Seattle Street Food Festival plans bigger, longer Capitol Hill event with shorter lines — and Urban Craft Uprising

The (crowded) scene in 2013 (Image: CHS)

The (crowded) scene in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Now that Seattle’s rains are solidly socking us in for the next five months (sorry newbies), it’s a good time to think of the glorious August, September and maybe even October ahead. Summer good times on the Hill this year will mean a double helping of a new event that successfully debuted alongside Cal Anderson last year and helped show that — at least for now — 11th Ave makes for a not-so-bad Capitol HIll festival street.

Organizers have announced that The Seattle Street Food Festival will return for a second year on Capitol Hill as the event expands to two days and adds what should be a fun new component to add the August celebration of mobile food — and, now, shopping.

“Our aim last year was to test the concept and thankfully, it was a huge success,” event producer Ryan Reiter tells CHS. “Now as we move to two days, it should cut down on the congestion and offer a healthier food festival experience.”

The planned layout for the new Urban Craft Uprising Village addition to the festival

The planned layout for the new Urban Craft Uprising Village addition to the festival

The 2013 debut of the event on 11th Ave was a bit of a victim of its own success. Hugely crowded, 11th Ave was choked with patrons and long lines as the event was squeezed into a few hours on a single day. 2014 should be a different story with the festival spreading across two days on Friday, August 8th and Saturday, August 9th. Friday’s hours will offer a nighttime experience with the festival running from 5 to 10 PM. Saturday will get going at 11 AM and run until 11 PM, according to organizers. Reiter said while the festival will again be free to enter, you’ll again be able to purchase “VIP” badges that will allow you to skip the lines

There will also be more to do this year. Reiter is partnering with Kristen Rask and Lindsey Ross to create an Urban Craft Uprising Village during the two-day festival. Reiter calls the shopping village to be sited on the Bobby Morris playfield “a great new opportunity for local small businesses to be highlighted at our food festival.” Rask and Ross are looking for around 100 vendors to participate. You can let them know you’re interested by signing up here.

Reiter says organizers are also looking for neighborhood talent to provide entertainment.

“We will also be looking at highlighting local community groups for programs for kid’s arts and crafts to happen hours and acoustic musical performances inside the market area,” Reiter said.

Despite the challenges encountered in making 2013 work, the first street food fest opened eyes of organizers seeking to create similar events on the Hill. Seattle Pride will warm 11th Ave up with a street festival of its own alongside Cal Anderson in June.

For more information, visit seattlestfoodfest.com.

5 thoughts on “Seattle Street Food Festival plans bigger, longer Capitol Hill event with shorter lines — and Urban Craft Uprising

  1. This had tons of potential to be a fun event last year, but hearing that they will offer the VIP passes again is pretty disappointing. Waiting in a line that isn’t moving while groups of VIPs camp out at the front encouraging each other to get another serving got old pretty fast. The few times I actually made it to the front of a line and was placing an order, someone with VIP status would walk right past me and start talking over me. When I asked them to wait until I was done, they would look down at me and scoff, “I paid for VIP, so I don’t have to wait.” I realize that this is technically a true statement, but this setup really seemed to encourage people to act like complete jerks.

    I realize that no event in Seattle is now complete without some kind of VIP experience for people with remedial social skills and cash burning a hole in their pocket, but letting people straight up cut the lines is the wrong way to go about it. Maybe letting VIP people in early to partake without the lines like the Penumbra Beer Bash does or giving them some free/discounted eats would allow those people to feel special without giving them an excuse to act like complete tools.

    Yes, it’s a free event. Sure, the demographics of the neighborhood are changing. Absolutely, more people spending money on the hill will help keep businesses we all love open and successful. It just seems like enabling human turds to act out their fantasies of superiority while us poors are just trying to enjoy some good food only exacerbates the divisions within our community.

    Sincerely,

    A Poor

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