6, 2015  |  Event, Families, Fun, Personal, Residents  |  2 comments

by RaNae Vodder 

image4I live just a few hundred feet from Century Link field and am ignorant about the sport of soccer.  I decided to interview some local, die hard soccer  fans to find out what I need to know about soccer and what to do in Pioneer Square before and after the game.

I learned that soccer is a very popular sport in countries around the world.  The American fan base was jump started by the World Cup in 1994.  Before that, fans were only able to watch international games on TV. Major League Soccer (MLS) might not have happened this year due to negotiations between the players union and the league. They came to agreement just this week!

What you need to know about soccer and what to do in Pioneer Square according to:

Matt Goss: • Played D1 soccer in college and current recreational player • Coach (under 9 years old) • 2014 World Cup attendee

Susan Behroozi • Played D3 soccer in College • Sounders Season Ticket Holder • Aspiring Soccer Mom


Why do you love soccer?

Matt:  I grew up playing soccer and love to see the athleticism of the players in the game, especially the things I can’t do.  Plus- there are only commercials at half time so the game really is only 90 minutes long!

Susan:  I have created life-long friendships from playing soccer and my seats are close to the field so I can actually see the game. Now that I have Miles, it has truly become a family activity.

Who is your favorite team? (both qualified this is their favorite MLS team)

Matt:  Seattle Sounders- their ownership model is unique and it’s great to be in the home town!

Susan: Seattle Sounders – I would be a Sounders fan whether I lived in Seattle or not!

What do I need to know about soccer to understand the game?


  • The Portland Timbers hate us more than we hate them
  • Learn the Boom, Boom, Clap
  • Get a team scarf to hold up at the right times during the game


  • You can’t use your hands when you play
  • It is ok to end the game with a tie score
  • There are two 45 minute halves

What must I do in Pioneer Square before or after the game?

Matt:  Attend the March to the Match, starve yourself before and after the game to take advantage of the 2 for $5 hot dogs.

Susan:  Have a beer before the game at Elysian and enjoy being with great friends.

If you wrote Soccer for Dummies, what would you include?

Matt: A clear and simple explanation of what it means to be off-sides.

Susan’s depiction of being    off-sides

Do you have any insider tips?

Matt:  If you need a ticket, go to FX McRory’s for a tall boy and they might have one there.

Susan:  Pick a spot to meet up with friends for Tecate half time.  It’s a great way to drink, catch up and talk about the game.

Now that I am armed with this great advice, all I need to do is visit to the team store for a proper Sounders jersey!

Pioneer Square Blog readers:  What do you think I need to know about soccer or things to do in Pioneer Square?

E Smith Mercantile Guest Chef Series

February 19, 2015  |  Event, Food, PI  |  No Comments
Photograph Courtesy of White on Rice

Photograph Courtesy of White on Rice

by Courtney Crockett

With heritage as its inspiration and an interest in fostering creativity and community, it’s no surprise that E. Smith Mercantile is a great fit for Pioneer Square. Many of us in the neighborhood are already well acquainted with E. Smith Mercantile and I, myself have sat several times at their appropriately horseshoe-shaped bar drinking alcoholic potions and eating largely organic bites that charm.

For those not yet familiar, half of the storefront is pure mercantile featuring dry goods ranging from a specialty foods pantry to American made denim and leather products. The other half offers the back bar where friendly cocktail making takes place with the skill and inclination of an apothecary.

On occasion, E. Smith Merc also features chefs for special one night culinary experiences. The shop space is cleared and family style tables are set for multiple courses of culinary delight. As it happens, at 6 pm on Sunday 22 February, Seattle’s Monica Dimas is Guest Chef.

Dimas is a well-known chef in the Seattle food world. She previously cooked for Spinasse, Le Pichet, Monsoon, and more recently for Ethan Stowell’s Mkt. Currently Dimas is taking on the kitchen at Capitol Hill’s Nacho Borracho and making it her own Mexican street food operation.

To learn about the menu for this event and ticket orders, please visit http://www.esmithmercantile.com/. E. Smith Mercantile location and hours of operation are also available on their website.

Some Game on Sunday

January 31, 2015  |  Event, Sports  |  No Comments

by Courtney Crockett

If I didn’t live in the Square I would be entirely unaware that the Seattle Seahawks are playing this Super Bowl Sunday. But I do live here and have learned that a tremendous number of people will battle traffic in order to fit themselves into bars to watch the games and that many people actually move into the neighborhood expressly to be near the arena and their team. It’s a complete mystery to me.

People of Pioneer Square: I don’t know how to play football, I don’t care about how to play football and I don’t particularly appreciate the aftermath that a game of football leaves on my doorstep the following morning.

It was around this same time last year however, that I decided I love the Seahawks. Before last year’s Super Bowl I was unpleasantly awakened by a conflagration of Seahawks fans hollering below my windows at 2am thanks to a live broadcast by an East Coast morning show. Indignant, I listened to the pre-camera light fluffer ginning up bellowing cheers from 100’s of fans who came out with their children, all to be seen in support of their team at an absurd hour during the work week. Further rest was no longer possible and I contemplated my choices. What I chose is love over hate. I decided then that I was living in Rome and I would love my coliseum and its gladiator Seahawks and these are the reasons why.

I have a laugh every time passersby assume that my dog is named in honor of our cornerback. The Seahawks’ athleticism isn’t simply about knuckle dragging power, they move really really fast and with superb grace. The team sticks together and is gracious enough to share victory with all of its players. Then there is the mischief incited by some. Marshawn Lynch elevates his distaste for public speaking to performance art and during his interviews; Richard Sherman develops a wicked grin that seems to reveal an inner glee about exchanges with the media.

So while the probability that I will ever attend a football game is infinitesimally small and certainly I will not wear any jerseys or gear, on this Sunday I will  drink heartily with friends, our eyes fixed on a television. And I will cheer on our team like most everyone else in the neighborhood.

Beastmode, son! #GoHawks #SuperBowl


Playoff Game Day in Pioneer Square

January 15, 2015  |  Announcement, Event, Sports  |  2 comments

By RaNae Vodder

Foggy Pregame AfternoonIf you live in Pioneer Square and are a Seahawks fan, you are probably preparing for Sunday’s Conference Championship game.  You are likely asking yourself, “Do I have enough beverages?  What snacks shall I serve?  Is my TV big enough?  Should I ask my friends not to yell at passersby from the deck?”  If you are not a Seahawks fan, then you might be planning to be as far away as possible.  Maybe you pack up your dog and head out early to a friend’s house on the Eastside? 

As more and more people have clamored to climb aboard the Seahawks’ bandwagon, my neighbors and friends have developed some Sausagesnew traditions. We often have people “stop by” before the game for a visit. They drink a beer, use the bathroom, and generally head out early if the weather is good or with minutes to spare when it is not.  Sometimes there is a request to use our “extra parking spot.”  This is a great test of patience as they try to park in our tight little space. I hope they use the $50 they are saving wisely. 

After the game, we love to go outside and soak up the energy of the crowd, watch Blue Thunder and once I was even able to “hug the Hawk” (Blitz).  Our traditions ramp up with our team in the playoffs, more friends stop by before and after the game, and some even stay the night to ensure a safe drive home.  There is more celebrating and tailgating, the recycle bins are stuffed, and people who support our neighborhood have more work to do to keep everyone safe.  This year I started a new tradition… I make eye contact with our police officers and say, “Thank you for being here today.”  I am making a little extra effort to be a good neighbor.StadiumFlag

So, in the spirit of traditions and being on the bandwagon or just appreciating what living in Pioneer Square means to you, please reply and tell us what traditions you have on game day!  And as the Bud Light slogan so perfectly said, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”