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John Curley: I don’t get Seafair

Jimmy Shane in the Graham Trucking boat finished first to win the Albert Lee Cup at Seafair on Sunday, but KIRO Radio's John Curley wasn't watching. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Around 115,000 fans turned out to Genesee Park for Seafair over the weekend, but numbers were down from what organizers expected.

Some blamed the absence of the Blue Angels, but even with the Blues streaking through the sky, the festival isn’t a big enough draw for KIRO Radio’s John Curley.

“I went only once or twice and I didn’t get it, I came home,” said Curley of the event that’s run for over 60 years in Seattle.

Dave Ross tried to explain to Curley that Seafair represents all that is summer in Seattle.

“It’s about spending a sunny day with a quarter of a million of your favorite people. It’s about watching airplanes. It’s about watching really fast boats. It’s Seattle. It exudes Seattle-ness.”

Curley said maybe it’s because he didn’t grow up here, as Tom Tangney, a local, tried to explain to him that it’s a big deal to those who have lived in the area all their lives.

“He said, ‘You don’t understand, you’re not a Seattleite. It’s not part of who you are. It’s not summer to you.'”

Even with the spectacular Seafair experiences he’s been offered as a TV and radio personality in the region for years, Curley hasn’t been turned.

“I’ve even ridden in a hydro and I’ve even flown in an F-18. All that still, it’s just not part of how I spend my summer,” said Curley. “It never felt like it was part of the DNA of me.”

“Did you go?” Curley asked Dave.

“Where? Seafair? No,” said Dave. “I don’t like lines, I don’t like traffic and I don’t like crowds.”

But Dave has made it out to parks across the lake and even to his roof when the Blue Angels are in town. But of course, not this year.

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