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The Seattle Milk Carton Derby and the Chinatown Festival this weekend

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There’s too much to do this coming weekend. I’m sorry, unless you have a personal helicopter and somewhere to land it I just don’t see how you can get to everything. Seafair season will be in full swing in neighborhoods all over Seattle and you’re going to have to make some difficult choices. Sometimes it sucks being a grownup, but we’re here to help.

We already have a list of Seafair events on this page so you can see what’s coming up in the weeks that follow, but here are a couple of highlights of what’s going on this weekend. If you want more detail, click on that link above.

To begin, the Seafair Pirates land on Alki Beach at 11:30 am Saturday morning to kick off the season and there’s a festival there all day long.

If you prefer a lake to a beach and boats made out of milk cartons to pirate ships, then Green Lake should be your destination. The Allstate Milk Carton Derby is an old Seafair tradition and by far the best boat race of the season. Well, not counting the hydroplanes… Somewhere around 100 floating vessels take to the waters of Green Lake starting at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 11 to compete for money and prizes. There are categories for kids, adults and racers, and of course the Parade of Boats takes place at 1:30 pm. If you ever doubted the creativity or wit of Seattleites you need to see these boats.

All the fun isn’t on the water at the Milk Carton Derby. Lots of entertainment for kids will be on shore, as will the SeaGals. Allstate Insurance will be giving free life vests to kids 12 and under who show up with a parent while supplies last. Also of note is that representatives of Northwest Harvest will be on hand at the southwest corner Green Lake to accept nonperishable food donations or financial donations.

Finally, if you’re frantically working to finish a boat or think you can build one in a day, you can register for a category up to 30 minutes before the event starts.

idfestivalIf you had your heart set on going to the Milk Carton Derby and the Chinatown-International District Summer Festival, you’re in luck. The latter festival runs two days, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. This is a big, colorful festival where you can “enjoy lively lion and dragon dances, award-winning drill teams, and a kid’s activity corner the whole family can enjoy! Showcase your vocal talents at our 7th Annual Karaoke Idol contest and get a chance to walk away with some great prizes! Don’t miss out on this special two-day event celebrating the largest Pan-Asian street festival in the Pacific Northwest, with some of the best arts, activities and food that Seafair has to offer!”

The website has a great downloadable map of the International District and the entertainment schedule for the Dragon Stage. The main part of the festival takes place at Hing Hay Park but there are things going on all over the neighborhood, so don’t forget that map.

As mentioned before, Saturday, July 11 is a big day in Seattle. We’ve already covered three events, but you can also participate in the The Crown of Queen Anne Fun Run, Walk & Children’s Parade or the Wallingford Seafair Kiddie Parade & Street Fair. If that isn’t enough, you can check out some city firemen at the Pioneer Square Fire Festival. It’s a lot to choose from, but we’re sure you’ll manage somehow.