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PCC Natural Markets Seafair Milk Carton Derby

in United States at Green Lake

Online registration for this event is closed.


  • Open Category

    Online registration is closed for this category.



  • Racing Category

    Online registration is closed for this category.



  • Military Category

    Online registration is closed for this category.



  • Group and Commerical Category

    Online registration is closed for this category.




About the Event

The 44th Annual PCC Natural Markets Seafair Milk Carton Derby will take place on Saturday, July 12! Nearly 100 colorful milk carton boats of all shapes and design will compete on the waters of Green Lake for fantastic prizes and bragging rights. The Derby is highlighted by a full day of "competition" as children, adults, families and businesses build milk carton watercraft for show and racing.

Boat Building Guide

Rules and General Information


  1. The Derby is divided into several vessel categories and age categories. A boat can be used for only one age and entry classification. And only once within that age and entry classification.
  2. Category Descriptions:

    1. OPEN - Any style entry other than racing, military or commercial, OPEN is for entries where design took precedence over speed in the construction. It is still, however, a race to the finish.
    2. RACING - Any craft whose design and intent is primarily speed. Skulls, kayaks, surfboards and racing type catamarans will be placed in the RACING category.
    3. MILITARY - A special category for our military community. MILITARY requires at least one crew member of the milk carton craft must be active duty in the military.
    4. GROUP & COMMERCIAL - This category is for Groups & Commercial entries. A $250 entry gives your group or company the opportunity to race with a company name, logo or slogan on your vessel. Take the challenge and race to glory on the formidable waters of Seattle's Green Lake. This category is NOT eligible for Showboat or other major prize drawings. Entries in this category must also meet the conditions of the Open category.


    BB. Class Descriptions

    1. CHILD - Crew is to be between ages 8 - 13 (end of the 13th year)
    2. ADULT - Crew is to be ages 14 & Up
    3. FAMILY - Crew is to be made up of at least One Child 8 - 13 & One Adult 14 & Up


  3. Boat construction requires a minimum of 50 one-half gallon milk cartons for each entry, except in the Commercial category where a minimum of 100 one-half gallon cartons is required.
  4. Only the following types of cartons may be used to provide flotation: One-half gallon, One gallon milk or juice cartons or One gallon plastic milk or juice jugs.
  5. All milk cartons must be original form. Cartons may not be filled with anything.
  6. Boats must be of homemade construction and primary flotation dependent upon milk cartons. Waxing, shellacking or covering the hulls with material such as plastic, packing tape, lamination or metal is not allowed. You may use chicken wire or plastic mesh.
  7. Do not enclose the bottom of the vessel; leave it open so inspectors can examine your boat for compliance to derby guidelines.
  8. Fixed oars are not allowed in the Open or Commercial categories.
  9. Entry must have a pole or minimum 18" x 18" vertical flat surface to which an entry number can be attached on the right side (shore side / front right).
  10. No engines or motors of any kind are allowed. Propulsion power or any other kind of stored energy (i.e.: tank filled with compressed air or water) is prohibited. Sails will be for decoration only and not for power. Human power only.
  11. Any propeller or mechanical device must be covered by a protective enclosure. This includes chains, belts, paddle wheels, side wheels, sprockets, etc.
  12. Please arrive at least one hour ahead of the event you plan to enter. Entries must be classified and inspected prior to registration. Registration closes 30 minutes prior to each event.
  13. Please plan on having your vessel staged for the afternoon Parade of Boats (Show Boat Award Judging). This is not mandatory, but we encourage your participation.
  14. All participants must sign a waiver/release form before inspection and turn it in on-site at registration. If you are a participant under the age of 18, a parent or guardian is required to sign the form.
  15. No one under the age of eight (8) is permitted on board an entry unless accompanied by an adult.
  16. Each participant must wear a U.S. Coast guard approved life jacket while in/on the water. Please have life jackets on or with you at time of inspection. Ski belts are not acceptable.
  17. Inspectors will classify each boat prior to registration and will inspect each vessel to make sure that it fits within the rules and safety guidelines outlined above. Racing style boats will be entered into the Racing Category only.
  18. Contestants will begin the race in/on their boats at the starting line indicated by the starting buoys. Any boat crossing the starting line early may be disqualified. Boats must remain in their own lanes. Judges may disqualify vessels impeding the progress of others.
  19. Nothing is to be thrown or released from boats while in the water. Decorations must be firmly attached. Violation is an automatic disqualification.
  20. Boats must stay inside the designated course.
  21. Vessels must remain in the same configuration for all events.
  22. Entrants are expected to remove and transport their entry away from the site, or disassemble on site and use the garbage dumpster provided by the boat launch area to dispose of all materials. Your help in keeping the area clean is appreciated.
  23. Awards for Showboats are based on creative use of milk cartons, originality and workmanship. The use of creative materials, design and methods of movement is encouraged.
  24. Awards for all other categories are based on speed and will be awarded to the first entrant who crosses
  25. Participants must be present to win prizes.
  26. Any boat not built according to Seafair Milk Carton Derby Rules may be disqualified. Decisions of the committee are final.

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Event Schedule

8:00 AM - Registration and Inspection Open for all events
9:30 AM - National Anthem performed

MORNING RACES
9:30 AM - Zico Seafair SUP Advanced & Novice Race
10:15 AM - PCC Natural Markets Seafair MCD Open Category
10:45 AM - Zico Seafair SUP Team Relay
11:00 AM - PCC Natural Markets Seafair MCD Racing Category
11:30 AM - PCC Natural Markets Seafair MCD Group/Commercial Category

12:00 PM - Kid's Programming (Moo'ing & Hula Hoop Contests!)

AFTERNOON RACES
12:30 PM - Parade of Boats for Showboat Award Judging (non-racing)
12:45 PM - ArtsFund Team Challenge Boat Build Begins
1:00 PM - PCC Natural Markets Seafair Military Category
1:15 PM - PCC Natural Markets Seafair 3-D Printing Category
1:45 PM - ArtsFund Team Challenge Race
2:00 PM - PCC Natural Markets Seafair MCD Racing & Open Category FINALS
2:45 PM - Group Health Seafair "Battle for the Paddle"
3:30 PM - Awards Ceremony at the PCC Natural Markets Seafair Award Stage

*All times subject to change

About PCC Natural Markets

PCC Natural Markets began as a food-buying club of 15 families in 1953. Today, it's the largest consumer-owned natural food retail co-operative in the United States. PCC has nine stores in the Puget Sound region and is owned by nearly 49,000 members who shop (along with thousands of non-members) in our neighborhood locations and value our commitment to: preserving high-quality food standards, supporting local, sustainable agriculture, celebrating food, educating consumers, embracing sustainability and building community.

About Group Health

Group Health is a member-governed, nonprofit health care system that coordinates care and coverage to more than 600,000 residents throughout Washington state. Group Health advances health in the community through its medical education, charitable foundation, and nationally recognized research institute. We are proud to support our local Seafair celebration and encourage you to get involved in this family friendly day of activities out on the water. Be safe and see you out there! For more information about Group Health, visit www.ghc.org and www.ghinnovates.org.

About Seafair Foundation

Seafair has been uniting our community and celebrating summer together for 65 years...did you know the Seafair Foundation works year round to better the quality of life and ensure the future of the Greater Puget Sound? From youth education to health initiatives, scholarships to cultural and arts engagement, we're passionate about fostering a thriving Seattle. To find out how you can make a difference, visit seafairfoundation.org.

Please support our charity partner!

Special Thank You

The Seafair Boat Club includes more than 2,000 volunteers that support the water-oriented activities of Seafair. The club oversees water activities and safety at the Seafair Milk Carton Derby, Seafair Weekend Featuring the Albert Lee Cup & Boeing Air Show and the Seafair & 76 Special Holiday Cruise. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Seafair Boat Club.


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