In 2016, Seattle Center and community organizations in our region present 23 ethnic festivals on weekends throughout the year. The acclaimed series, which fosters unity by honoring diversity, opens with Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year in mid-February and concludes with a celebration of Dawali in Festival of Lights, the first weekend of November.
As Seattle Center Festál prepares for a public program milestone in 2017, the 20th anniversary year of this illuminating series of ethnic cultural events at Seattle Center, we look to the depth and breadth of the individual festivals that comprise the outstanding collection. They form the bedrock of our free, public offerings at Seattle Center, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that influence the character and course of our broader community
Following is information and details on the 2016 series:
Seattle Center Festál: Tết Festival – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-14, Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion. Traditional dress, lucky money, martial arts and Children of the Dragon preserve the rituals, joys and learnings of an ancient culture – celebrating its 20th year at Seattle Center in 2016.www.seattlecenter.com/festal.
Seattle Center Festál: Irish Festival, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Saturday andSunday, March 13-14, Armory Irish gigs, genealogy, dance and drumming enliven Irish culture and heritage in the Pacific Northwest – now marking its 45th year in Seattle.Learn more at: www.irishclub.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, March 20, Armory. The young festival – in its 4th year at Seattle Center – presents music, dance, food and fashion to highlight French influence around the world and in our region. À bientôt! Learn more at: www.fenpnw.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, 10 a.m-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, April 22-24, Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion. A feast for the senses, articulated by Taiko drums, ikebana flowers and intricate artwork, illuminate ancient views of a modern culture. Celebrating 37 years at Seattle Center in 2016. Learn more at: www.seattlecenter.com/festal.
Seattle Center Festál: Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration,12 p.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, May 1, Armory. Lion dances, martial arts, live music and expressive art forms explore Cambodian, Thai, Laos and Tongan civilizations. Learn more at: www.apiheritage.com.
Seattle Center Festál: A Glimpse of China – Chinese Culture and Arts Festival, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, May 21, Armory. Journey from Beijing to Seattle through 5,000 years of visual arts, crafts, traditional dance and music of China. Learn more at: www.chinaartandculture.com.
Northwest Folklife Festival, Friday – Monday, May 27-30, throughout the grounds. This Northwest tradition – observing its 45th year at Seattle Center – evolves with our communities as it presents multicultural arts and traditions through lively music, dance, stories and art. www.nwfolklife.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., June 4-5, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. The 30th annual festival presents pageantry, music, martial arts, drill teams and visual arts to celebrate Filipino independence and showcase the beauty of the country and people. Learn more at: www.festalpagdiriwang.com/.
Seattle Center Festál: Festival Sundiata – Black Arts Fest, Saturday, 12 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., June11-12, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. Continuous live music and Southern spiced foods illuminate African-American heritage and inspiration in this soulful and fun-filled event – celebrating 36 years in 2016. Learn more at: www.festivalsundiata.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Spirit of Indigenous People, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, June 25, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. Colorful costumes, rhythmic dance and storytelling preserve the sacred and promote the value of indigenous ancestries throughout the world – now in its 7th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.sihb.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Polish Festival, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, July 9, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. Polish food, thrilling performances, cultural workshops and vibrantly decorated costumes and crafts celebrate this jubilant culture – now in its 5th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.polishfestivalseattle.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Iranian Festival, Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., August 13, Armory. Expressive performances, poetry, face painting, puppetry and authentic cuisine offer a glimpse into this rich and multifaceted culture – in its 10th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.iaca-seattle.org.
Seattle Center Festál: BrasilFest, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, August 21, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. The 18th annual tropical “carnival” showcases the lively music, martial arts, food and cultural roots of this South American ethnic mosaic. Learn more at: www.brasilfest.com.
Seattle Center Festál: Tibet Fest, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, August 27-28, Armory and Fisher Rooftop. The ancient and unique thrives at this 21st annual festival highlighting Himalayan arts, music and stories that express a cultural pride rooted in kindness, compassion and love. Learn more at: www.washingtontibet.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Roof. As the festival enters its 9th year, the resourceful aloha spirit comes to life in the Hula, Ono food, music, crafts, tourism resources and a Hawaiian marketplace. Learn more at: www.seattlelivealohafestival.com.
Seattle Center Festál: Seattle Fiestas Patrias, Saturday, 12 p.m.-11 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Sept. 17-18, Armory, Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center Pavilion. Wellness and community intermingle in this Latin American independence celebration – in its 38th year at Seattle Center – filled with lively music, tantalizing foods and family. Learn more at: www.seattlefiestaspatrias.org.
Seattle Center Festál: The Italian Festival, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, and10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 24-25, Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion. Pasta and pizza, popular music and wine, grape stomping, and expressive displays recognize the remarkable contributions of this dynamic and artful culture – in its 29th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: www.festaseattle.com.
Seattle Center Festál: CroatiaFest, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 2, Armory. Acclaimed dance ensembles, art exhibits, foods, tourism information, intricate costumes and historical displays explore this rich culture at the 12th annual CroatiaFest. Learn more at: www.croatiafest.org.
Seattle Center Festál: TurkFest, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16, Armory. Folkdances, elaborate costumes, culinary delights and a tempting bazaar underscore Turkish linkages to East and West – now in its 16th year at Seattle Center. Learn more at: http://www.turkfest.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Dia de Muertos – A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, Armory. Exquisite arts, elaborate altars, face masks, processions, special foods and ritual honor the past and celebrate our departed at this 15th annual festival of the dead. Learn more at: www.seattlecenter.com.
Seattle Center Festál: Hmong New Year, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, Armory. This family celebration preserves the ancient highland cultures of China, Laos and Thailand as it brings together Hmong people from across the region. Learn more at: www.hmongofwa.org.
Seattle Center Festál: Festival of Lights, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6, Armory. The final Festál event is also the newest – in its first year at Seattle Center – sharing the story of Diwali as it presents Indian music and dance, crafts, children’s activities and flavorful Indian food. Learn more at: www.seattlecenter.com.
Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visitwww.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200.
About Seattle Center Festál
Seattle Center Festál 2016, a collection of 23 cultural events presented on weekends throughout the year, highlights the diverse cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region with traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops, marketplaces and more. Seattle Center Festál is produced with the generous support of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, Coca-Cola, Alaska Airlines and T-Mobile. Additional support is provided by the City of Seattle and Seattle Center Foundation.