100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Second Golden Potlatch Festival In Washington

Last year Seattle, Washington held it’s first Potlatch Festival. Potlatch is a Chinook name for a celebratory festival that had been practiced by indigenous peoples of the region and the “golden” reflects Seattle’s role in the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s. The Alaska–Yukon–Pacific Exposition was a world’s fair held in Seattle in 1909, publicizing the development of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle wanted to hold an annual event like the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California (1890) that would keep the city in the spotlight. In 1911 they held the first Golden Potlatch festival which was a great success.

The 1912 edition was even more elaborate. 250 full-scale plaster replicas of totem poles were erected throughout the city. Major events included a different parade downtown everyday – fraternal orders, labor unions, the soldiers and sailors and Seattle’s children participated. Daredevils flew newly invented hydroplanes over Elliott Bay and the warships from the US Pacific fleet that were anchored in the harbor.Seattle offered a week’s full of free entertainment icluding plays, poetry, news, songs, and images to further promote the event.

1912 Golden Potlatch logo

Totem Pole Parade down Main Street
Golden Potlatch Festival – Seattle Washington
July 22, 1912


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