Boat Parade!

July 4, 1917 marked the official opening of the Ballard Locks. On that day the SS Roosevelt passed through the Locks and led a marine parade of commercial and pleasure craft through the Ship Canal to Lake Union and Lake Washington.

On July 9, 2017, we will commemorate this historic event by re-creating that parade. The historic schooner Adventuress will pass through the locks and lead a marine parade of historic vessels from Salmon Bay into Lake Union as far as Lake Union Park.

10:00 a.m. Activities begin at 10 a.m., leading up to the Adventuress transiting the Locks west to east. The Adventuress, standing in for the SS Roosevelt – the first large ocean-going vessel to transit the Locks west to east – will enter the large lock at approximately 10:15 am.

11:00 a.m. As the Adventuress enters the Ship Canal at the east end of the Locks passage, she will be joined by vessels of all types and sizes, including two – Glory Be and Keewaydin (the former Honey Boy) – that were in the first Locks boat parade. There will be an estimated 50 registered boats in the parade.

12:00 p.m. The parade will end at South Lake Union at approximately noon, where the Adventuress will be moored at the north wall at Lake Union Park. There will be docent historians and printed information at several official viewing spots.

New parade information will be announced via the Facebook event page: Facebook event page

Look for members of the Ballard Historical Society creating a living diorama at the Ballard Locks from 10:00 – 2:00 on parade day! Members will be in costumes that might have been worn 100 years ago.

Viewing spots

Suggested viewing spots for the parade are as follows:

Seattle Parks:
11th Ave NW Street-end park (on the Ballard side of the Ship Canal)
Roanoke St. Mini-Park, 1 E. Roanoke St., peek-a-boo view of Lake Union
Lynn St. Mini-Park, 2291 Fairview Ave E; view of Lake Union between the houseboats
Lake Union Park, south end of Lake Union

Other locations:
Evanston Avenue (one block west of Fremont Ave)
Along the Fremont Cut between the area under the Aurora Bridge west to 2nd NW
Burke-Gilman Trail (various spots); roaming docents
In front of 2 Nickerson on the canal
The Ballard Bridge approaches

Note that Gasworks Park will be closed for a private event (See Jane Run Marathon).

On-street parking is available near most of these locations but we strongly recommend arriving on foot, by public transportation or by bicycle. Most marinas with a view of the Ship Canal or Lake Union have locked gates with entry available only to their tenants, we ask you please respect those.

These events are free and open to the public, all ages welcome.

For more information contact

Call for Boats!

Join The Parade!
The Centennial Boat Parade Committee seeks boats of all types for a reenactment Boat Parade on Sunday, July 9, 2017!

We are seeking vessels of all types to replicate the original parade of July 4, 1917, including private yachts, government vessels, Native American and working boats of all sizes.

The opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal was of great significance to yachtsman and commercial enterprises. This will be a striking reenactment of the boat parade that took place at the dedication of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and cap of a year of activities and events commemorating the centennial of the Locks.

The selected vessels will gather at 10 a.m. in Salmon Bay and follow the lead vessel through the Fremont canal and into Lake Union to a review point.

A limited number of positions are available to be a part of this historic parade.

Applications are due by April 17 and will be judged by era, builder and historical significance. Final determination will be made by May 1st. To apply, please fill out the attached form and forward to Lake Washington Ship Canal Parade Application

Boat Parade flier

More on the Boat Parade here.

Where are they now? The boats of the Boat Parade

roosevelt-clippingOn July 4, 1917 the Government Locks were officially dedicated and the event was marked by a great celebration highlighted by a parade of some 200 vessels led by the Roosevelt. Many local yacht clubs participated in the days’ festivities and some of the boats taking part in the display are still sailing, some in local waters.

With the centennial of the Locks coming up in 2017, the Friends of the Ballard Locks decided to search for those 1917 parade participants. They began with an article from the Seattle Daily Times which listed the 83 boats which passed in review before the Roosevelt while she was moored in Lake Washington. Documents from the Queen City Yacht Club added the names of their members’ vessels which took part in the parade. queen-city-yacht-club-roster

Two of the parade boats are still in the area, the Honey Boy and the Glorybe. The Zina, tragically, was destroyed in a fire several years ago; she had participated in previous anniversary celebrations of the Ship Canal and came just short of reaching the centennial.boat-d

The group has uncovered when many of the boats were built, where they were built, 1917 ownership, etc. but their current whereabouts is elusive. With help from the public, they hope to locate others which were part of the 1917 festivities so they can be acknowledged for their historic significance during the Centennial in 2017.

A list of all known boats from the day is on our blog

If you have any information about these boats or would like to chat about what we have found so far, please contact Susan.