The City of Kirkland, Washington Comes "Uncorked" in July

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When most people think of visiting Washington State, they think of Seattle, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St. Helens. But only 10 miles east of Seattle and 22 miles north of the Sea-Tac International Airport, lies one of Washington's most charming and eclectic waterfront attractions; the city of Kirkland. The only city actually built on the shores of Lake Washington, Kirkland provides the perfect escape for tourists and Washingtonian's alike. During the month of July, when Kirkland comes "Uncorked," there is more to do, see, and explore than actual days in the month.

When most people think of visiting Washington State, they think of Seattle, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. St. Helens. But only 10 miles east of Seattle and 22 miles north of the Sea-Tac International Airport, lies one of Washington's most charming and eclectic waterfront attractions; the city of Kirkland. The only city actually built on the shores of Lake Washington, Kirkland provides the perfect escape for tourists and Washingtonian's alike. During the month of July, when Kirkland comes "Uncorked," there is more to do, see, and explore than actual days in the month.

On July 4th, Kirkland comes uncorked with a full day of activities. Starting at 10 am with The Children's Walking Parade, Kirkland Downtown is the place to be. Followed by the Grand Parade which begins at noon, visitors will enjoy bands, classic cars, and floats built by area businesses. Then it's time to head for Juanita Beach for the Annual Kirkland Rotary Olde Fashioned Community Picnic. There will be plenty to do with Kid's games, contests, live music, and the waterfront beach only steps away. At dusk, it's time for Kirkland's Firework Show at Kirkland Marina Park. If the night is clear, visitors may also see the Firework displays taking place across the lake in Seattle.

Throughout the month of July, Kirkland will also feature the Summer Performing Arts Concert Series at Kirkland Marina Park. Live music and entertainment for the whole family happens on Tuesdays and Thursday nights starting at 7:00 pm, and for children accompanied by an adult on Wednesday's at 10 am. For movie lovers, outdoor movies under the stars take place on July 18th at Juanita Beach and July 19th and 26th at Carillon Point. There are also live outdoor performances of William Shakespeare's, "As You Like It" on July 17th, 18th and 19th at McAuliffe Park.

Throughout the month of July, the city provides a variety of things to do downtown and at the beaches. On Wednesday afternoons from 2 to 7 pm, Kirkland's Wednesday Market takes place downtown on Park Lane East. On Fridays' Juanita Beach hosts the Friday Night Market from 3 to 7 pm. Both feature fresh flowers, produce, homemade gifts and goodies from local Washington farmers and vendors.

For Art and Jazz lovers, Thursday July 10th, 2008 from 6 to 8 pm the Kirkland Art Walk and Jazz night is the main event downtown. Downtown galleries will be hosting receptions for new artists and featuring original art collections. Jazz will be abundant throughout the city in coffee shops, restaurants, bars and the art galleries as well. Retail stores, including Kirkland's many boutiques and gift stores will be open until 8 pm.

For those that want to experience Lake Washington on the water, there are kayak and boat rentals, waterskiing, parasailing, and more. Argosy Cruises also leave from Marina Park several times a day, featuring notable landmarks like Husky Stadium and the homes of well knownWashingtonians, including Microsoft magnate Bill Gates.

But the signature event for July, appropriately named for the month itself, takes place the weekend of July 18th, 19th and 20th. From Friday through Sunday, locals and visitors alike will have the opportunity to experience Kirkland Uncorked, the city's Annual Festival of Style and Taste. Celebrating the wine, art, food, music, and lifestyle of Kirkland and beyond, the event includes activities throughout the city. Visitors can discover Artist Lane, featuring more than 60 of Northwest Craft Alliance's Best of the Northwest Artists or "Discover Boating," which showcases some of the hottest boats on the market. On Sunday, the day's highlights include the Kirkland Downtown Association's 6th Annual Classic Car Show and the Annual CityDog Cover Dog Contest.

For Wine lovers 21 and older, the Tasting and Lifestyle Garden (gated with a fee for entry) is the place to sample more than 60 wines from over 20 local Washington wineries, while enjoying the Jazz sounds and classical music presented by Pony Boy Records and 98.1 Classical KING FM. The Tasting Garden will also include the Seattle Homes and Lifestyle Showcase which features exhibits, vendors and lectures on the latest in indoor and outdoor home design. On Saturday in the Garden, participants can sip, learn, and cheer as local Chefs prepare their favorite grilling recipe and compete for the festival's coveted prize.

Whether you visit for a day during July as Kirkland comes Uncorked, or longer, visitors will see that the city has more to do and see than the brief details found in most Washington guide books. To find out more visit http://www.explorekirkland.com.

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Susan Burnash
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