seafoodfest-warrencookingBallard Oil, Warren Serving Fresh Wild Salmon at Seafood Fest

Seafood Fest is a Ballard tradition, and one of Seattle’s most iconic and eclectic summer festivals! Come out and join this great Ballard Pacific Northwest summer tradition ing July 2016.  Seafood Fest began in 1974 as a community celebration of Ballard’s historic connection to the fishing industry and the neighborhood’s Nordic roots. This is a free two-day festival that attracts over 75,000 people who come to enjoy the traditional salmon barbecue and much more, enjoy local music, arts and crafts, family entertainment, beer gardens with NW finest local breweries, a skate event, and yes – more seafood, wild fresh salmon! Last years sponsors below! Thank you all  sponsors.


Ballard Seafood Fest is July 9 – 10, 2016, Beer Fest at Seafood Fest – Grab a local brew, wine, or spirit and kick back in the Seafood Fest Beer Fest beer garden. With over 25 beers to choose from, plus a few wines and spirit, your day just got a little more festive. The beer garden is located right in front of the main stage, enjoy live Seattle music,  Ballard locals and visitors know how to have fun at Seafood Fest.


Scandinavian culture is deeply embedded in the Ballard commercial founding from past to present day.  In 1971, leaders from Ballard’s industrial and fishing community joined forces with the Ballard Elks to start SeafoodFest. The event began as a two hour barbeque to raise money for a financially strapped Chamber of Commerce. By 1978, the event had grown into a daylong affair held in Bergen Place Park. In 1979, the event was moved from September to July, branded as “a tribute to the Washington State Fishing Industry and the Scandinavian heritage of many of the settlers of the Northwest Seattle community.”

Seafaring elements were added in 1982.  At Stimson Marina, visitors could tour the crab boat “Rosie G” and a 1913 deep sea, wooden hulled halibut schooner. The next year, local businesses hosted a fishing industry photo exhibit. Pacific Fisherman offered shipyard tours. SeafoodFest became a Seafair sanctioned event, and the date was changed to coincide with Seafair. In 1984, the event was called Pacific SeafoodFest and included restaurant vendors that specialized in seafood. Two contests co-sponsored by the Ballard Chamber: one judged recipes for pickled, smoked, dried, canned and marinated seafood. The other, the Great American Seafood Grill Off, challenged grillers to cook the best recipe using Pacific fin fish.


Ballard Seafood Fest continued to evolve throughout the 1990’s.   Instead of an emphasis on seafaring activities, more festival-oriented elements were added. A music stage featuring popular local bands, a family entertainment stage, a beer garden, and more arts and crafts vendors brought an entire new audience to the festival. What started as a two-hour dinner in 1971 is now an iconic two day event that draws over 60,000 people to the local streets of Ballard.  Ballard locals are extremely proud of this Annual Event that boost our local economic impact significantly in 2 days.

Thank you to all of the Ballard Seafood Fest volunteers, contributors, and sponsors.  We look forward to another great event that support our local and Alaska commercial fishing fleet & seafood industry, eat fresh, buy wild! Some of us wish this was moved to August when more of your fishing industry was home – July is Bristol Bay salmon high season and SE AK is kicking off right now as well.  God bless our fishermen & fisherwomen!