Performers take over the main stage at Summerfest in 2018. This year features an 1980s night on Friday, a dance party on Saturday and a youth music program on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Stefan Photography

Performers take over the main stage at Summerfest in 2018. This year features an 1980s night on Friday, a dance party on Saturday and a youth music program on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Stefan Photography

Kirkland Summerfest features new music and family friendly events

Music, art and family fun takes place on July 26-28 at the Kirkland waterfront.

Kirkland Summerfest will feature new music, local art and family friendly activities from July 26-28 on the shores of Lake Washington.

The city’s largest festival will highlight its eighth year with the addition of themed music events, all hosted by presenting sponsor KEXP.

“This year is bigger and better than the previous years,” said Rob Butcher, creative director of Chump Change Productions. “We have expanded our family friendly options.”

Chump Change has been the planning group for various multi-day festivals in the Kirkland area.

The KidZone at Heritage Park features 11 acres of open grass for children and families to roam free on Saturday and Sunday. Kids can venture through obstacle courses, bouncy toys and take a trip on a train. There will also be a miniature street fair with kid-themed vendors and entertainers.

At Heritage Hall, the CreateZone will serve as an interactive hub of creativity and artwork for children and families. The Kirkland Arts Center is working with Summerfest to provide ceramic artists and pottery wheel demonstrations, as well as a community art project with local artist Larry Calkins.

Children can submit artwork to the Youth Art Showcase to be viewed in Heritage Hall during the festival. The showcase is open to ages 4-18 and the theme this year is self portraits.

A juried arts fair will occupy Park Lane Friday through Sunday. Artists from around the Pacific Northwest will show off their work and many pieces will be available for purchase.

New this year to Summerfest is Sip Kirkland. The tasting event will take place on the waterfront from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday.

“This is a premier wine tasting and beer tasting event,” said Butcher. “With a select curated list, we have 70-plus wines and 35-plus beers available.”

Similar to Kirkland Uncorked, the event will feature beverages from wineries and breweries across the state.

“The main stage has a large beer garden and great acts performing Friday and Saturday night, including the headliner Nite Wave,” said Butcher.

He explained that each night will focus on various music themes, beginning with a 1980s night on Friday. A dance party will take over the Tiki Beach stage on Saturday, including five different sets throughout the day.

“The band selection is on our website. There is a lot of excitement around that,” said Butcher.

Adults can recover from the late night out on Saturday with Beer Zumba on the waterfront. Instructors from the Columbia Athletic Club will be leading the calorie-burning dance party, followed by brews, wine or cocktails in the Tiki Beach lounge.

KEXP will be leading a youth music day on Sunday with live performances from youth-led bands, such as KEXP Youth Resonance, School of Rock Bellevue and Rain City Rock Camp.

“We will be reducing the size of the beer garden so that families can enjoy the main stage with their kids,” said Butcher.

Half of the lawn will be a beer garden and the other half will be open to all ages.

Other activities include an annual duck dash hosted by Kirkland Rotary Club on Lake Washington. Proceeds from the race and various other events benefit local charities, including the Kirkland Downtown Association.

Similar to the Kirkland Uncorked event, Kirkland Urban will be offering about 600 parking spots for Summerfest in its parking deck on Central Way.

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