Photo courtesy Ballard Seafood Festival
While no one's gonna stop you from chowing down on some superb oysters, salmon, scallops, and fish tacos at this weekend's Ballard SeafoodFest, there's more to the event than just aquatic edibles. The free festival held on July 12 and 13 provides an opportunity to get outside, listen to local bands, and experience Ballard's neighborhood community. Here are five parts of Ballard SeafoodFest that sound too good to pass up.


Bust out your ollies and kickflips (or bring your kids to do so) as the SeafoodFest introduces the first annual Ballard Skate FestiBowl. All ages are welcome at at the Ballard Commons on Saturday for a day of skating instruction, freestyle slalom skating, exhibitions, and a competition with prizes. Registration for clinics, lessons, and the contest begins at 3. There's also an open skate with music from C89.5 that starts at 7pm.


While you wolf down that slab of salmon, the local 13-member band Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supremes will perform their funk-filled set list on Saturday night from 8:30 to 10pm at the main stage. Truth be told, the group's probably here just to encourage everyone to dance off the discomfort of our overfull stomachs. Plus, if we're lucky (or if history is any indication), frontman Gravy will don some sort of ridiculous, gigantic hat.


The Seattle-based electropop band was recently granted Questlove's stamp of approval via Twitter. The Flavr Blue continue a jam packed summer of shows when it takes the main stage at 4 on Saturday for an hour long set. This won't be your last chance to see the band this summer, but it's a great opportunity to see it for free.


This will be the second year that Ballard BeerFest joins the SeafoodFest party. Only this time, they're moving closer to the main stage and adding even more local brews to the mix, including beers from Georgetown Brewing Company and Northwest Peaks Brewing. After the doors open at noon, a 14-ounce pour will cost you $5, and there is no admission fee. There's sure to be something good to pair with all the fishy bites.


Alright, we couldn't get through a whole post on SeafoodFest without one food-centric event. The annual Salmon Barbecue has been a tradition ever since the festival started in 1974, and it's pretty easy to guess why. Fresh Alaskan salmon is flown in special for the event, and the chefs use the same classic recipe that's been employed for all 40 years. For $12, attendees can feast on alder-smoked salmon, garlic bread, a helping of coleslaw, and a drink. We can almost taste it now.
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