There’s arguably nothing more original and entertaining than fish throwing at Pike Place Market. It’s become a tradition in Seattle. Fishmongers at Pike Place Fish Market (one of the many seafood vendors in the market) have shouted orders and tossed fish to each other, or even paying customers, for more than 30 years.
I’ve lived in the Seattle area for a large chunk of my life, so I’ve seen fish throwing at Pike Place Market hundreds of times. With that said, it never gets old. How can it?! They are fishmongers throwing fish through the air at folks who are completely uncomfortable with the situation. It’s pure entertainment. Where in the world can you find anything else like that?
NOTE: Many people wonder when fish throwing at Pike Place Market happens. Well, it all depends. The fishmongers will toss your order when you pick out the fish you want, or we’ve also seen them toss fish for people who are celebrating a special occasion (like a birthday, bachelorette party, etc.). If you hang around Pike Place Fish Market long enough, you’ll see some fish throwing.
According to Wikipedia, the tradition actually started as a prank with one of the employees at Pike Place Fish Market. The crowd enjoyed the yelling and throwing so much that it became a regular thing. The fish throwing is more popular than ever (that’s why you see it every time Seattle is featured on TV, etc.). It’s a fan-favorite and a must-see when you visit, or if you’re new to the city.
On top of incredible seafood, you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers (what you buy online or at a florist for $60 you can find for $10), and plenty of arts and crafts at Pike Place Market. You can breeze through in a few minutes (I don’t know why you’d want to though), or you can spend hours checking out all the vendors and listening to the different street performers (who are everywhere). No matter how you approach it — stop and watch the fish throwing.
I don’t like to be bossy, but you need to visit Pike Place Market when you’re in Seattle. Yes, it’s loaded with tourists in the summer, but we think it’s totally worth it.
Have you ever seen fish throwing at Pike Place Market? What did you think? Is the market worth a visit or should people avoid it? We’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more awesome things to see and do in the Puget Sound area!
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Maybe if I drop them a buck or two, they’ll throw one.
Loved the flying fish — and the market in general. It’s wonderful to visit attractions on the National Register of Historic Places to get a feel for the history and culture of an area. I was pleased to read that it’s not just tourists visiting, but that it’s still a vibrant part of local culture.