West Seattle Summer Fest, an annual three-day festival in mid-July attracts more than 30,000 visitors from all over the Puget Sound representing the culturally, ethnically and socially diverse populations of the area. This year, I had the chance to experience it firsthand from PEMCO's booth, which was stationed in the middle of the action from July 10-12.
When I pulled up with fellow PEMCO Brand Ambassadors Anna Friedman and Suz Chen in the PEMCO 'WALLY1' van, we were excited about interacting with our West Seattle neighbors, giving them chances to win prizes from our prize wheel.
On Friday and Saturday, we were lucky to meet people from all walks of life and engage them in conversations about the Northwest. Beth, a longtime West Seattle resident gave the prize wheel a spin and explained that she loves PEMCO's 'We're A Lot Like You' campaign because '…it's like an inside joke for people who live in Washington. People outside the state just don't get it, and I love that,' she told us.
In true Northwest fashion, our festival was interrupted with a rain squall which temporarily pushed people off the streets and under cover. But even as the rain continued, a procession of brightly dressed and boisterous performers from the Filipino Youth Activity Drill Team coaxed people back out. The troup of kids from 7 to 14 years of age began performing, the streets again filled with appreciative fans, and when they finished the performance, the crowd showed its enthusiasm with loud applause, many people clapping while balancing umbrellas and raincoats. I was overwhelmed by the sight of hundreds of West Seattle residents and visitors showing their approval and appreciation for this group of young people celebrating their heritage.
Though the weekend ended a little wetter than how it began, I enjoyed the West Seattle Summer Fest and hope I can return next year. It meant a lot to me to be a part of the supportive community of artists, musicians, business owners, and cultural groups that make up West Seattle. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported this event — it's people like you who make events like this possible!