This year there's just as much entertainment--as well as a whole lot of educational information--at the Block Party booths as there is onstage. In addition to various independent clothing retailers, music-related businesses (from KEXP to record stores), art-related organizations, and food vendors, there are groups working to help prevent breast cancer (Mamafest) and groups dedicated to the world of zines (ZAPP). Below are a couple other booths you may want to swing by over the weekend:


Had your fill of hot dogs, beer, and music? Stop by the Rat City Rollergirls' booth and let Seattle's new roller-derby darlings give you a massage. If you're not into getting rubbed down by hot chicks, you can still pose for a picture with your favorite rollergirl, or get a temporary tattoo of their kick-butt logo.


Be sure to swing by Home Alive's booth and welcome them to the neighborhood: The community self-defense org--founded after singer Mia Zapata was murdered on her way home in 1993; her killer was just convicted this year--recently moved from a Central District storefront to new, bigger Capitol Hill digs on 10th Avenue between Pike and Union Streets, and they've got a nifty new website, too ( When the Home Alivers aren't doing self-defense demonstrations on the People's Stage (Saturday, 2:30 pm), they'll be on hand to pass out info on their sliding-scale anti-violence and self-defense classes.


Between slurping down oversized cups of beer and catching the slew of musical acts, you can also do your part to fix our current rancid political climate. John Kerry's presidential campaign will have a booth on site--drop by to ask what you can do to help get Bush out of office. Or, if that seems a little square, check out Music for America, the recently formed youth-oriented outfit that believes in putting the party back in politics by sponsoring rock shows around the country that raise awareness about progressive politics. And for those who can't stand either of the two parties, there's always the Greens--they'll be around as well.

Click here to download a Block Party map