The 2023 Opening Day of Seattle’s boating season is upon us!
Technically Seattle’s boating season is open year-round, but Opening Day celebrates the busy spring/summer season. There are two events happening at Montlake Cut this weekend. There is the ticketed Party on the Cut event on Friday, May 5 and the free Opening Day festivities on Saturday, May 6. Both events take place rain or shine.
Read on for all the details!
The first event is Party on the Cut from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5. This event is for ages 21 and up. There will be food trucks, live music, drink tents, and twilight sprints (a preview of the following day’s races). You can buy tickets for $30 and see more info on the Windermere Cup website.
The main event is Opening Day on Saturday, May 6. This event is family-friendly and free for all to attend. You can bring a blanket and have a picnic on the shoreline while watching the Windermere Cup crew races and the boat parade.
Every May on the first Saturday of the month, the Montlake Bridge is raised at noon and the Opening Day boat parade begins. Opening Day is a storied maritime tradition in Seattle that possibly dates back to 1913. According to the Seattle Yacht Club:
Opening Day offers some outstanding photo and story opportunities. You’ll not find anything like it in the U.S. or, to our knowledge, in the world. The only thing comparable is an annual parade of commercial vessels in Venice, Italy.
The theme for 2023 Opening Day is “Game On!” Participating boats will be decorated according to this theme. There are prizes awarded in several categories for the best-decorated boats.
Here is Saturday’s schedule:
- 9:30 a.m.: the Montlake Cut is closed to all boat traffic
- 10:15: a.m.: Crew races begin
- Noon: The boat parade commences
- 3:00 p.m.: Approximate end of the parade
- 4:00 p.m.: Montlake Cut reopens to traffic
- 6:00 p.m.: Trophy presentation and closing ceremony
You can find more information such as a map of the boat parade, parking info, and more on the Seattle Yacht Club website.
Party on the Cut
When: Friday, May 5, 2023
Where: Montlake Cut
2023 Opening Day in Seattle
When: Saturday, May 6, 2023
Where: Montlake Cut