Seattle Hempfest 2016 is the Washington State answer to the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Although it is less structured, it is much more politically oriented and serves as a forum for the active advocacy of legalizing marijuana.
Seattle Hempfest History and Facts
The Seattle Hemp Festival had its humble beginnings in 1991 when 500 admitted "stoners" showed up. There was blatant marijuana smoking that year and in subsequent years. There were numerous arrests in the late 1990s. By the early 2000s, medical marijuana was legalized and the Seattle Marijuana Fest saw personal use downgraded to the lowest police priority. Today it is a mid-August three-day "protestival." Do note that selling marijuana in any form is a felony with serious penalties.
Seattle Hempfest Tickets
With an aim to provide access to all who want to hear the message, the Seattle Hemp Festival 2016 is free. More than 300,000 people attend over the three-day period, so plan your time according to your interests in food and crafts vendors, political speakers, and music concerts.
Seattle Hempfest Location
The Seattle Hempfest is held in three Seattle parks along the waterfront—Elliott Bay Park (use the North Entrance), Myrtle Edwards Park, and Olympic Sculpture Park (use the South Entrance). There is no Seattle Marijuana Fest camping in any of the three parks. The festival is only open to the public during certain hours, on Friday from noon to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Seattle Hempfest Lodging
You can choose from a wide variety of hotels throughout the city. There is good public transportation to the parks, and this is a very bicycle-friendly city. If you want to be as close as possible, you might choose the Edgewater, located on the waterfront at 2411 Alaskan Way a few blocks south of the parks. It boasts rooms and suites right on the water, and is within walking distance of a number of attractions including museum and the port for cruises and ferries north to Vancouver and Alaska.
Image: Pete Santos