Daniel Pak (left) and Prometheus Brown (right) perform a live piece at Hing Hay Park.

PHOTO ESSAY: Community Gathers for Two-Day ‘Welcome Back’ Celebration at Hing Hay Park

by Ronnie Estoque


The Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) and the City of Seattle collaborated to host a celebration of local culture and food at Hing Park on Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18. The weekend was also the inaugural event of “Welcome Back Weeks,” which was organized by the City of Seattle with the goal of bringing small businesses, workers, and visitors back to the downtown area after nearly a year and a half of restrictions. As part of “Welcome Back Weeks,” over $300,000 has been invested into small businesses, artists, and nonprofits , which all have experienced significant hardship during the pandemic. 

The two-day event featured live music and performances from local artists from the community, which attracted sizable crowds. The event also offered attendees the opportunity to receive either a Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was administered by representatives from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD). The CIDBIA will be hosting another Summer CID Food Walk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 31. Events such as this have been planned to spur more community support for locally owned restaurants and businesses that are rebounding from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

This Saturday, July 24, “Welcome Back Weeks” will continue with an event starting at 10:30 a.m. at Pioneer Square, which will be followed up the next day at Westlake starting at 11 a.m. For more information about “Welcome Back Weeks,” visit the Office of the Mayor’s “Seattle’s Equitable Recovery” webpage.

Photo of COVID-19 Vaccination sign in Hing Hay Park.
COVID-19 vaccines were offered during the two-day event to increase vaccination rates in the local community. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Vivian Tam, artistic director at Chrysalis Circus, performs aerial choreography.
Vivian Tam, artistic director at Chrysalis Circus, performs aerial choreography. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Emma Curtiss performs her choreography with a Cyr wheel in front of a growing crowd.
Emma Curtiss performs her choreography with a Cyr wheel in front of a growing crowd. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo of an individual screen printing with red ink.
Party Hat provided their screen printing services during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A youth participant from the crowd dances as they are being cheered on by the Massive Monkees and community members.
A youth participant from the crowd dances as they are being cheered on by the Massive Monkees and community members. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
The Massive Monkees performed several acts of choreography, which drew large crowds of audience members eager to watch their dance moves.
The Massive Monkees performed several acts of choreography, which drew large crowds of audience members eager to watch their dance moves. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
The Massive Monkees defy gravity with this dance move.
The Massive Monkees defy gravity with this dance move. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
The Massive Monkees prepare to bow after wrapping up their set.
The Massive Monkees prepare to bow after wrapping up their set. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo of Aleksa Manila in a blue-sequined dress speaking into a microphone.
Aleksa Manila, one of the event emcees, helped ensure the event ran smoothly and that audience members were actively engaged. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local artist FRESA performs an original song off her most recent project.
Local artist FRESA performs an original song off her most recent project. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local artist FRESA performs in front of event attendees at Hing Hay Park.
Local artist FRESA performs in front of event attendees at Hing Hay Park. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local artist Kiddus Fecto raps an unreleased song for the audience.
Local artist Kiddus Fecto raps an unreleased song for the audience. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Ronnie Estoque is a Seattle-based storyteller and aspiring documentarian. He is driven to uplift marginalized voices in the South Seattle community through his writing, photography, and videography. You can keep up with his work by following his Twitter and Instagram.

📸 Featured Image: Daniel Pak (left) and Prometheus Brown (right) perform a live piece at Hing Hay Park for a “Welcome Back Weeks” event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

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