Kirkland Summerfest struggling to raise enough money, Uncorked and car show ready

Kirkland Summerfest will take place Aug. 8-10. - Reporter file photo
Kirkland Summerfest will take place Aug. 8-10.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

As several major summer events approach, the Kirkland Summerfest is suffering from large drop in donations and sponsorships.

According to Summerfest organizer Scott Becker, this year’s budget was originally set for $125,000, but so far they have only received $75-80,000 in donations and sponsorships. The minimum amount to run the event is around $108,000. Becker said that because donations tend to come in early, organizers are anticipating the total amount raised to be below that necessary to run Summerfest as planned. As a result, cuts will need to be made, including the stage for live band performances, as well as food vendors and the kids’ area.

Becker said the discrepancy is the result of last year’s sponsors, including those from outside the area, who have chosen not to take part this year. In total, $25,000 worth of sponsorship was counted on but has yet to come forward.

“We’re assuming that we’re not going to have enough money to do it and we have to cut back,” he said.

Kirkland Summerfest is scheduled for Aug. 8-10. The festival involves performances, activities, exhibitions, dancing, comedy, circus and street arts, and family entertainment. Established in partnership with the Kirkland Downtown Association, Kirkland Summerfest was first held in 2011. It is expected to draw roughly 50,000 people.

To sponsor Summerfest, visit

The 12th Annual Kirkland Classic Car Show, set for 8 a.m. on July 27, is at the other end of the spectrum and has received the necessary funding to go forward. Although only a little more than 150 cars have registered so far, Legends Car Club Director Dave Dunn said that is normal, as anyone is free to register on the day of the show. Overall, he anticipates around 450 cars to participate, which is up from previous years when construction was going on in the area.

In fact, Dunn said they get such so many diverse cars they have changed their 21 awards to reflect it. While other car shows have the contestants judge, Dunn said he and other show officials decide who gets the 64 trophies they offer.

“None of us are professional but we’ve been around cars our whole lives, so we can judge them pretty well,” he said. “We love doing it. We’d have to be really sick people to be showing up at 5 a.m. and staying until 5 p.m. if we didn’t enjoy doing it.”

The only concern Dunn has is the weather, which he said can turn away drivers who don’t want to get their vehicle drenched.

“It’s the state of Washington,” he said. “You never know when it’s going to rain.

A nonprofit event, the car show helps support various charities including the Forgotten Children’s Fund and the Royal Family Kids Camp.

For more information about the show, visit

Meanwhile, Kirkland Uncorked, scheduled for July 18-20 at Marina Park, is seeking to add culinary to the wine tasting.

John Thorburn said last year they added a food truck feast to the event and this year chefs from Von Trapps and Radiator Whiskey, along with other restaurants, plan on being there as well. During the three-day festival they have a Friday Burger Brawl that features 750 sliders from several restaurants.

“The event has kind of grown into a Washington summer food and wine festival” he said. “It’s celebrating the great food options on the Eastside and the city. I think we’re excited about continuing to grow the event and finding new ways to celebrate the flavor of Washington — and that’s what the event has become.”

The festival is split into two sections, a tasting garden and an all ages street fair. The tasting garden will include wine tasting, grilling demonstrations and live music.

For more information go to

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates