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Welcome Back Weeks Reactivate Downtown

Working together with downtown partners, Welcome Back Weeks ran from July 12-26 and September 4-19 with the goal of bringing workers, small businesses, and visitors back to downtown Seattle. Combined with Downtown Seattle Association events, the activations were a success:

  • Attracted an estimated 30,000 visitors to the downtown core.
  • Launched approximately 450 events from concerts by local musicians, which include a light and sound laser show at the legendary Paramount Theatre and a Halloween in July event for families.
  • Hired hundreds of creative workers for performing arts, technician support, and event production.
  • Brought in tens of thousands of new spending to downtown small businesses.
  • Ran promotions for approximately 800 small businesses through the Intentionalist, Belltown United, South Lake Union Chamber, and the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area, and 95% of the businesses were owned by women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ people.
  • Installed the words "Black Lives Matter, enough is enough" permanently on the steps leading up to City Hall.

The Welcome Back Weeks concept came from the Downtown Revitalization Working Group (DRWG) that Mayor Durkan assembled in February of 2021. Activations and events are a pillar of the Road to Downtown Recovery. The DRWG convened for the last time in September to finalize long-term recommendations for downtown recovery to pass on to the next administration.

Leading the way on COVID-19 public health protocols, the City's September Welcome Back Seattle events required masking throughout and proof of vaccination for entry.

Details on holiday activations to be announced soon.

People out and about at Pioneer Square welcome back event

Photo by Jenny Crooks, Courtesy of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Concert at Westlake Park as part of welcome back week events
Photo by Sunny Martini, courtesy of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture