Ship Canal Centennial

July 4th was the Centennial of the opening of the Ballard Locks and the ship canal that connects Lake Union and Lake Washington to the Puget Sound. This was quite the engineering feat 100 years ago and it still gets significant vessel traffic due to the Fisherman’s Terminal for the Washington/Alaska fishing fleet as well as the dry docks, shipyards and of course many pleasure craft.  The Fremont Bridge supposedly holds the record as the bridge in America that opens most often, as I’m sure many commuters will attest.

The lead boat in the parade

Today was an additional celebration with a historic boat parade to re-enact the original boat parade when the ship canal was first opened.  There were more than forty historic craft taking part as well as a fire boat, tug boats and other assorted vessels.

The Virginia V proudly blew it’s whistle as it came past where I was sitting.  This is part of the historic boat display on Lake Union near the MOHAI museum.

Lotus floating hotel



The Lotus which is normally a floating hotel in South Lake Union was also in the parade and I didn’t know it was still operational.


Lake Union Dreamboat

There were also a number of Lake Union Dreamboats in the parade – these were a unique design built in the mid-1920s at a shipyard in Lake Union.

‘Olive Oyl’

Our neighbors Bob and Cathy were out in their small wooden boat ‘Olive Oyl’ – and of course with their dog Stella.




The parade also included a small traditional canoe with some Native Americans who were singing loudly and very well.

There were also quite a number of other boat styles represented – but all looked very classy!