News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


‘Hunger Games’ craze invades U Village

March 13th, 2012 by master

UW News Lab

The Hunger Games' stars Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson sign autographs at U Village.

The star cast of the new movie The Hunger Games made its final stop Saturday, March 10, at University Village. Actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth were available for autographs and a Q&A session.

The 100 earliest-arriving fans were given wristbands for access to the signing at the Microsoft store.

The Village visit did not go unnoticed by the tweeners of Seattle, despite the poor weather. Amanda Dootson, a waitress at a University Village restaurant, said, “I could probably count on my fingers and toes how many teeny-boppers were screaming ‘I volunteer as tribute!’ while waiting in line to meet the cast.”

By 10 a.m. the parking lot was packed and fenced areas were filled with fans. By 1 p.m., it appeared that thousands had shown up for the event, and the occasional meltdown could be spotted for those who weren’t granted access.

Free posters were given out and music played for the duration to keep morale high for hopeful fans. Event those not granted access could view the stars from a distance for the Q&A session later in the afternoon.

A common theme during the Q&A was “Will you go to prom with me?” and high shrills every time an actor spoke.

Some controversy surrounded the access granted to fans.

According to the University Village webpage, fans were technically allowed to line up only beginning at 7 a.m. Camping out the night before was not permitted.

It was apparent that people started camping out the night before and many came earlier than 7 a.m. The web page states, “Be one of the first 100 people in line on March 10 at 9 a.m. to receive a VIP pass to this special event!”

Vanessa Radatus interns for the company who managed the talent. She said there were hundreds of crazed and screaming teenagers who started lining up to get wristbands as early as 2 a.m. She also noted that a young girl appeared to get trampled when the actors were heading to their cars. Fire trucks arrived at the scene.

The Hunger Games Seattle Facebook page is filled with posts from angered fans who felt that those who arrived early broke the rules. Other sources mention that there was poor organizing of the event. It’s highly likely the coordinators of the event couldn’t have predicted such a high turnout.

Not familiar with “Hunger Games”?
Published four years ago, The Hunger Games is the first novel in a young-adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Don’t be discouraged by the plot — it depicts the struggles of adolescents who are selected by a lottery to compete to the death in an arena.

The general appeal comes from a love triangle between protagonists Katniss, Peeta and Gale, along with the themes of human nature, rebellion and survival.

The second book is called Catching Fire, followed by the third, Mockingjay.

The film adaptation is of the first novel only. The Hunger Games is directed by Gary Ross and was written and produced by author Collins. It will be released worldwide on March 23.

The Hunger Games stop Saturday in Seattle was the last in an eight-city series of the star cast’s week-long mall tour. Other stops included Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Dallas and Minneapolis.

For screening hopefuls on March 23, be wary of the craze and enthusiasm surrounding the film. You may be subject to lines or fandom similar to that witnessed on Saturday at U Village.

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U Village unveils lineup for Sounds of Summer concert series

June 25th, 2011 by master

U Village will once again play host to the Sounds of Summer concert series. Starting July 13, you can enjoy free music every Wednesday night from 6pm to 9pm. Beer, wine and gourmet bites will also be available. Click here for the concert schedule.

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Making way for more parking at U Village

May 7th, 2011 by master

There could soon be more parking spaces at U Village. An application has been filed with the city to demolish a 14,000 square foot storage building near the QFC in order to make way for 44 parking stalls. The location sits in an environmentally critical area. Comments can be submitted through May 18. Click here for more information.

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Free gift wrapping at The Ram

December 23rd, 2010 by master

If you have some last minute Christmas shopping you need to take care of, The Ram at U Village will wrap your gifts for free. Stop by on Christmas Eve from 10am to 2pm to take advantage of this offer on items purchased at U Village. While you wait for your gifts to be wrapped, The Ram will have food and drink specials along with live entertainment by the Roosevelt Vocal Jazz Choir.

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Santa arrives at U Village

November 27th, 2010 by master

By Joon Yi

U Village holiday shoppers might feel a bit more Christmas spirit now that a certain red-clothed, white-bearded man has taken up temporary residence next to Fran’s Chocolate.

Santa Claus has arrived with reindeer and trees, and quickly went about setting up his “Santa Cabin.” Nearby rests the Christmas Giving Tree, a charity tree under which passersby can place gifts for donation. Inside the Santa Cabin, anyone to take a picture with Santa Claus. The cabin is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Santa takes a trip to “feed the reindeer” from 2-3 p.m. daily, and he probably has a bite to eat as well.  Photographs are for sale in various packages, prices ranging from $16 to$46.’

In front of Ben Bridge and next to Headlines Salon stands a tall Giving Tree. This tree holds “wish tags” that anyone can take to be a Santa for charity. To take part in this event, take a tag that best interests you, purchase the gift for the person on the tag and then return the unwrapped gift and put it in the box.  Last year, there were more than 1,000 gifts donated through the Giving Tree. The tree and box will be there from Nov. 26 to Dec. 20 to give you plenty of time to shop for a heart-warming purpose.

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Coat Drive at U Village features free KEXP concerts

November 15th, 2010 by master

The parking lot of the Eddie Bauer store at U Village will be turned into a concert venue this coming Sunday, November 21.  From 11am to 6pm, Eddie Bauer is teaming up with One Warm Coat and KEXP to host a coat drive.  You can stop by to donate your used coats to help people in the community. Anyone who donates a coat on-site will also receive a 20 percent discount coupon from Eddie Bauer.  KEXP will present free live music from Hey Marseilles, Grand Hallway, and The Young Evils.

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Fido Fest this Sunday at U Village

September 24th, 2010 by master

It’s a party to celebrate all things dog.  U Village hosts Fido Fest this Sunday (9/26).  Things kick off at 9:30am with the Seattle Humane Society’s “Walk for the Animals.”  Then from 11am to 2pm, there will be dog adoptions, dog contests judged by local personalities, and even a dog friendly beer garden.  Click here for more information.

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U Village wraps up concert series, prepares for FidoFest

August 12th, 2010 by master

U Village will host its final band in the Sounds of Summer Concert series next Wednesday (8/18) with the group Hit Explosion, a disco cover band.  The show is free and starts at 6pm.  This marks the end of the six week program. 

The next big entertainment event at U Village is FidoFest on September 26.  It includes dog adoptions, dog contests, and even a dog friendly beer garden.

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U Village sidewalk sale begins tomorrow

June 16th, 2010 by master

We’re all looking for bargains these days, and you’ll probably find a lot of them at the 53rd annual U Village Sidewalk Sale.  The big event runs June 17 – 20.  More than 40 merchants will be offering up to 50% off merchandise.  You can find a list of participating stores here.

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Dusty 45’s and more: U Village “Sounds of Summer”

June 14th, 2010 by master

The Dusty 45’s will be one of six bands taking part in U Village’s “Sounds of Summer” Concert Series.  Every Wednesday from July 14 to August 18, you can hear free music from 6pm to 8:30pm.  Here’s a look at the full lineup:


July 14:  The Paperboys

July 21:  Vicci Martinez

July 28:  The Beatniks

August 4:  Dusty 45’s

August 11:  Clinton Fearon & The Boogie Brown Band

August 18:  Hit Explosion

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