The 5 day celebration of Seattle was a predecessor to Seafair.

Share story

Before the annual Seafair Festival, there was the Golden Potlatch.

An article from after the event showing praise of the Potlatch.

The festival featured airplanes doing stunts along waterfront, “hydroaeroplane” flights on the water, a parade downtown, performances by groups from around the Northwest and fireworks displays throughout the city.

According to the July 16, 1912, article in The Seattle Daily Times, the festival kicked off with the Alaska pageant, where the “Tilikums of Elttaes” paraded while telling a story of Alaska and the importance of the gold rush to Seattle.

The Tilikums, city boosters who sometimes wore “native” costumes, produced and performed in the parade.

After the festival, the Times received this praise of the Potlatch.

“This year’s Potlatch has been one of the greatest successes that the public spirit of Seattle has ever undertaken. It has brought about more good fellowship and amity than years of ordinary endeavor would do, and the money spent, while not directly felt in certain places, will work its way into all trade channels to the mutual benefit of all.” ­­– John J. Gorman, manager of Grote-Rankin Company.

Postcards from the Past is an occasional feature, highlighting the history of the Pacific Northwest. The images are from The Seattle Times archive.

More Postcards from the Past: