Winterfest Opens Nov. 27

The spirited and highly entertaining five-week Seattle Center Winterfest opens with a performance by Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels officially ushers in Winterfest at 1 p.m. The weekend continues with Winter Worldfest and a full schedule of performances by the region’s most entertaining ethnic artists.  Pacific Cascade Big Band takes to Center House Stage Saturday evening for big band dancing with Arthur Murray Dance. All of these events are free and open to the public.

The full festival runs Nov. 27 – Dec. 31, and also offers Saturday afternoon ice sculpting and fireside sing-alongs. Winter Train and Village return this year, along with Winterfest Ice Rink and Classic Carousel. Seattle Center Winterfest is promoted as part of Holidays in the City. 

EVENT LIST FOR NOV. 27 – 29:

 Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, Friday, Nov. 27, 11 a.m.,  Center House, FREE.  Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, one of the nation’s largest and most noteworthy youth orchestras, performs the traditional opening of Seattle Center Winterfest and the Student Showcase Series with a selection of seasonal works sure to engage and inspire!

Winterfest Opening Ceremony, Friday, Nov. 27, 1 p.m.,  Center House, FREE.  Winterfest officially opens with the noble drone of the Keith Highlanders Pipe Band. Join Mayor Greg Nickels and Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams to herald in five weeks of spirited seasonal festivities.

10th Annual Winter Worldfest, Friday, Nov. 28, 1pm – 6pm; Saturday, Nov. 29, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, Nov. 30, 11am – 5pm, Center House, FREE.  Winterfest’s cultural festival features some of the region’s best ethnic entertainment. Watch as the world comes to life in music and dance. Take in the culture or search for unique holiday gifts without leaving Center House. The Holiday World Market offers goods from Russia, China and Istanbul.  For a complete event list, click on ethnicheritagecouncil.org.

Ice Sculpting, Saturday, Nov. 28, 12 noon – 2 p.m., Outside Fisher Pavilion, FREE.  Artistry and ice unite in a glorious and temporal expression of the season as internationally acclaimed, award-winning artists create seasonal sculptures. Watch while they work or stop by later to see the glistening result. Each Saturday an ice master will carve a different design.

Fireside Singing, Saturday, Nov. 28; 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., Outside Fisher Pavilion, FREE. Share in warmth and music around the crackling flames of a bonfire. Folksinger Hank Cramer will lead passers-by in a mix of original, traditional and contemporary holiday songs as embers illuminate the night.

Big Band Dance with Arthur Murray and Pacific Cascade Big Band, Saturday, Nov. 28: 6:30 p.m.; Classes & Demos; 8 p.m., Dance, Center House, FREE.  Put on your dancing shoes for a lively evening. Start with 30-minute classes and demonstrations, designed for all levels, then practice your moves as you swing the night away to the brassy tunes of Pacific Cascade Big Band, specializing in vintage big band, jazz music from the 1930s to the 1950s.

WINTERFEST EVERYDAY – The following Seattle Center Winterfest attractions are available any day of the week.  Extended dates for Ice Rink and Classic Carousel:  November 27 – January 3

Winter Train and Village, Nov. 27 – Dec. 31, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Center House, FREE.  The Winter Train and Village, erected each year in Center House, takes you back in time to a miniature turn-of-the-century town, complete with buildings, lights, snow and a towering train depot. Step up to the conductor’s seat and drive the train through town or take in the wintery scenery from the sidelines.

 Winterfest Ice Rink, Nov. 27 – Jan. 3, Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fisher Pavilion, $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 – 12. Skate rental: $2. Cash only.  The light-filled, 12,600 sq-ft. Fisher Pavilion is transformed into a skateable winter wonderland. Offering inside skating at its best, the Ice Rink accommodates all levels of expertise, from novice to Olympiad.

Classic Carousel, Nov. 27 – Jan. 3, Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Outside Fisher Pavilion, $1 per ride. Take your seat on one of the brightly painted horses and watch while the world spins by.  The Classic Carousel is part of the Winterfest tradition, a perennial favorite that provides old-fashioned fun for the whole family.

Sharing Gift Box – Make a wish come true! Seattle Center Foundation and Seattle Center bring you Sharing Gift Box, a way to share the magic of the holidays with local low-income children, teens and senior citizens. It is easy to make a difference. Select a wish, buy a gift, and create big smiles! Each wish is guaranteed to be filled by Seattle Center Foundation. Your support helps reach more neighbors in need. Visit www.seattlecenter.org to learn more.

 For more information on Seattle Center Winterfest or other holiday offerings on the Seattle Center campus, please call 206-684-7200 or visit www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest.