This weekend, the Emerald City is going festival bonkers! For starters, we have a popular summertime festival in the Junction, a wild and wacky competition on the lake, and a cultural celebration with loads of entertainment. We also have a three-day event with a fave blue train, a festival with tons of family activities, and a magical celebration in the park. If you’ve got a little firefighter wannabe, you don’t want to miss the Pioneer Square Fire Festival. See antique and classic fire engines and vintage police cars, pan for gold, say “hi” to Smokey, and take a tour of the fire and police museums.

Day out with Thomas

Seattle

West Seattle Summer Fest
The biggest party of the year hits the streets of West Seattle this weekend. During this three-day festival, enjoy tons of vendor booths, arts and crafts, live music, local grub, beer gardens, and a fab kids’ area with games and inflatables. Fri. & Sat., 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sun., 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Seafair Milk Carton Derby
At this wildly popular event, watch as nearly 100 milk carton boats race to the finish line or sink trying. In addition to this entertaining competition, there will be lots of interactive displays and exhibits on shore as well as photo opps with the Seafair clowns and princesses, food booths, and lots of activities for the kiddies. Sat., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Chinatown International District Dragon Fest
This super-fun festival has a little something for everyone. Expect to find lion and dragon dances, rhythmical Japanese taiko drumming, Chinese martial arts demonstrations, and Asian drill teams plus a large-scale outdoor Asian market. Sat., 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm; Sun., 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Seattle. Free. All ages. Event details.

Eastside

Day out with Thomas  (pictured)
Calling all Thomas the Train fans. Take a 25-minute train ride with a full size Thomas the Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, enjoy live storytelling and music, and enjoy lots of hands-on activities with Thomas and his friends. Fri.-Sun., 9:00 am – 5:30 pm (also July 19-21). Snoqualmie. $21/person (under 2 free). Tickets required. All ages. Event details.

Redmond Derby Days
This summer extravaganza will feature tons of family fun. Enjoy an outdoor movie, live entertainment (including kindie fave Recess Monkey), an awesome carnival with bouncy houses and games, arts and crafts and delish food. Insider Tip: Be sure to grab a curbside seat on Saturday morning to watch the Kids Parade and Grand Parade and stick around for the fireworks finale on Saturday evening. Fri., 5:00 pm – 12:00 am; Sat., 9:00 am – 11:00 pm. Redmond. Free. All ages. Event details.

Mercer Island Summer Celebration!
This annual family festival (with a magical twist this year!) will include everything from live entertainment, a children’s fun zone, and a car show to an arts and crafts fair, a family fun run and a spectacular fireworks show. Sat., 11:00 am – 12:00 am; Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Mercer Island. Free. All ages. Event details.

Which festivals are you going to hit this weekend? Do you have a favorite? Let us know in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy

Photo credit: Northwest Railway Museum