Eastside residents of all ages flocked to Sammamish on Saturday as part of the annual Sammamish Days celebration.
Kicking off at 9 a.m. at Queen Mary of Peace church with the Adventure Race to Understand Autism, the celebration continued until 2 p.m., before transitioning into the adult-only Sammamish Nights event at 6:30 p.m.
As has become tradition, a memorable aspect of the festival was the Rotary Challenge Series Race at the Discovery Elementary School – an annual event that provides approximately 24 physically and/or mentally challenged children a chance to race soapbox-derby-style gravity cars down Southeast 24th Street.
For Sammamish resident Ian Mun, 4, this proved the highlight of the day. A veteran to the event – he also participated in the Issaquah race earlier this year – Ian was brought to Sammamish Days by his mother Nancy Chung.
Chung, an employee at Microsoft, first heard about the races through a co-worker who also has special needs.
“We’re just really excited to enjoy the rest of the day,” Chung said about what other activities she and her son would be participating in that day.
Also in attendance were a number of Ian’s classmates from both Kindering and Phantom Lake Elementary School. Ian, who graduated from Kindering (Bellevue) last year, has autism. The races, which ran until noon, were followed by a BBQ for all participants.
Beginning at 10 a.m. at the Sammamish Commons Plaza, the Sammamish Days celebration also featured a variety of cultural performances – including some by Lelavision Physical Music and Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Redmond.
Attendees also had the opportunity to stop by Maximus Minimus food truck for delicious pulled-pork or chicken sandwiches – and to learn more about Sammamish’s history through vintage toys and historical displays.