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Seattle weekend traffic and transit: Hempfest and block parties

What’s blocking up traffic this weekend—and how to ride transit to it (or around it)

Jose Luis Stephens/Shutterstock

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too: Hempfest is on, the Mariners and the Sounders are both playing, there’s a gift show, and at least three action-packed block parties are happening in Capitol Hill, Belltown, and the Central District.

We’ve combed through the alerts and advisories from both the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to deliver transit-friendly solutions for your weekend outings.

Some of this weekend’s advisories—and transit-oriented alternate routes to events—are listed below.

Weekend events: Hempfest, a gift show, and block parties

Every day this weekend Friday through Sunday, Hempfest, a celebration of all things cannabis, takes over connected Myrtle Edwards and Centennial parks, just north of the waterfront district.

It’s probably best to avoid driving to Hempfest if you can; intoxicants aside, parking on the waterfront is a bear (let this be a warning if you usually rely on the plentiful parking in Interbay, also). Metro routes 8 and the 99 get closest to the south entrance by the Olympic Sculpture Park, and the 19, 24, and 33 get closest to the north entrance via the Thomas Street Overpass.

Searching for a present? The Seattle Gift Show is also running all weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Washington State Convention Center. Multiple buses run past (no longer through!) Convention Station, including Metro routes 41 74, 101, 102, 150, and 255, plus Sound Transit 550. Outside the tunnel, westbound 7, 10, 43, 47, 49, and 150 take you a block away.

Annual Pike Place Market Foundation fundraiser Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market means Pike Place (the street) will be closed all day Friday starting at 8 a.m., which is for the best because you shouldn’t try to drive through the market anyway. Approximately one gazillion buses (okay, a lot of them) stop two blocks away from Pike Place on Third Avenue and Pike Street; if none of those work, try Pine Street.

Halestorm and In This Moment play WaMu Theater at 8 p.m. That’s between the stadiums; Link Light Rail goes to the stadium district, as does the Seattle Streetcar and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit.

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Big Day of Play runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rainier Community Center and Playfields. Take the 7 or 50 to get there.

Hot Sauce Fest runs all day Saturday at Ballard Commons Park, and is about what it sounds like. Metro routes 17, 18, 29, 40, and 44 will all get you within a couple blocks.

All-day arts block party Boogie Up the Block, featuring arts, music, and even a bouncy house, sets up outside Washington Hall from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, closing E Fir Street between 12th and 14th.

In South Lake Union, Washington Beer BBQ is setting up at SLU Discovery Center from 12 to 6 p.m. Take the 8, 40, C Line, or South Lake Union Streetcar to get there.

In Capitol Hill, music and art event Mercer x Summit Block Party takes place on—and closes—Summit Avenue between from Mercer to Roy. That’s going Saturday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

There’s a Patriot Prayer rally—and various counterprotests—outside City Hall on Saturday starting at noon (but realistically beforehand).

On Saturday, Belltown Block Party features art, music, and three different wrestling companies on Second Avenue between Blanchard and Lenora Street. That stretch of Second will be closed; any bus that serves the extremely well-trafficked bus stop at Third and Bell will get you close.

Sunday, the Viking Dash 5K, 10K, 15K runs (literally) at Magnuson Park from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The 64, 72, and 75 go right there.

Sports: Storm, Mariners, and Sounders

The New York Liberty play the Seattle Storm at 7 p.m. Friday—then the Storm play the Dallas Wings Sunday at 4 p.m.—at Key Arena. Get there using Metro routes 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, or Rapidride D.

In baseball and soccer, we’re hosting Los Angeles on all sides!

The Mariners play the LA Dodgers at Safeco at 7:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, then 1:10 p.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Sounders play the LA Galaxy on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Link light rail goes to Safeco and Centurylink (stadium or International District stop), the First Hill Streetcar goes to the area, and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit will get to the stadiums. Plus: The Sounder commuter train is making extra trips for the Sounders game and for the Mariners game on Sunday.

Road work and bus service changes

The Denny substation project drags on. Closures have been happening all week, but this weekend specifically:

  • Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Minor will be closed from Republican to John.
  • Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Republican will be closed between Fairview and Minor.

Friday through Sunday around the clock, Second Avenue downtown will be reduced to two lanes between Pike and Union.

Starting Friday and through the end of the month, First Avenue S will be closed northbound from Washington to Cherry for utility work.

Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fifth Avenue will be closed from Union to University for crane stuff.

Saturday and Sunday, 35th Avenue NE will be closed completely from 45th to 55th for paving work. Please do not put fireworks in the construction equipment; it’s extremely dangerous.

As for bus reroutes: The Summit and Mercer block party is rerouting route 47 on Saturday.

Note: We put immediate and new closures in this section, but not every single planned street closure appears here. Explore all 97 active SDOT projects, many of which involve street and lane closures, here, and the city’s construction lookahead. Here are Sound Transit rider alerts; here are King County Metro rider alerts.

Washington State Convention Center

800 Convention Pl, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 694-5000 Visit Website

Ballard Commons Park

5701 22nd Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107 Visit Website

Lake Union

, , WA

Capitol Hill

, , WA

Myrtle Edwards Park

3130 Alaskan Way, , WA 98121 Visit Website