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Saturday, July 7, 2012 - Page updated at 06:30 a.m.

Aarrgh, it must be Seafair, as pirates storm Alki Beach Saturday

By Madeline McKenzie
Seattle Times staff

Aarrgh, mateys, local swashbuckling legends the Seafair Pirates arrive at Alki Beach Saturday to kick off Seafair, Seattle's annual weeks-long summer festival.

Depending on their adventures at sea, they'll hit the shore sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with onshore activities starting at 9:30 a.m. for the hordes of pirate fans and wannabes gathering along Alki promenade and beach.

Vendors, inflatable rides for kids and music by local bands entertain throughout the day, including an afternoon pirate look-alike contest for kids, with prizes to the best-dressed little buccaneers.

It's fitting that the popular Seafair Pirates officially kick off the Seafair season; their crowd-pleasing antics are featured in parades and events throughout Seafair, part of their busy year-around schedule of appearances at community events, hospitals, nursing homes and charity functions.

Another popular local tradition, the Wallingford Kiddies Parade and Family Festival, helps kick off Seafair on Saturday with a neighborhood parade for kids of all ages to watch or join in, with or without costumes. Staging starts at 9:30 a.m. for the 11 a.m. parade that also includes bands, drill teams and other organized groups. The fun continues throughout the day with bouncy houses, pony rides, vendors and more at Wallingford Playfield.

Seafair's kickoff day takes a leap back in time at the Pioneer Square Fire Festival, commemorating the Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889, which destroyed most of downtown Seattle and gave rise to the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Vintage firetrucks and police cars are among festival displays, with activities hosted by the Last Resort Fire Department Museum at Seattle Fire Department Headquarters, Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, and Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park-Seattle, all nearby and open during Saturday's events.

Upcoming Seafair events include the Milk Carton Derby July 14, and community festivals in Kent, Ballard, Mercer Island, West Seattle, Snohomish, Covington, White Center, Renton, Silverdale and Mountlake Terrace on varying dates through July. Seafair signature events are the Torchlight Parade July 28 and hydroplane races and air show featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Aug. 3-5.

The details

Seafair Pirates Landing: Events 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; pirates land approximately noon Saturday, Alki Beach Park, 1702 Alki Ave. S.W., Seattle. www.seafairpirates.org.

Wallingford Kiddies Parade and Family Festival: Parade, 11 a.m. Saturday on North 45th Street from Corliss Avenue North to Woodlawn Avenue North; festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Wallingford Avenue North and North 45th Street, Seattle.

Pioneer Square Fire Festival: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Occidental Square Park, Occidental Avenue South and South Main Street, Seattle.

More information for all events: 206-728-0123 or seafair.com.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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