It’s pretty easy to tell when summer has come to Bellevue, Washington. The sun is shining, and that means you will find the outdoors-loving Pacific Northwest inhabitant outside soaking up the vitamin D in a constant state of activity until sometime in late September. While we love the many holidays throughout the year, there’s something about the long lazy days and luscious greenery of summer around here that calls for celebration. That’s why in any given summer month you will find festival after fair after festival in and around Bellevue.
The choices of things to do and see can be overwhelming, so here is a shortlist of Bellevue summer festivals we love, along with an insider tip we’d add to your bucket list.
JUNE 25-26: The Bellevue Strawberry Festival – Crossroads Park [Free]
The Strawberry Festival is a beloved local tradition. This family-friendly weekend festival celebrates Bellevue’s agricultural roots as well as its diverse cultural past, present and future. The festivities include hands-on history experiences, food vendors, a classic car show, inflatable bounce houses, pony rides, live entertainment and more!
Don’t miss: participating in a strawberry shortcake eating contest! Join the fun and devour a bowl of delicious fresh strawberry shortcake as fast as you can and you just might win a prize!
JULY 4: Bellevue Family Fourth – Bellevue Downtown Park [Free]
Bring family and friends to the beautiful Bellevue Downtown Park to celebrate America’s Independence Day in a big way! This year marks the 25th anniversary of Bellevue Family Fourth, the largest 4th of July celebration in the region. Join the fun, food, games, live music, and be prepared for a stunning fireworks display.
Don’t miss: the fireworks show at approximately 9:30 – 9:45 pm in the evening! Pro tips: Bring a few extra sweaters and blankets to get cozy pre-fireworks. If you have a camera handy, set the ISO to 50 or 100 and slow down the shutter speed to 2-3 seconds or longer to catch those fireworks in motion!
JULY 29-31: Bellevue Arts Fair – Downtown Bellevue [Free]
Art and crafts lovers, you don’t want to miss this one! Local artists show and sell their work in a three day extravaganza all over downtown. Technically, Bellevue Arts Fair is a combination of three arts fairs that cover the city with all sorts of vendors and activities in all colors, textiles, and patterns.
Don’t miss: fueling up at the kettle corn stand before seeing how many sidewalk chalk artist you can find at the festival! Take a look at the many vendors selling wearables as well for a unique piece of jewelry or clothing to add to your wardrobe.
AUGUST 5-7: Seafair Weekend – Genesee Park [Tickets starting at $10]
There’s a familiar phrase you’ll hear the locals proclaim as August approaches, “The Blue Angels are coming!” Soon after, the sound of soaring jets fills the air as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels come to town for a weekend of aerobatic demonstrations in the sky while the world’s fastest powerboats race on Lake Washington. Get your tickets to Seafair Weekend and stake out a spot at Genesee Park to enjoy the show up close. Activities at the park include food vendors, booths, kids interactive activities, live bands, and more Pacific Northwest waterfront fun!
Don’t miss: getting a glimpse of the Blue Angels from our local parks here in Bellevue, especially if you’d rather avoid the larger crowds. You can dine in downtown Bellevue (or pack a picnic) and visit Medina Beach Park or the new Evergreen Point Park & Ride that weekend for a more peaceful afternoon watching the Blue Angels soar overhead.
AUGUST 20: Taste of Main – Main Street, Bellevue [Tickets starting at $15]
Buy a “passport” to Taste of Main and spend the day sauntering through Bellevue’s historic Main Street District tasting hors d’oeuvres from local chef-owned restaurants, local wines, spirits, chocolates and more! Not only will you try the best of Bellevue’s food and wine, you’ll also be supporting local children’s charities while you’re at it!
Don’t miss: discovering other local gems and boutiques on Main Street. While the opportunities to taste food and wine are endless, there are also independent designer shops like Jarbo and La Ree Boutique, cooking classes at Whisk, and many other local shops to explore.
Written by – Rachel Burch
Photo Credits – Top to Bottom: Bellevue Arts Fair via Bellevue Arts Museum, Strawberry Shortcake via Eastside Heritage Center, Bellevue Family Fourth via Bellevue Parks & Community Services/Colin Walker, Sidewalk Chalk Artist via Bellevue Arts Museum, Seafair Boats via Rod Mar, Taste of Main via Detlef Schrempf Foundation