The day was a typical grey wet Seattle day as thousands gathered to watch boats go through the Montlake Cut.
The first celebration of the Opening Day of boating season in Seattle happened on the waters of Elliott Bay on May 3, 1913. It was the first formal celebration of the event, according to HistoryLink. In 1920, the celebrations started going through the 4-year-old Montlake Cut; the Seattle Yacht Club had recently moved to its new home in Portage Bay. The cut was crowded by people watching a parade of about 30 boats on that day in 1920, according to the Seattle Yacht Club. In 1961, about 800 boats were present during the rainy Opening Day festivities, according to The Seattle Times’ coverage. With that year’s theme of “The Ancient Mariner,” the crew on the Pink Cloud dressed up as skeletons. Others dressed up their boats with May Day flower baskets, balloons and checkered flags. It took two hours for the parade to make its way through the cut. In 1986, the Windermere Cup Regatta crew races were added to the weekend’s events; 2016 will be the 30th year of the Cup, which will be followed by the Opening Day parade.