Opening Day – Seattle Style
Everywhere else in God’s green America, Opening Day is synonymous with the start of baseball season. Not here. Not in Seattle. In Seattle, Opening Day, always the first Saturday in May, marks the official start of boating season. It is a long-standing tradition, dating back to 1913. The Seattle Yacht Club, which has hosted the event from its inception, has a great history of this big party on the water, which now includes crew races and huge parade of boats, yachts and ships of all kinds.
Above: Opening Day Parade passing through the hoglines of boats. Image from the Seattle Yacht Club website.
The races and parade pass through the “Montlake Cut”, a narrow canal that connects Lake Washington with Lake Union. Spectators-on-foot line both sides of the Cut, and spectators-on-boat create long hoglines that extend the canal up to ¼ mile or more into Lake Washington.
Left: Crew teams recovering at the end of a race. Image from the Husky Crew website.
Opening day is Seattle’s May Day, celebrating the return of warming weather, waxing days, and how we spend them… namely, on the water. Yachts, kayaks, dragon boats, row boats, canoes, sail boats, ski boats, fishing boats, skiffs, and inner tubes with beer holders will all be in attendance on Saturday to watch the races, tag along the end of the parade, and generally make merry.
Here is the schedule of events. Arrive early along the Cut with a picnic blanket and basket to claim a vantage point to cheer on the Husky crew teams.