Cal Anderson to host first Recess Seattle — a day of tetherball, DJs, and food trucks for grown-ups

Let’s think of sunny days and free time ahead. Recess is coming to Cal Anderson Park.

“It’s about getting out and playing a little bit,” Clay Lundquist of Center Stage Entertainment Marketing tells CHS. “After we become adults, we don’t play.”

The new day of grown-up play — “Relive the good old days with all of your favorite schoolyard games, music and food. But this time it’s just for adults.” — is set to try to become the latest new summer tradition on Capitol Hill, joining events like Pride’s picnics and festivals and the Capitol Hill Block Party on the slate of things to plan your summer around in the neighborhood.

Recess is scheduled to run from noon to 7 PM on Saturday, August 3rd.

Like the Block Party, Recess will be a ticketed event with booze and lots of music. With Block Party facing a year of scrutiny over costs and complaints from neighbors and neighboring businesses, Lundquist is hoping Recess fits well into its Cal Anderson footprint this August.

The park’s Bobby Morris Playfield, skate, bike polo, and tennis courts, basketball court, and grassy meadow bowl near the Shelterhouse will be put to use making space for every extracurricular grade school activity from organized games of kickball, foursquare, tetherball, and hopscotch to… tagging:

Join us for Recess Seattle and feel the nostalgia as you kick the scoring run at a game of kickball, show off your skills on the four square court and maybe even get a little naughty in the graffiti zone.

There will also be live music and DJs “playing your favorite old school hits” and food trucks “featuring all of your favorite foods from childhood.” The event is 21+.

General admission tickets will be $25 plus fees. Ronald McDonald House will benefit from some of the event’s proceeds.

“We looked at a lot of areas around Seattle,” Lundquist said. “With the activities we had, we had some very specific needs.”

Lundquist said putting together the first time event working with Seattle Parks has gone smoothly. “The look and feel of it is going to fit into the area really well,” he said. The process for gaining the permit for adding a big event to Cal Anderson has so far been a pretty straightforward affair.

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It’s the first big commercial event to give Cal Anderson a try since the Seattle Street Food Festival gave the venue a spin for a few years before moving its production off Hill. Producers said 11th Ave’s cramped quarters and limitations over how best to handle VIP ticketed experiences were behind that decision to move away from the park.

Cal Anderson also makes a home every June for the PrideFest Family Pride event.

Like Family Pride, the hope is for Recess to grow into an annual event in Seattle.

“It’s the perfect area. Maybe someday, it will take up a bigger piece of the park,” Lundquist said.

The company is also planning an October Recess in Los Angeles with more cities “coming soon.”

Recess Seattle takes place August 3rd. You can learn more at recessevent.com.


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9 thoughts on “Cal Anderson to host first Recess Seattle — a day of tetherball, DJs, and food trucks for grown-ups

  1. Wait so they are gonna close off half (and hoping for more in the future) of a public park for most of a Saturday to anyone with kids so grownups can pay admission and have alcohol and play like kids?

    I can understand cordoning off a couple beer gardens, but barring people with families from half the public park for most of the day is lame. big difference, notice the “family” in Family Pride.

    • Agreed with poster above – thanks to the city for letting our public park be taken over so people can get drunk and play kickball. I don’t have a problem with the games, but half the park is too much. Don’t we spend enough money subsidizing the CHBP, do we really need to give up half a park to a private event in the height of the summer.

      • You do know that hosting events, even ticketed events, is a function of our parks system, right? I’d hate to see your reaction when you find out that Myrtle Edwards Park is blocked off 3 days every year for Hempfest, let alone all the other events that are hosted in our parks around Seattle.

        Not to mention, proceeds from this event are going to a good cause. But gripe away!

    • I agree. And regarding beer gardens, there are plenty of places nearby to get beer. And those establishments pay dearly for the privilege of selling alcohol.

  2. It’s really sad that the under 21 group is excluded. What do you expect them to do? No skate park on the hill, the community center has rotten hours. Now you take away the play field and give it to the 21+ set to get hammered and play kids games. Dang, that mean.

    Then in the recesses of the hill kids vape, drink, and smoke weed because, what the hell else is there for them to do. Maybe see a music show? Oh, oops 21+

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