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In the Spotlight

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seattle's Seafair Celebration

During the summer every year the Seafair Celebration has been an outstanding way for our college students to take a break from summer classes.

Do you know how it is that Seattle's Seafair celebration started?

In a world frightened by the threat of another major conflict so soon after World War II, Seafair provided a bit of lighthearted fun as well as a means of promoting Seattle. The tradition began in 1950 and built through the decade as new events were added and public interest grew. In this early time North Korea was prepairing to invade South Korea World War II had just ended.

Seafair was the brainchild of Greater Seattle Inc., a group of prominent local boosters hoping to use Seattle's 100th anniversary as a springboard to increased civic cooperation and promotion.
Seafair began as an attempt to build a nationwide reputation on the city's maritime heritage.

IN 1950, Seafair surfaced around a more generic nautical theme. King Neptune -- portrayed by a prominent civic leader -- presided over the event, while local beauties vied for the title of Queen of the Seas.
Seafair's grand parade featured lavish floats and a whole cast of royalty led by King Neptune, who in 1952 was portrayed by civic leader E.L. Blaine Jr.
Pictures and history provided by "The Seattle Times"




Above: Seafair was the brainchild of Greater Seattle Inc., a group of prominent local boosters hoping to use Seattle's 100th anniversary as a springboard to increased civic cooperation and promotion. Modeled after successful events like the New Orleans Mardi Gras and St. Paul's Winter Carnival, Seafair began as an attempt to build a nationwide reputation on the city's maritime heritage.


Above: Slo-mo-shun IV launched Seattle and Seafair into the world of unlimited hydroplane racing. Stan Sayres and his team developed and built the 1,800-horsepower thunderboat locally, testing it on Lake Washington. Between 1950 and 1954, Slo-mo IV and its sister boat, Slo-mo V, captured an unprecedented five consecutive Gold Cup trophies.


The Cup" pictured above was and is still the most coveted prise. It has changed some in size and looks from this first one. (pictured below)



Here are some vintage racing boats through out the years (pictured below).




HYDROPLANE RACING, AN INNOVATION OF THE 1951 SEAFAIR
The preceding year, Seattleite Stan Sayres had set a world speedboat record at 160.3 mph in the locally designed and built Slo-mo-shun IV, going on to win the sport's prestigious Gold Cup race in Detroit. Sayres' victory brought the next race to Lake Washington, coinciding with Seafair.
This even helps us students renew our energy levels for the up coming finals.

I have included some pictures below for your enjoyment.





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