The Roosevelt Neighborhood in Seattle proudly takes its name from the country’s 26th (and youngest) President, Theodore Roosevelt (read more about the neighborhood’s history). In recent years, the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association (RNA) has honored President Roosevelt and his commitment to sustainability and conservation with the annual Bull Moose Festival. The festival is named for Roosevelt’s political party, the Bull Moose Progressive Party, which was so dubbed when Roosevelt told reporters, “I’m feeling like a bull moose,” referring to his strength and energy following an assassination attempt in 1912, the same year he formed the party. The party’s progressive platform strongly aligns with long held Seattle tenets, including minimum wage laws, women’s rights, referendums, initiatives, protections for the working and middle classes, and environmental protection.
During his presidency (1901-1909), Roosevelt established the U.S. Forest Service along with 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, 5 National Parks, and 18 National Monuments. Roosevelt’s passion for the outdoors shaped his platform and goals during his presidency, and forever changed the American landscape by preserving 230 million acres of wild land in less than two full terms.
“It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.” -Theodore Roosevelt
The Bull Moose Festival in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood aims to honor Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy of sustainability by connecting Seattle’s history and the nation’s history with the wave of the future—new green technology, as well as the use of sustainable, artisanal craftsmanship that takes “reduce, reuse, recycle” to the next level. The festival celebrates the arts, science, commerce, history, and invention and offer the neighborhood and surrounding communities a chance to connect with each other and participate in festival that revels in our namesake’s treasured cause of sustainability and conservation.
The Bull Moose Festival was last held in 2015. Recent efforts to relaunch the festival in 2020 are in the works, and need your support. If you want to see the Bull Moose Festival come back to Roosevelt, get involved!