Find Posts By Topic

Explore Ethnic Cultures in 2013

Seattle Center Festál, a series of 22 cultural festivals presented during 2013, explores the rich traditions and contemporary influences of our region’s ethnic communities. Through music and dance, visual arts and crafts, film, food, tempting marketplaces, workshops, demonstrations and active play, the free events reveal life, values and evolutionary forces of these cultures.

The series is created through a partnership with Seattle Center. Each month, a diverse group of dedicated event producers meets to share best practices, mentor one another and glean inspiration on how to bring together their own communities, while presenting their cultures to the greater community.

Festál derives from the Latin word festalis, meaning feast or festival. It is used to describe an important time or gala occasion.  Each Festál event considers themes of importance to the ethnic culture it represents. The various weekend festivals portray celebrations of the sun and moon, independence from colonial rule, remembrances of departed loved ones and the myriad of factors shaping civilizations.

The festivals make use of a range of Seattle Center stages and facilities. Those held in cooler months fill Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion with the sounds, sights, and aromatics of their cultures. In warmer times of year, the events spill out onto the South Fountain Lawn and Mural Amphitheatre. All of the Festál events offer highly entertaining and informative ways to learn more about the cultures that shape our region.

Please save these dates for Seattle Center Festál 2013:

  • Tet  Fest – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Feb. 16 – 17, Tet in Seattle
  • Irish Festival, March 16 – 17, produced by the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle
  • Seattle’s Francophone Celebration, March 24, produced by France Education Northwest under the auspices of the Consular Agency of France
  • Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, April 26 – 27, produced by the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee
  • Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, May 5, produced by the Asian-Pacific Directors Coalition
  • Spirit of West Africa, May 11, produced by the Spirit of West Africa Committee
  • A Glimpse of China – Chinese Arts and Culture Festival, May 18, produced by the Washington Chinese Art and Culture Committee
  • Northwest Folklife Festival, May 24 – 27, produced by Northwest Folklife
  • Pagdiriwang:  Philippine Festival, June 8 – 9, produced by the Filipino Cultural Heritage Society of Washington
  • Festival Sundiata presents Black Arts Fest, June 15 – 16, produced by the Sundiata African-American Cultural Association
  • Iranian Festival, June 29, produced by the Iranian American Community Alliance
  • Indigenous Cultures Day, Aug. 17, Seattle Indian Health Board
  • BrasilFest, Aug. 18, produced by Brazil Center, Show Brazil Productions and the Ethnic Heritage Council
  • Tibet Fest, Aug. 24 – 25, produced by the Tibetan Association of Washington
  • Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, Sept. 8, produced by the Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival Committee
  • Seattle Fiestas Patrias, Sept. 14 – 15, produced by Seattle Fiestas Patrias Committee and Sea-Mar Community Health Center
  • Italian Festival, Sept. 28 – 29, produced by Festa Italiana
  • CroatiaFest, Oct. 6, produced by CroatiaFest Committee
  • Arab Festival, Oct. 12 – 13
  • TurkFest, Oct. 19 – 20, produced by the TurkFest Steering Committee
  • Dia de Muertos – A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed, Oct. 26 – 27, produced by Taller Mexicano para la Cultura y las Artes
  • Hmong New Year Celebration, Nov. 9, produced by the Hmong Association of Washington

The 22 Festál celebrations highlight the common forms of tradition and expression among ethnic communities in the Pacific Northwest, while underscoring their unique creative contributions. For more information on this cultural series and other Seattle Center public programming, click on