“The market defines Seattle,” said Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck, whose father, Victor Steinbrueck, is credited with saving Pike Place Market in the 1970s. “It embodies the best of Seattle – our people and our diversity.” Locals, tourists and descendants of the market founders gathered Friday to celebrate the market’s endurance. Events included a reenactment of the first day of market sales, a giant birthday cake and a championship salmon toss. The market’s place in Seattle has varied over the 100 years of its existence, ebbing with the development of downtown Seattle and growing with support from the city and citizen groups. After the market’s beginnings in 1907, it grew to house 515 stalls in 1939. The signature clock and Public Market sign were installed in 1927. The market continues to raise money for renovations through various campaigns. In 1986 the market installed Rachel, a life-sized piggy bank, which raises $9,000 a year. By Annie Flanzraich THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SEATTLE – Decades before the original Starbucks, salmon-tossing fishmongers and Rachel the life-sized piggy bank made the Pike Place Market an international tourist attraction, there were eight wagons filled with produce and consumers hungry to avoid the rising price of onions. When the Seattle landmark opened in 1907, middlemen had driven the price of a pound of onions from 10 cents to a dollar. Consumers wanted to buy directly from the farmer, connect with their neighbors and socialize. A century later, it draws both locals out for a week’s worth of fresh produce and tourists from around the world. The fishmongers that throw fish behind Rachel and the first Starbucks coffee store, have come to represent Seattle to visitors. Vendors at the market said the 100-year anniversary is a reaffirmation of the values that Pike Place stands for. “It’s a joy to work here because we know that we’re selling produce that’s 10 times fresher than big-box stores,” said Mark Eskenazi-Suemanzo who has worked for 10years at one of the market’s oldest produce vendors, Sosios. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Pike Place Party Seattle’s market celebrates 100-year anniversary