Seattle? Weird? The home of pocket protectors and black, horn rimmed glasses? Well, yes. Don’t forget this is the very same Seattle that produced Jimi Hendrix, the Grunge movement and Kurt Cobain. Sure, there are enough geeks to fill the busses every morning on the way to Redmond but there are still plenty of ex Hippies and apathetic, flannel clad guitar players to keep Seattle interesting. Welcome to Weird Seattle.
Judging by the number of tours, Seattle is up to its armpits in ghosts. The Underground is full of them, Pikes Place Market is apparently home to many. Then there is Capital Hill which not only has ghosts around every corner, not to mention street people, but an entire theater rift with spirits where you can participate in a séance. So, pick your poison and sign up for one of the many tours in pretty much any part of town you happen to be in.
Sure, sure, every town has nude bicyclists but only at the Fremont Solstice Parade do you have hundreds of nude bicyclists but also zombies, Moon Drunk Bunnies, Superhuggers and hula hoop dancers. It’s all free, it’s all volunteer and anyone crazy enough can participate in the proceedings in an attempt to “correct the misaligned placement of the arrow connecting Fremont to the Center of the Universe”. Tie dye is the appropriate attire and after the parade everyone convenes to Gasworks Park and parties what’s left of their brains out.
Wrong again San Fran! You may have Teatro Zinzanni but it was created in Seattle in 1998! Like dinner theater? Well, this isn’t it, although they do serve a tasty meal designed by celeb chef Tom Douglas. A circus? Kinda, if the circus could sing, dance and was on acid. There is no way to really describe the experience except to say it is entirely unique. You are very likely to become part of the show and you will not only have a great five course dinner but be highly entertained.
Try as they might no other city can beat Seattle in the weirdness department when it comes to Hempfest. A bunch of pot heads hanging out in a park for three days getting contact highs from one another? Pretty much. Held in August at Myrtle Edwards Park on the Seattle waterfront this event features music, lots and lots of speakers, booths selling who knows what and a political agenda that promotes the lowly Cannabis plant for its industrial, agricultural, environmental and, oh yes, medicinal uses. Tie dye is once again the proper attire.
Sure, you can come to Seattle and do the normal tourist things like the Market and the Space Needle. Or you can come and participate in the weirder side of Seattle and chase a ghost, go naked, become a circus act, or just get high walking through the park. Oh yes, we have weird in Seattle, just don’t forget your laptop!
What & Where:
Haunted Happenings (www.privateeyetours.com)
Spooked in Seattle (www.spookedinseattle.com)
Capitol Hill Ghost Tours (www.seattlechatclub.org)
Market Ghost Tours (www.seattleghost.com)
Fremont Solstice Parade (www.fremontfair.org)
Teatro Zinzanni (www.dreams.zinzanni.org
Marion L. Head is an educator and freelance writer who lives in Seattle, WA. Marion has published fiction in various anthologies and nonfiction on various websites. Marion is author of South Dakota: An Explorer’s Guide for Countryman Press.