U District Street Fair returns with music, food and fun in Seattle

Susan S. Johnson

The final day of the 51st U District Street Fair showcased arts, crafts, live music and food. The event attracts tens of thousands of people each year.

Great weather served as the cherry on top for this decades-old celebration of arts and crafts.

There was something for everyone and people said they are thrilled to be back.

“That’s great. Finally being out and seeing people and enjoying the weather,” visitor Amit Amran said.

For Amran, strolling through the U District Street Fair this year couldn’t come fast enough.

His 4-year-old daughter, Ella, wanted to play with bubbles.

Aryn Hamilton with Bubbleworld was happy to help. The business is based in Bothell.

“Bubbles are good for any age. We’ve had people from, like, one year olds to older elderly people buy them for everybody and they’re great. They’re great for dogs, they’re great for children,” she said.

Hundreds of artists, vendors and small businesses had the chance to connect with about 50,000 visitors.

The fair, first held in 1970, is 10 blocks long on University Way and Brooklyn Avenue Northeast.

Just about anything “arts and crafts” you could want can be found at the event.

While the pandemic changed much of our lives, the tradition is going strong without skipping too much of a beat.

The weather definitely helped with the sun so bright even a dog was spotted wearing sunglasses.

There were also difference performances including a man juggling, a woman singing Whitney Houston songs and other live music performances.

For people with a rumbling tummy, dozens of food options meant a chance to try something new.

Gip’s Downhome Barbecue is a family-owned business making its first appearance in the street fair this year.

When we asked Taylor Gipson what’s the best thing on the menu, he didn’t hesitate to elaborate.

“Our beef brisket. We smoke that for like 14 hours. He’s kind of perfected the recipe. Kind of like made his own seasoning,” he said.

51 years into this event and it seems the creative juices are still flowing while inspiring visitors and giving artists and businesses, like Bubbleworld, extra exposure.

“Definitely to see their smiles. It’s super nice to see everybody so happy with all the interactions with the bubbles and it’s a really nice way to meet new people,” Hamilton said.

Officials said for the first time in the fair’s history, this year it was accessible by Link light rail giving people another way to get around and helping them stress a little less about parking.

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