It is the U District’s favorite time of the year! Street Fair!! This year we shared a booth with U District Partnership, the organization responsible for planning the whole event. We even got to showcase our exciting new Wayfinding cart at the event.
This year the U District Street Fair celebrated 50 years, which is no small feat for such a large operation. Approximately 50,000 people attended Street Fair this year and got to enjoy the treats and treasures of 260 vendors! We were so lucky that the first day of this two-day event started with beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures. Sunday started off a little cooler, but the sun came out later in the day to keep everyone at the Fair warm and happy.
It was almost impossible for us not to stop at every food vendor because everything looked and smelled so delicious. Ultimately, we ordered the beef sambuus from Kenyan Kitchen. Talk about delicious! Seeing folks from so many different neighborhoods swinging through Street Fair got us thinking about how critical transportation is in hosting events like Street Fair. With the new light rail station opening up only one block away from the Ave in 2021, we were eager to connect with Chase Landrey, Community Engagement Coordinator at the U District Partnership and mastermind behind the U District Street Fair.
We started by asking him about the impact the new light rail station opening in the U District in 2021 will have on the Street Fair. Landrey said, “I think it will be great. It will make it even easier for people to come to Street Fair from all across the region. It can be hard to access these events with big families, and transit helps to make it easier so families don’t have to worry about access issues like parking. The new light rail station will make it easier for people of all backgrounds and economic statuses to make it to our free event.” We couldn’t have said it better, Chase!
Chase also mentioned that one of his favorite parts about Street Fair is the community that has grown between and around the vendors and visitors that return every year. It sounds like the new light rail opening will be an incredible way to expand that community and continue building that sense of connection within the U District and the region.
While U District Let’s Go programming will have sunsetted by next year’s Street Fair, we are looking at fun and exciting ways that the U District Partnership can continue the work we have done in connecting individuals and business to transportation access resources in the U District. With the new light rail station opening soon, the U District Partnership has seen the importance of being able to support folks getting around the U District and using that opportunity to continue building community. Stay tuned to see how they’ll do it!