Its arts and crafts fair time in downtown Bellevue. This weekend celebrates the 71st annual BAM ARTSfair, the largest arts event in the Northwest. This much anticipated event, with outdoor exhibits and events throughout Bellevue Square and the art museum, includes art exhibits, music, KIDSfair, a Sound and Movement Stage, BAMboozle Stage, Chalk It Up, food trucks and more.
I love this time of year (second only to Snowflake Lane). Starting Thursday afternoon exhibitors will que up for check-in and start setting up their booths, the main level of Bellevue Square’s west parking garage will close to traffic and hotels and restaurants will be filled with artists, exhibitors and visitors. The fair literally takes over downtown for three days and no doubt moving around, either as a pedestrian or driver, will be challenging, and local restaurants and bars will be crowded – but its only for 3 days. This is the largest and most well regarded juried arts event in the Northwest and yes, it will be a bit of a hassle, but it’s an honor to have an event of this caliber in our city.
Don’t miss the the other arts events this weekend – Bellevue is also hosting the Bellevue Festival of the Arts, located across the street from Bellevue Square at the Cost Plus World Market shopping area and the 6th Street Fair with exhibits along the Pedestrian Corridor and 106th Avenue NE.
Today is the grand opening celebration for Bellevue’s Downtown Park. Closed for the past year to complete a major renovation, the park will open just in time for the July 4th celebration and fireworks.
For nearly 30 years the popular park has existed with an incomplete circular promenade and canal. During the last year work has been completed to create a grand entryway, water feature and terraced seating at the south end of the park, enhanced lighting and landscaping throughout the park and a new Inspiration Playground designed for children of all ages and abilities which was made possible through a partnership with the Rotary Club of Bellevue.
Events include a ribbon-cutting with city officials, live music, including the Seahawks Blue Thunder band, food trucks and more. Free parking is available at Bellevue High School with shuttle service to and from the park.
Its going to be a beautiful afternoon. Get out and enjoy the park.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend marks the beginning of summer and outdoor activities. After the brutal winter and spring weather, any opportunity for outdoor activity will be welcome. While many people have holiday plans to visit ocean or mountain destinations, don’t forget there’s a lot to do in town. If you’re looking for some local activities here’s a partial list of what’s available in Bellevue.
With nearly 100 parks and recreation facilities, Bellevue offers plenty of green space. The city maintains 96 miles of trails and six beachfront parks.
Bellevue Aquatic Center has a lap pool, warm water pool and party room
Robinswood Tennis center offers programs and lessons for all ages
Crossroads water spray playground is a favorite destination for the younger set
Explore the lake – the SE 40th Street boat launch provides boat access to Lake Washington
Tune up your golf game – the Crossroads 9 hole/par 3 chip and putt course is great for beginners and the Bellevue Golf Course offers a more challenging 18 hole/par 7 course plus a 46 stall driving range
Visit the Mercer Slough – take a guided nature walk or canoe tour
Bellevue Botanical Gardens has 17 acres of display gardens, natural wetlands and woodland trails
Bellevue Arts Museum – visiting and permanent exhibits cover a wide range of arts and crafts and design elements
Shop til you drop at Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square, Old Main Street or The Bravern. You’ll find world class shopping, dozens and dozens of fine and casual dining options offering indoor and patio opportunities for lunch, dinner sweets, snacks and libations, cinemas, comedy and bowling.
There’s no need to leave town to find something fun and interesting to do during the next 3 days – just make it a safe holiday weekend.
A sure sign of spring – this Thursday, May 18th, is opening day for the Bellevue Farmers Market. Back at its familiar location, vendors will be setting up in the parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church (1717 Bellevue Way NE just north of downtown) with ample parking available. The market will be open every Thursday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, rain or shine, from May 18th through October 12th. (Pets are not permitted except service animals.)
Windermere Real Estate
A proud sponsor of the Bellevue Farmers Market since 2004.