Seafair crowd lighter than previous years

by: Graham Johnson Updated:


SEATTLE -  For people in South Seattle who like to make a buck from Seafair, Sunday was pretty tough. 

>>> Comment on this story and "like" KIRO 7 on Facebook here.

The weather was great, but the absence of the Blue Angels due to federal budget cuts kept crowds away. 

"The Blue Angels are not here so no one wants to participate," said Wyatt Parker as he grilled hamburgers and Polish sausages in a parking lot at the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Genesee Street. 

Around noon Sunday, he hadn't made a single sale. On Saturday, he didn't break even. 

"Hard to feed the family when you don't break even," Parker said. 

He was set up in a parking lot that often fills with Seafair fans willing to pay $18. 

This year, there were a lot of empty spaces. 

At her home closer to the race site, Sheryl Simmons can make as much as $1,400 offering parking on her lawn during Seafair Weekend. She usually charges $30 on Sundays. This year those parking spaces went for $20, and there were some still available by early afternoon. 

"I'm about ready to go inside," she said. 

Gerald Smith, who has seen a lot of Seafairs, had to wonder. 

"Is this dying out or are we just going through a phase, what's going on?" Smith said. "I was born and raised in Seattle and I've never seen it like this in my life."