“Day of Play” is a South Seattle Smorgasbord

by Robin Boland

This coming Saturday, August 13th, South Seattle will be jam packed with community building festivals, parades and events. The Seattle Parks Department, in conjunction with the Seattle Summer Parkways Program and the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade, are hosting a ‘Big Day of Play’ at the Rainier Community Center and Playfield (4600 38th Ave S.). The event is presented by the Seattle Park’s “Get Moving” initiative, a Seattle Parks and Recreation grant intended to support local nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and community groups. The goal of the initiative is to offer engaging and culturally relevant events that increase participation in community sports, recreation and physical fitness activities.

The ‘Big Day of Play’ will be held from 12-6pm and features obstacle courses, rock climbing, trampolines, music & dancing, sports challenges as well as local food vendors and booths featuring community organizations and vendors. The event is intended to be fun for all ages and encourage physical activity alongside neighbors and friends. Transportation has been made available with buses and shuttles transporting people from community centers throughout the city and then returning attendees to these same locations starting at 2pm. See the event flyer for transportation specifics.

The Rainier Valley Heritage Parade and Festival is happening on the same day with the parade starting at 11 and the festival beginning at 12:30. The theme of this year’s parade is Heritage and the theme of the festival is Backyard Games. Organizers have been reaching out to the community in order to expand the array of cultures represented by this annual neighborhood tradition. The parade will feature drill teams, floats and community organizations followed by food trucks, music and games exemplifying our diverse community.

The Rainier Valley Seattle Summer Parkways event, hosted by the department of transportation on the same day, August 13th, is the first of three Summer Parkway events planned in different neighborhoods and involves closing down streets to vehicles and opening them up for foot traffic. While one can hear the drivers grumbling from here it is only for a few hours and is meant to connect people to their community in a way they may not do by staying on the sidewalk. The event starts at 12:30pm and involves a route from Othello Park to the Rainier Playfield. Along the route are food vendors, contests, live music, a bouncy house, fitness games and a bike giveaway. See the event site for route specifics.

So basically South Seattle will turn into a giant community play pen next Saturday. One expects that quite a few Pokemon could be captured along the way as well.

Big Day of Play: http://parkways.seattle.gov/2016/07/11/big-day-of-play/#sthash.tOqYQaX8.dpbs

Summer Parkways: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/summerpark_RainierValley.htm

Rainier Valley Heritage Parade and Festival: https://www.facebook.com/RainierValleyHeritageParade/