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Seattle weekend traffic and transit: The Blue Angels close I-90, plus a few parades

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

Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item No. 73012

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these things might be things you’re doing, too—it’s still Seafair season, and the Blue Angels airshow (and practices for the airshow) are closing off I-90 at various points Thursday through Sunday, part of a big weekend that also includes the hydro races. It’s also both Fleet Week, Umoja Fest, the Seattle Art Fair, so there’s something for everyone happening.

Interested in not getting stuck behind the wheel? Our weekend traffic report is here for you.

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. (And remember, it’s Fleet Week, so military members ride free with military ID through August 5.)

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

Weekend events: Blue Angels and Seattle Art Fair

Seattle Art Fair runs all weekend, with a preview night Thursday and then all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at Centurylink Field Event Center. Link light rail goes to the stadiums, as does the First Hill Streetcar (with a bit of a walk) and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit.

It’s also the Umoja Fest Africatown Heritage rally and parade this weekend. The parade starts on Saturday, at 1 p.m. at 23rd and Union—the site of a future development by Africatown—and moving to Judkins Park down 23rd Avenue. The 2 goes to the starting line.

The festival runs Friday through Sunday though, and the 4 or 48 go to Judkins Park for music, performances, food, and other cultural celebrations.

Magnolia is having its summerfest and a parade on Friday and Saturday with an art show, craft booths, and other activities at Magnolia Community Center and Magnolia Playfield on Friday and Saturday, with the parade starting at 10 a.m. and running down 34th, McGraw, and 32nd. The 24 will take you right there, or the 31 works, too.

Lake City is having a parade and festival this weekend, too, taking up NE 125th Street. between Lake City Way NE and 25th Avenue NE from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Take the 64, 65, or 75 to get there.

While a Saturday event is registered with SDOT it’s the “greatest party known to humankind,” it’s the annual Dead Baby Downhill that’s blocking off a big chunk of Georgetown from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Airport Way will close from 13th to Carson from noon Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. If you’re not riding your bike there, you can ride Metro route 124. (The ride starts at Drunky Two Shoes in White Center, so also keep an extra eye out for cyclists this weekend.)

All that and we haven’t even covered fleet week yet. Seafair Fleet Week and Boeing Maritime Celebration has been going on all week and continues through Sunday, with tours of navy boats at piers 69 and 90 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. There’s a new, free shuttle bus that runs along the waterfront—otherwise you’ll have to settle for walking down from any downtown bus on Third Avenue.

Saturday and Sunday, Museum of Flight is adding to the jet-related festivities with the Jet Blast Bash, featuring planes, cars, music, and food (and more Blue Angels) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 124 and 154 go there.

Blue Angels and hydroplane races

It is once again time for those controversial, flying war machines to zoom through Seattle’s skies—which means not only hearing the occasional vroom-vroom of a jet engine overhead, but that the I-90 bridge is closing at various points all weekend long. Specifically, the bridge already closed Thursday from 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., then will close again from 1 to 2:45 p.m. for practice. Then, airshows are happening on Friday from 12:55 to 2:45 p.m., Saturday from 12:55 to 2:45 p.m., and Sunday from 12:55 to 2:45 p.m.

This is part of a major Seafair weekend event at Genessee Park that also includes the hydroplane races (although people absolutely jump onto I-90 to watch the air show). Hydro races are happening just off the park in Lake Washington Friday through Sunday.

The best way to get to Genessee Park this weekend is going to be Link light rail—there’s going to be a Seafair shuttle from Columbia City Station. Metro route 50 will get you there, and is running more frequently for the event; Metro route 7 will also get you a 10-minute walk away.

Sports: Mariners and Storm

The Mariners play the Blue Jays every day this weekend: 7:10 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, then 1:10 on Sunday. Link light rail goes to Safeco (stadium stop), as does the First Hill Streetcar (at least, to the general vicinity) and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit.

The Storm play the Minnesota Lynx on Friday at 9 p.m. at Key Arena. Take Metro routes 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, or RapidRide D to get there.

Road work and bus service changes

Thankfully, there aren’t too many road work closures this weekend—35th Avenue SW will be closed for maintenance on Friday during the day between 100th and 104th—but there are some pretty big bus reroutes thanks to all the parades, all on Saturday. Check rider alerts if you ride the 3, 4, 8, 14, 24, 31, 41, 48, 65, 75, 174, or 372.

Some buses are also being rerouted due to the I-90 closures: the 212, 216, and 218, plus Sound Transit route 550.

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. Here are Sound Transit rider alerts; here are King County Metro rider alerts.

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