Umoja Fest Parade set for Aug 1; Central Area travelers should plan for extra travel time

This weekend, the annual Umoja Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade will take place in the Central Area. The parade will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1 and will follow a new route to bypass a construction zone on 23rd Avenue before ending at the festival grounds in Judkins Park. The parade route, including sections of 23rd Avenue, East Cherry Street, Martin Luther King Jr Way, South Jackson Street, and South Norman Street, will be closed to traffic. Travelers in the area should plan extra travel time, follow signed parade detour routes and avoid cutting through neighborhood streets.

Parade and traffic details

The parade route will be closed to traffic between approximately 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 1. The parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. During this time, travelers can expect the following changes:

  • The following roads will be closed for the parade route: 23rd Avenue between East Union and East Cherry Streets; East Cherry Street from 23rd Avenue to Martin Luther King Junior Way; Martin Luther King Way from East Cherry Street to South Jackson Street; South Jackson Street from Martin Luther King Junior Way to 23rd Avenue South; 23rd Avenue South from South Jackson Street to South Norman Street.
  • To drive around the closure, follow the event detour via Rainier Avenue South to 12th Avenue to East Union Street.
  • Southbound travel on 23rd Avenue between East Cherry and South Jackson streets will be open to local access only and reduced to one lane; northbound 23rd Avenue will remain closed due to construction.
  • For information about bus service, look for Rider Alert notices at bus stops, see Metro Online,, or call 206-553-3000.
  • Flaggers and uniformed police officers will be stationed at key locations along the parade route and the detour route to help manage traffic and assist pedestrians.
  • Pedestrian access will be maintained and all businesses will remain open and accessible. Customers can continue to access businesses by car, by driving into the local access areas, or on foot.┬áThe 23rd Avenue Promenade shopping center can be accessed via South King Street from Martin Luther King Jr Way as well as 24th Avenue coming from East Yesler Way or South Main Street.On June 8 of this year, the Seattle Department of Transportation started construction to rebuild 23rd Avenue. Construction marks the start of a larger set of investments to improve safety and mobility for people who drive, walk, bike and take transit in the area. The 20-month construction project extends between South Jackson and East John streets, split into three zones to minimize the impacts on businesses, residents and the traveling public.

Please visit the Umoja Fest website for more event information and to view parade route and detour maps at

For more information about the 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements Project, visit