Fiestas Patrias – Sept. 14-15

If you like Latin foods, then a visit to Seattle Fiestas Patrias, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sept. 14 and 15, in Seattle Center Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion, is a must.  Dance to live mariachi music, take in the culture of Latin America, and learn how Latin American countries celebrate independence from Spanish rule.

The two-day event celebrates diversity and the Latino community in Western Washington. It is well known for the freshly prepared foods served in abundance. Following are some of the items that offer a highly appetizing education in this delectable cuisine:

Tacos – soft corn tortillas rolled around a mixture of meats/seafoods, cheese and vegetables and garnished with salsa, avocado, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.  Pupusas – Salvadoran corn pastry filled with a blend of cheese, cooked pork ground to a paste and refried beans.  Raspados – Mexican style snow cones.  Churros –  deep fried pastry sticks rolled in sugar and cinnamon.

New to Fiestas Patrias this year is El Mercado with unique crafts from local artisans and vendors, handmade jewelry, Alpaca textiles, colorful ceramics and wall art. The festival also features a youth boxing program and tournament, face painting and other children’s activities. You may also make use of a Health Fair offering basic health screenings, cholesterol and glucose checks, health education, dental services, maternity support  and immunization information.

Similar to the 4th of July observance in the United States, several Latin American countries observe their independence during the month of September. The annual Fiestas Patrias celebration at Seattle Center reminds us that the spirit of freedom is indomitable and helps maintain a bond between Latinos in the Pacific Northwest and their home countries through the Americas.

The festival is produced in partnership with the Seattle Fiestas Patrias Committee and Sea-Mar Community Health Center. For more information on Seattle Fiestas Patrias, visit www.seattlefiestaspatrias.org. Click on www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200 to learn more about Seattle Center Festál and other outstanding public programming offered at Seattle Center.