Seattle‘s Georgetown neighbourhood has got it going on. It could justifiably lay claim to being the oldest neighbourhood in Seattle; the Collins party settled there in 1851 two days after the Denny party settled on Alki Point, but the houses in Georgetown prevailed unlike those on Alki which were blown away by winter storms that first year. I have been remiss in not exploring Georgetown earlier, but last weekend when I heard about the Georgetown Carnival, I made my way down to this quirky little part of town and promptly fell in love.
My first stop was the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall; a Saturday market that operates almost every weekend out of tiny little old caravans lined up along the back of a car park. The place was packed with shoppers on the hunt for local art, vintage clothing and antiques and the trailers were jumbled troves of treasure just waiting to be discovered.
With the carnival in full swing, I wandered the streets, popping into tiny little stores and delectable coffee shops along the way. Georgetown has a deliciously shabby chic feel to it; Bohemian with a sprinkle of Goth. I loved it; everywhere I looked there was something unusual to feast my eyes upon, from a distinctly old-fashioned photo-shoot…
…to a rooftop-bound scooter.
But the highlight of the day was a rather unusual carnival event, now in its eighth year, which has become the stuff of legend around this way – the Hazard Factory Power Tool Drag Races. Rather than tossing defunct electrical appliances unceremoniously in the garbage, the good citizens of Seattle prefer to give their power tools a farewell moment of glory by decking them out for the carnival and racing them against each other. Chainsaws went head to head with electric guitars on wheels and kitchen mixers did battle with souped-up barbecues for a chance to win an elusive and sought-after trophy.
Here are a few of my favourite contenders.
It was one of the funniest, silliest things I’ve witnessed in a long time and judging by the cheers and gales of laughter from the hoards of people watching, I wasn’t the only one having a ridiculous amount of fun. Would you like to some of those power tools in action? Here’s a 50 second video compilation of the event – I saved the best for last. For what it’s worth, my money was on the vacuum cleaner…
Georgetown, I love you!