Social in Seattle

Social in Seattle: Springtime Splendor

Wine, the Mariners, and a Big Papa jumbo pickle

By Linda Lowry May 2, 2024


With springtime in full swing, the city is buzzing with a myriad of events and community engagements. From exciting cultural gatherings to culinary delights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Recently, we welcomed the Chinese Food & Beverage Investment Delegation and eagerly anticipated the Auction of Washington Wines Barrel Auction. 

Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners treated us to a sneak peek of their delectable new ballpark cuisine. Columbia City unveiled its revamped neighborhood ballpark, offering a fresh space for recreation. Dive into art, music, and dance at SAM Re-Mix, or indulge in the irresistible allure of “Everything tastes better with butter.” Plus, the community showed its support for United Way at the Eat, Drink, & Be Generous event.

The president of the Washington State Sino-US Trade Alliance (WSSUTA), Tony Au, recently organized a gathering for 46 catering entrepreneurs from China. The event was organized by the Department of Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy in China, and took place at Anthony’s on Pier 66. The gathering provided an opportunity for attendees to exchange cultural ideas, network, and explore potential international business partnerships. Dignitaries from various sectors, including Washington state Sen. Bob Hasegawa, Department of Commerce Director Mike Fong, Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed, Seattle City Councilmember Tanya Woo, Burien City Councilmember Jimmy Matta, and Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson were also present.


Additionally, business luminaries such as Diane Mooney, director of U.S. Commercial Service – Seattle, and Debadutta Dash, co-chair of the Indian Trade Relations Action Committee, were in attendance. Former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Lieutenant Gov. Denny Heck, and former Deputy Gov. Brad Owen sent heartfelt video messages welcoming the delegation. The gathering emphasized the importance of cross-cultural collaboration, building bridges between nations, and laying the groundwork for a brighter, more interconnected future.

Wine enthusiasts recently gathered for the Auction of Washington Wines Private Barrel Auction, which took place at the Winemakers Reserve in Woodinville and was hosted by well-known figure in the Washington wine industry Bob Betz. The event provided trade customers and private collectors with the rare opportunity to sample the best wines from Washington state, featuring collaborative creations like Upchurch Vineyard & Betz Family Winery’s 2021 Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and individual gems like Delille Cellars’ 2022 Red Willow Malbec. 

Jamie Peha, executive director of the Auction of Washington Wines, emphasized the philanthropic essence of the event. She highlighted that the Private Barrel Auction has been an important community event for more than eight years and raised more than $1.2 million for Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Department, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the auction’s industry grant partner, Vital Wines. The auction showcased select wineries with one-of-a-kind experiences and five-case lots from renowned AVAs. More than 30 wineries participated, offering an impressive and diverse selection. Some of the highlights included Avennia’s 2022 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Barrage Cellars’ 2022 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Series #4, and Long Shadows Vintners’ 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Every year, from May to August, the Auction of Washington Wines hosts a series of exceptional wine events. The events include Vintner Dinners, the Gala Online Auction, the Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Auction, and the grand finale Gala. Leslie Sbrocco is the honorary chair for 2024. To RSVP and learn more about these fun events, go to

Attending a Seattle Mariners game at T-Mobile Park is not just about baseball. It’s also a culinary adventure. Mariners’ fans can indulge in a wide range of food options, including local favorites and classic ballpark snacks. The stadium has collaborated with local eateries such as Tamari Bar and Marination to bring unique flavors to the menu. Crab Pizza from MOTO Pizza and Tofu Tots from Marination are some of the must-try items. 

Tamari Bar, located in section 133, serves Japanese-inspired dishes like area 206 curry rice and fresh ginger ale. The “Walk-Off Market” located in section 105 provides quality meals such as the double mitchwich and meatball sub. The Just Walk Out technology aims to help fans skip long lines for food and drinks and return to their seats quickly. Iconic brands such as Salt & Straw ice cream and Cookies with Tiffany offer unique treats and their own flavors, such as wild-forged berry slab pie ice cream, vegan strawberry coconut water sherbet ice cream, and S’mores cookies. 

The Value Menu has been updated with new items, including the chewy marshmallow bar and Van Holen’s Big Papa jumbo pickle. Customers now have the option to try a variety of local beers at budget-friendly prices through the Value Beers program. The program offers a variety of beverages, including Corona’s refreshing Refresca and Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve. Whether indulging in gourmet delights or savoring classic treats, fans are sure to enjoy the diverse culinary experience at T-Mobile Park this season.

Continuing our discussion on baseball, Rainier Playfield in Seattle has recently undergone renovations in collaboration with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the MLB’s All-Star Legacy Initiative. The project involved the installation of new synthetic turf on the baseball and softball fields, making them suitable for high school varsity teams and local youth leagues. The initiative aims to provide youth with better access to sports and also includes skills clinics and middle-school programs. Rainier District Little League hosted a parade to celebrate the completion of its renovations. Community leaders, including Deputy Mayor of Seattle Greg Wong, Seattle Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner John Stanton, MLB legend Edgar Martinez, Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Anthony-Paul Diaz, and the beloved Moose from the Seattle Mariners attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Many Little League teams attended the event, filled with excitement as they rallied together to declare, “Play ball!”

SAM Remix returned to the Seattle Art Museum with the theme of embracing new connections. Since its inception in 2008, SAM Remix has been a platform for Seattle’s creative community to showcase unique art experiences. This edition was a tribute to Seattle, featuring innovative performances, art-making activities, and live music. Highlights included SuperCoze’s vibrant musical performance, tarot card readings by Rena Bussinger & Meaghan Angus, and a dynamic DJ set by Kisscam. The award-winning burlesque collective Mod Carousel dazzled the audience while poets Paul Nelson and Samar Abulhassan crafted personalized poems on the spot. Attendees enjoyed the bracelet-making activity, and experienced intentional listening with Maiden Voyage. Notable guests at the evening’s festivities included Krist Novoselic, the legendary grunge rock star from Nirvana, and his wife, Darbury. 

Everything tastes better with butter! Butter Party was a unique celebration held at The Hideout art bar on First Hill. The event was conceptualized by friends Jeremy Buben, Jacob Horn, and Stacy Kendall. The event showcased artworks by 10 talented artists, including Amanda Ringstad, Becky Bacsik, Brandon Vosika, Eroyn Franklin, Ezra Dickinson, Jude Arreola, Kate Clark, Mary Anne Carter, and Sam Wood Wilson. The artworks consisted of ceramic butter dishes, photos, paintings, pillows, and sculptures. Meat Sweats Art, a collective, added to the festivities with its Red Lobster “Butterfest” posters and a whole-cooked crab. 

Seattle chefs Yenvy Pham, Mike Stamey, and Roni Davis created special compound butter, such as pho fat butter, fermented cayenne pepper hot sauce butter, and cornichon butter to complement the art. The cocktails featured butter-washed spirits. The event hosted a lively crowd, including Julie Conway, Jamie Millar, Jennifer MacDonald, and Sergey Smirnov, while DJ La Mala Noche provided smooth sounds throughout the night. Follow @butterpartysea on Instagram to stay updated on future events.

United Way of King County hosted “Eat, Drink & Be Generous,” a beloved fundraising event where attendees enjoyed culinary delights and live music. Seattle’s top chefs and their renowned eateries showcased their delicious eats, while indie rock icon Benjamin Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service) graced the event with intimate acoustic performances. The event was organized to make a lasting impact on the lives of King County families, with the proceeds supporting United Way’s mission of providing access to resources, quality education, food security, and safe housing for the community. 

Culinary delights were provided by Kristi Brown of Communion & That Brown Girl Cooks! (a 2024 James Beard Award finalist), Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Trey Lamont of Jerk Shack, Mutsuko Soma of Kamonegi, Lisa Dupar of Lisa Dupar Catering, Melissa Miranda of Musang (also a 2024 James Beard Award finalist), and Chera Amlag of Hood Famous Bakeshop.  During the paddle raise at the event, the campaign co-chairs, Ambika Singh, founder and chief boss lady at Armoire, and Shankar Sundaram, major account executive at Snowflake, energized the crowd. The event managed to raise $426,000 to help feed our community’s children and families, ensuring that they stay in their homes. You can continue to donate at 


There are some exciting upcoming events. On May 9, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an opening night gala at the Paramount Theatre. Additionally, the Seattle Opera will have its 60th anniversary concert and gala at McCaw Hall on May 11. It’s a great opportunity for us to come together and celebrate. Who knows, we might even spot each other on the red carpet. 

About the Social in Seattle Column

Linda Lowry is the director of opportunity at Seattle magazine. She has a pulse on the greater Seattle region’s social landscape and provides insight on the people and personalities that make our city vibrant and unique.

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