Thanks to everyone who recently attended the 14th Annual Capitol Hill Independence Day Community Picnic at Cal Anderson Park! Started in 2002 by an intrepid handful of neighbors, the event has grown over the years to include live music, free hot dogs, and fun booths and activities. This year’s event was enjoyed by over 700 people who came out on the cool and overcast day to enjoy the music of the Not-Its (a returning picnic favorite); Goodybagg and their rambunctious mix of funk, soul, rhythm and blues, and a touch of Prince; the Scary Monsters and the Super Creeps (a David Bowie tribute band from Bellingham); and the Supersones showcasing the roots of salsa music in its Cuban form of Son music. Monster Dogs, a local hot dog stand on E Pike at 11th Ave. E, provided the crowd with 500 free hot dogs, while local drag chanteuse Ms. Ryannah Doll lip synched her heart out.
With the short timeline for planning this year’s picnic, a very heartfelt thank you and acknowledgement is due to the community members who stepped up to make the picnic happen: Karen and Joe Hendrickson, Danielle Brenner, and Eric Smiley, who helped on the day of the event. A big thank you also goes out to Ben Chitwood (the equipment set-up lead) and MC Eduard Zanidache.
Thanks also to Ryan Muller and Candace Ramirez, the planning committee leads.Ryan grew up in the greater Seattle area and has lived in either Capitol Hill or Belltown for much of the last 14 years. He began producing events independently in 2007, with the aim of providing a platform for both aspiring and established local artists. Ryan decided to help organize the picnic because he wants to maintain the events that make Seattle so great. “I feel that as a Seattle resident, I have a responsibility to contribute towards maintaining the Seattle art and entertainment culture where I can, and I saw this as an opportunity to do that,” he said.
Candace is from Nashville, but always dreamed of moving to Seattle (obsessively painting the Space Needle in Tennessee art classes). A First Hill resident since April, she is a public relations manager in Belltown. “I’m new here, and I feel the best way to become a part of your community is to give something back to it,” she said. “I’ve received such a warm welcome from Capitol Hill and the surrounding communities, and I see this as a way to make people smile, meet new friends, and celebrate a vibrant holiday in a vibrant city.”
A very heartfelt thank you is also due the sponsors who stepped in to help the picnic reach a budget of slightly over $6,000: Enslow/Martin LLC, Active Entertainment, Capitol Hill Housing, Seattle Gay News, Associated Recreation Council, and Seattle Parks and Recreation.