South Seattle’s 24th annual extravaganza known as the Rainer Valley Heritage Parade & Festival kicks off this Saturday. This year, the Rainier Chamber is partnering with Parks and Recreation’s Big Day of Play and SDOT’s Summer Parkways; turning the whole Valley into huge party of home grown entertainment, athletics, games, food, music and fun. Continue reading Guide to the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade & Festival Weekend→
Editor’s Note: History and Heritage is a new column focusing on South Seattle’s storied past.
by Virginia H. Wright, Director of the Rainier Valley Historical Society
Purchased and constructed in 1977 by the Seattle Parks Department, Othello Park has not been around nearly as long as some of the other parks in Rainier Valley. But in one of our oral histories, we recorded a reminiscence from Karleen Pederson-Wolfe, from her ’50s childhood living next to the area that later became the park. The following was excerpted from an interview conducted on November 14, 2001.
“We had a nice little stream that came through. Across the street was a pond where I used to collect polliwogs and just wade in the water with boots on. I couldn’t wait for the winter when it was ice and I could go play on the ice. Othello Park was right here across the street and everyday my dad would take the cows out here and he’d stake them. He had a big iron stake. He’d put it out and they’d graze in Othello Park during the day.”
These days Othello Park doesn’t have any neighbors sending their cows over to graze, but last Sunday, August 17th, 2014, at the Othello Park International Music & Arts Festival, there was a camel, a pair of baby goats, and a few other animals on hand to encourage kids to come out for the event. A varied array of people from the surrounding areas flooded the park, where they were able to visit the booths selling merchandise and presenting information from local organizations, including Rainier Valley Historical Society. At our booth, we had a display of ’70s photographs by local photo-journalist Denis Law, which included photos from Jimi Hendrix’ funeral procession. Visitors to our booth were very interested in seeing the photos, and reading the corresponding articles on our display board which were reproduced from our archives of issues of the Beacon Hill News and South District Journal. The event provided us with an opportunity to talk to people about their experiences living in Rainier Valley and their memories of the park itself. People talked about how much it been improved over the past few years, with the overgrown hills of blackberries being replaced by comfortable grassy hillsides.
We also had the good fortune to be able to see demonstrations of local heritage and culture, from the lion dance put on by Vietnamese group Au-Lac Vovinam Lion Dancers, to a group of Oaxacan dancers in white dresses balancing candles on their heads, a demonstration of South Indian Bhangra, to a group of Somali dancers, and even a group of very talented young tap dancers.
The Othello Park Alliance puts on the festival, as part of the annual Rainier Valley Culture Fest weekend, which also includes the Heritage Parade down Rainier Avenue, which we participated in the previous day.
Rainier Valley Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of our area, and we are also tasked with recording the activities and displays of culture in our current communities, as a way to show future generations what the Valley was like before their own time.
Sports: Seed First Annual Golf Tournament begins at 8:00am @ Jefferson Park Golf Club 4101 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. More Info: Tournament Director Brian Remington,Email: email@example.com, phone: 206-762-4513
Movies:Opening of Boyhood, showtimes 12:00 pm, 3:00pm and 7:30pm @ Ark Lodge Cinemas 4816 Rainier Avenue South Seattle , WA 98118. More Info: http://www.arklodgecinemas.com
Community:VFW Meat Raffle from 4 to 7pm @ Skyway VFW Hall 7421 S. 126th St Seattle, WA 98178. More Info: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Movies:Beacon Hill Meaningful Movies Present Amandla! A Revolution in 4 Part Harmony. The Garden House 2336 15th Avenue South Seattle 98144. More Info: Christina Olson phone: 206-762-1026
Community: Skyway Outdoor Cinema. Pre-Show Entertainment and Prize Wheel starts at 8:00pm, A showing of Gravity follows at 9:00pm @ 12610 76th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98178 (Skyway U.S. Bank Parking Lot). More Info: Facebook.com/SkywayOutdoorCinema
Music: Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival (Featuring Reggie Garrett and The Paul Green Band) begins at 8:00pm@ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. Cost: Free. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com
Saturday, August 16th
Contest:Third Annual Rainier Valley BBQ Contest from 6:00am – 3:00pm @The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. Entree Fee: $20. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com
Volunteering: Beacon Hill Volunteer Work Party begins at 9:00am @2424 Beacon Avenue South Seattle, WA 98144
Sports:30th Annual Emerald City Open Water Swim starts at 9:00am @Andrews Bay on Lake Washington 5898 Lake Washington Blvd S Seattle, WA 98118. More Info: Kelsey Smith (206)-684-4766
Parade:Seattle Summer Streets Party and Rainier Valley Heritage Parade. Parade goes from 12:00pm – 1:30pm, followed by Summer Streets Part at 1:30pm @ Rainier Avenue (Between S Alaska and S Brandon Street). More Info: http://www.rainierchamber.com
Community: DetectiveCookie’s Urban Chess Club with Pro Chess Instructor H.R.Pitre. From 12:00pm – 2:00pm @ Rainier Beach Community Center: 8825 Rainier Ave South Seattle. Ages 7 and Older. More Info: 206-650-3621 (Detective Cookie)
Music: Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival Day 2 (Featuring Orville Johnson) begins at 9:00pm@ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. Cost: $8/$10 More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com
Sunday, August 17th
Sports: Iron Girl Seattle Women’s Triathlon starts at 6:45am @ Genesse Park 4316 S Genesse St, Seattle, WA 98118 More Info: Katie Sousa email: email@example.com
Community:Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival from 12:00pm – 6:00pm @ Othello Park 4219 S Othello St, Seattle, WA 98118 More Info: http://othellopark.org/2014-festival
Music:Second Annual Columbia City Blues Festival Day 3 (Featuring Crack Sunday) Family Show begins at 6:30pm, Late Show (“The Blues According to Jimi Hendrix”) begins at @ The Royal Room 5000 Rainier Avenue South Seattle 98118. Cost: Free. More Info: http://www.theroyalroomseattle.com
If you have an event to post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle