Celebrate the Monorail’s birthday today at Seattle Center

Today the Seattle Center Monorail turns 55 years old. To celebrate, the Monorail is getting a birthday bash complete today, Friday March 24th, from noon to 2pm. Festivities include a birthday card you can sign and KuKuRuZa popcorn and Top Pot Doughuts.

Plus, the first 200 people to arrive at the free celebration will get special freebies including vintage t-shirts, World’s Fair memorabilia, keychains, posters ,and more.

There are also three free tours of the monorail system that include a behind-the-scenes look at the Monorail maintenance facility. These tours are almost all sold out – there are six spots left as of 6:30am this morning for the 12:30 tour, so the early birds will catch the worm on this one! Register here to grab your spot.

Happy Birthday, Monorail!

Key Arena redevelopment: take the Uptown Alliance survey and attend a public meeting

If you have questions, concerns, opinions (or all three) on the redevelopment and/or possible replacement of Key Arena, the Seattle Uptown Alliance has two options for you.

First, take the Uptown Alliance’s survey on Key Arena plans. It’s a short 10 question survey with two key rating/ranking questions:

Potential community benefits: what you believe is most important, whether it’s community, transportation, or clean-up impacts.

Preferences for Key Arena: what you prefer for the future of Key Arena, from keeping the original structure as-is to completely demolishing it, and whether you want NBA/NHL teams playing at the Key.

The survey takes less than 3 minutes to complete, so take it today! Then, mark your calendars for a special community meeting to discuss the redevelopment of Key Arena and its surroundings. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13th, at 7pm. The agenda is TBD, if you want updates on the meeting, RSVP here.

Sounders Parade Tuesday ends with celebration at Seattle Center

Hey! The blog is back! After technical difficulties, normal operations are resuming… and, while we were away, the Seattle Sounders won the 2016 MLS Cup Championship!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 13th, the victory will be celebrated with a parade from Westlake Center to Seattle Center, with a celebration on the lawn in front of the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion at the end of the route. You can see the stage in its early state to the right, thanks to KOMO’s Ryan Yamamoto.

SDOT estimates 3,000 to 10,000 to watch the parade along its route, and 10,000 to 20,000 people at the rally at Seattle Center.

Free summer Concerts at the Mural begin this Friday

First it was Movies at the Mural, now it’s time to kick off Concerts at the Mural. Starting this Friday, August 5th, KEXP and the Seattle Center present the 9th annual series of free Friday evening concerts at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre. Just as with Movies at the Mural, the concerts are first-come, first-served, and free!

Concerts at Mural

All concerts begin at 5:30pm on Friday evenings through August 26th. The performances feature both national and local artists. The concerts are all-ages and for those 21+, there’s also a beer garden, thanks to a partnership with Redhook. Plus, Seattle Center Armory food merchants will be open for both food and beverages.

Here’s the 2016 concert lineup – * denotes headliners:

SpaceNeedle with Mural AmphitheatreFriday, August 5th
The Thermals*
Acapulco Lips
Mommy Long Legs

Friday, August 12th
Naked Giants
Bread & Butter

Friday, August 19th
The Mynabirds*
Radiation City

Friday, August 26th
Special Guests*
Kyle Craft
Industrial Revelation

Please note that seating is on a first-come basis. You can bring folding chairs and blankets, but leave large coolers/ice chests, umbrellas, pets, video and audio recorders at home.

Enjoy the summer with free live music on Fridays and free movies on Saturdays, all at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre!

Free movies at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre start this Saturday

Movies at the MuralA summer favorite returns this weekend, with Movies at the Mural turning the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre into an outdoor cinema for summer Saturdays through August 27th. The free fun kicks off with a Princess Bride Quote-Along on Saturday, July 30th.

As always, this year’s summer series features popular movies, many appropriate for all-ages. Bring your low back chairs, blankets, or bean bags and set up a spot to soak in the summer Saturday evenings. Seating is first-come, first-serve, with movies starting at dusk (around 9pm). Picnics are welcome, and Armory vendors will be open to sell their wares for movie-goers.

Here’s the roster for the summer:

July 30: The Princess Bride Quote-Along
Rated PG
This beloved 1980s classic blends comedy, adventure, romance and fantasy.  Follow peasant farmhand Westley as he battles three bumbling outlaws and a nefarious prince to win the hand of his one true love, a young woman named Buttercup.  This special Quote-Along edition is brought to you in partnership with SIFF.

August 6: Mad Max: Fury Road
Rated R
The desert wastelands inhabited by the Road Warrior are still rife with motorized gangs in this fourth chapter of the Mad Max legend. When Max encounters a group of refugees fleeing for their lives, he joins them and their fiery leader, Furiosa in this apocalyptic story set in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and everyone is fighting for the necessities of life.

August 13: Galaxy Quest
Rated PG
Decades after the success of the sci-fi series “Galaxy Quest,” the show’s washed-up stars – Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver) and Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) — are recruited by actual aliens to pull off an intergalactic rescue mission. At first, the actors assume the so-called Thermians are just another group of die-hard fans. But as the plot thickens, they realize they’re working with real-life extraterrestrials.

August 20: West Side Story
Not Rated
Winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, this classic musical set among the tenements of New York City finds star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony caught in the midst of a turf war between rival street gangs.  Featuring music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim, and directed by Jerome Robbins.

August 27: Life of Pi
Rated PG
Based on Yann Martel’s best-selling novel, this coming-of-age tale recounts the adventures of Pi, an Indian boy who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. While cast away, Pi is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery as he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Rock’n’Roll Marathon means road closures this Saturday

The annual Rock’n’Roll Marathon is this Saturday, June 18th, with a race start at the Seattle Center. That means early morning crowds at the Seattle Center and on surrounding streets. Plus, plenty of street closures to be aware of if you need to leave Queen Anne. Good news? The race ends at CenturyLink Field this year, not the Seattle Center.

SDOT advises drivers to stay off local roads early Saturday morning due to detours and associated delays. In addition to the crowds and detours on Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, all northbound lanes of 99 through downtown (the Viaduct) will be closed from 5am to 9:45am, along with several I5 and I90 on- and off-ramps.

Here are the details from SDOT, with a race map below:

SR 99 closure details

  • Northbound SR 99 from South Hudson Street to Roy Street.

I-5 ramp closures

  • The northbound and southbound I-5 off-ramps to South Dearborn Avenue.
  • The South Dearborn Avenue on-ramps to northbound and southbound I-5.

I-90 ramp closures

  • The eastbound and westbound I-90 off-ramps to Rainier Avenue South.
  • The southbound Rainier Avenue South on-ramp to eastbound I-90.

I-90 express lanes closure details

  • The I-90 express lanes will close at 3 a.m. The lanes will open westbound by 2:30 p.m.

A full list of road closures is provided in a tabular format here.

Free summer fitness classes return to Seattle Center starting June 21

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.07.45 PMThe popular free Summer Fitness program at Seattle Center returns this year with 3 options for health seekers. In addition to classes for Zumba and Gentle Yoga, a third class from CorePower Yoga has been added to the roster. All of the classes are free and open to all.

Zumba classes begin June 21 and two different yoga classes – one at lunchtime, the other in the early evening – begin June 22.

Here are the details on each class – these are popular, so plan on arriving a bit early:

Zumba with Bonnie Wang
Tuesdays: 6pm – 7pm
June 21 – August 23, 2016
Next 50 Plaza

Zumba is all about the energy, the music, and having fun while doing something good for your body. Come join us for an adventurous journey around the world through exhilarating Latin music, World Rhythms, West African, belly dance, dance hall, pop, classic rock, you name it. The result – a workout full of high energy, easy to follow choreography, and FUN!   It will get your heart pumping, get you sweaty, and put a big smile on your face. Everyone is welcome. No dance experience is required. Please bring plenty of water and wear comfortable sneakers.

Gentle Yoga with Terri Dyer
Wednesdays: 11:30am – 12:30pm
June 22 – August 24, 2016
Exhibition Hall Lawn

Gentle Yoga is a class for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level. Gently stretch your body, and breathe your stress away while having fun. This class will focus on fluid movements to increase range of motion and increase joint and muscle flexibility. Beginners will learn the basics of Hatha Yoga, which is the physical practice, and all will have an opportunity to feel challenged. Please bring your own yoga mat.

Evening Yoga with CorePower Yoga
Wednesdays: 6pm this Summer
June 22nd – August 24th, 2016

Exhibition Hall Lawn Seattle Center Community Created Events and CorePower Yoga are teaming up to bring you a free evening yoga class after work on the Exhibition Hall Lawn. Ditch your heels and loafers and bring your yoga mat!

Whirligig! returns to Seattle Center tomorrow through April 17th

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.57.10 PMThe perennial Whiligig! returns to Seattle Center’s Armory tomorrow, Friday, April 1st. The collection of super-sized inflatable rides for kids will take over the Armory for just over two weeks, concluding its run on Sunday, April 17th.

The Armory will transform into a kid-sized entertainment center, with the aforementioned rides plus balloon artists, face painters, and caricaturists. And, the Armory restaurants will all be open during the Whiligig! festivities.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 6.59.21 PMThe rides are designed for those 12 years of age and under, and a Toddler Zone will also be on hand for the littlest kiddos. Tickets are $8 for All Day Main Floor Passes, $4.50 for All Day Toddler Passes, and $1.50 for single ride tickets.

Whirligig! runs Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 17, at the Seattle Center Armory, 11am – 6pm each day. Thursdays are FREE!

Free Zumba and Gentle Yoga classes at Seattle Center start this month

Armory SignThe free Summer Zumba and yoga classes at the Seattle Center have always been popular, with some classes held outside as people celebrate summer weather. Now, to help shed the winter blahs and help with New Year’s resolutions, the Seattle Center is offering these free classes again as part of its Winter Fitness program.

The classes are free and open to all ages and all abilities, and they’ll be held every Wednesday evening, January 20th through March 3oth, in the Seattle Center Armory building.

Here are the details:

Zumba Fitness: 6pm-7pm
Offers participants an adventurous journey around the world through exhilarating Latin music, World Rhythms, West African, belly dance, dance hall, pop, classic rock and more. The result – a workout full of high energy, easy to follow choreography and fun!  Everyone is welcome. No dance experience is required. Participants are encouraged to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable sneakers.

Gentle Yoga:  7:30pm-8:30pm
Offers something for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level. Stretch your body, and breathe your stress away. The weekly classes focus on fluid movements to increase range of motion and increase joint and muscle flexibility. Beginners will learn the basics of Hatha Yoga, and all will enjoy a strengthening workout. Please bring your own yoga mat.

For more information on Winter Fitness and other Seattle Center programming, visitSeattle Center or call 206 684.7200.

Traffic Alert: Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Seattle Marathon will impact traffic this weekend

Two traffic alerts for today and tomorrow – Trans-Siberian Orchestra is at Key Arena today, Saturday, for performances at 4pm and 8pm. The city estimates 10,000 people will attend each of the shows (20,000 total), so expect traffic around Key Arena this afternoon and evening.

The bigger impact will likely be from the Seattle Marathon, which is tomorrow, Sunday, November 29th. The organizers cite the Seattle Marathon as the “largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest and one of the top ten largest in the US” – what does that mean? 15,000 participants + thousands of spectators, and road closures around the Seattle Center, where the race starts and finishes.

The race map with street closures is below. For some reason, the Seattle Marathon organizers have once again decided to produce a West-oriented map, instead of the standard North-oriented view. So, it may look a bit odd, but note that 5th Ave near the Seattle Center will be closed 5:30am-9am, and one side of Mercer will be closed 8:45am-4pm.

Click the map for a larger image:

And, just to make things a bit more complicated, traffic-wise, the Seahawks are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at CenturyLink tomorrow (Sunday), with kickoff at 1:25pm.