Celebrate the start of boating season by checking out the Windermere Cup crew races and the Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day boat parade.
Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day boat parade celebrates spring with a “Myths and Monsters” theme Saturday, May 2, through Seattle’s Montlake Cut.
It’s the 95th year for the annual event that draws thousands of spectators in boats along the log boom and lining the shore of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
Crew races hosted by the University of Washington start the day at 10 a.m. with hundreds of rowers, from teens to 70-year-olds. Then come races, with the University of Washington teams hosting New Zealand (the current world champions), Columbia University and the University of Virginia for the 29th annual Windermere Cup.
For shoreside spectators, viewing is on the banks of Montlake Cut, the narrow canal that connects Portage Bay and Lake Washington, near the Montlake Bridge, and any vantage point overlooking the area. Early arrival is recommended for parking, suggested in University of Washington lots along Montlake Boulevard. The Montlake Bridge is closed to traffic from approximately 9:20 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Joint Base Lewis McChord’s 16th Combat Aviation Brigade’s Apache Guardian and Black Hawk helicopters fly over (weather permitting) to kick off the noon parade. Seattle Fire Department boats and a boat hosting the UW Husky Band start the procession of vessels of all kinds and sizes decorated in the “Myths and Monsters” theme, from dinghies, aqua cars and wooden boats to sailboats, powerboats and yachts.
Sunny weather is in the forecast to complete the perfect Seattle spring day on and off the water.