As Part of Downtown Recovery Effort, City of Seattle to Host Welcome Back Weeks, with Large-Scale Events in the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake
Welcome Back Weeks to Include Concerts Featuring Seattle Artists, Sidewalk Sales, Food Trucks and ‘Halloween in July’ Celebration
SEATTLE (June 30, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) today announced the slate of events and promotions that will take place as part of the Welcome Back Weeks occurring from July 12 – 26 in downtown Seattle. Welcome Back Weeks are part of the City’s downtown recovery effort, with the goal of bringing workers, small businesses, and visitors back downtown. Welcome Back Weeks will feature promotions across downtown neighborhoods, but large-scale events will take place in the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake. Details on all events can be found at seattle.gov/COVIDrecovery. All three large-scale events will include vaccine pop-ups from the Seattle Fire Department, with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer available.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an immense toll on every aspect of our lives. Because of our incredible success on vaccinations as a city and state, we’re able to fully reopen, and we can finally be together again as a community,” said Mayor Durkan. “As a city, it’s time to turn our collective attention to recovery, and ensure we build our neighborhoods back better, more just, and more equitable. As part of this effort, the City and our partners are ready to welcome you back downtown, and to welcome back our artists, small businesses, and our ability to be together. I hope you’ll participate in our Welcome Back Week events. Bring your friends, family, and neighbors, and enjoy our beautiful Seattle summers and everything our local artists, small businesses, and community organizations have to offer!”
“As we welcome more workers, Seattleites and out-of-town visitors back to the heart of the city we want to ensure they’re having the best possible experience,” said DSA President & CEO Jon Scholes. “Our ambassadors are working hard to make sure downtown is clean and inviting. We’re bringing more events and attractions to our downtown parks and public spaces during the Welcome Back Weeks. Our arts & cultural institutions, restaurants and retailers have had a grueling 16 months. We need to harness the momentum of our state reopening and pull these small businesses through to recovery.”
During the first week of July Welcome Back Weeks, DSA/MID is hosting tented booths in various locations downtown. Booths will feature music, giveaways and friendly staff who can answer questions about what’s open, what’s changed and even offer updates on commuting options.
DSA/MID will also offer a wide variety of programming and events during the Welcome Back Weeks, as well as all summer long, for everyone to enjoy. From outdoor concerts to happy hours in the parks, urban hikes to scavenger hunts, countless family-friendly activities and more.
The first large-scale Welcome Back Week event will take place at Hing Hay Park in the Chinatown-International District, on July 17 and 18. The two-day event will be a celebration of local food and culture, and will feature community martial arts demonstrations, cultural performances, and lion dances. The Hing Hay Park Welcome Back event will also feature live performances by local artists Hollis, Chong the Nomad, Evan Flory Barnes, Totem Star, Bleachbear, Chrysalis Circus, Massive Monkees, and more.
“Chinatown-International District and many BIPOC communities have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the last 18 months, the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) has shifted our work to provide direct support to local and small businesses, enabling them to stay in the neighborhood,” said Monisha Singh, Executive Director of the CIDBIA. “As the city moves forward with reopening and recovery, it is critical that we continue to support and celebrate this historic district. CIDBIA is excited to support the City’s activation of Hing Hay Park during Welcome Back Weeks, in addition to CIDBIA’s Food Walk series through the summer, and C-ID Night Market in the fall.”
“We are excited that Seattle’s re-opening events are kicking off in Hing Hay Park. The CID community has been resilient this past year, and we are a community that loves to gather. We are excited to reach this major milestone, have community celebrate it, and welcome visitors to join us,” said Maiko Winkler-Chin, Executive Director of SCIDpda.
The second large-scale Welcome Back Week event will take place Saturday, July 24 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Occidental Square, and will feature an outdoor concert with local artists Shaina Shepherd, Shenandoah Davis, and The Black Tones performing. Path with Art will showcase their ‘Found Fashion’ project, and Party Hat Gallery will provide free screen printing.
“Pioneer Square businesses and attractions have pulled through the pandemic with creativity and resilience. Whether it's a quick stop before a game, a much overdue happy hour or a subterranean tour, Pioneer Square is ready to welcome you back. We look forward to Welcome Back Weeks and the opportunity for visitors to enjoy Pioneer Square's vibrant marketplace this summer,” said Lisa Howard, Executive Director of the Alliance for Pioneer Square.
The final large-scale Welcome Back Week event will take place Sunday, July 25 from 12 – 8 p.m. at Westlake Park, and will feature family-friendly programming including a “Halloween in July” event where families can dress up in costume, trick-or-treat at vendors and stores across Westlake Park and Pacific Place, and finally celebrate Halloween. There will also be a costume contest, free face painting, and dance workshops. The Westlake Park event will also include sidewalk sales featuring downtown small retailers, and live performances by El Vez, Teatro Zinzanni, SANCA’s Circus Circus, and Lelavision. At 7 p.m. there will be a ‘Secret Sunset’ concert. On July 25, both the Sounders and Mariners will have home games.
"The pandemic has provided a powerful reminder of why it's important for all of us to Spend Like It Matters in support of the Main Street small businesses at the heart of our communities," said Intentionalist CEO, Laura Clise. "As the most comprehensive online directory and guide to Greater Seattle businesses owned by women, people of color, veterans, and members of the LGBTQ community, we are excited to help elevate, celebrate, and support diverse small businesses including Piroshki on 3rd, Fulcrum Cafe, and Jerk Shack as a part of Welcome Back Weeks through a variety of resources and promotions including: hosted Intentional Tabs that offer community members a free treat; a dedicated landing page that makes it easy to discover and learn about the diverse people behind small businesses throughout Downtown Seattle; incentives to upload receipts from Downtown Seattle small businesses for the chance to win gift certificates that support additional intentional spending."
Featured in Seattle's Welcome Back Weeks, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s new Created Commons initiative transforms outdoor spaces across Seattle into venues for spectacular temporary arts and cultural extravaganzas. Welcome Back Weeks are a key element of the City’s Road to Downtown Recovery plan, which seeks to bring workers, small businesses, and visitors back downtown. You can find more information on the City’s downtown recovery efforts at seattle.gov/COVIDrecovery.