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Festal: Iranian Festival, Aug. 8

Seattle Center Festál: Iranian Festival underscores a history of “unity in diversity” through performances, poetry and authentic cuisine, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8, in Seattle Center Armory. Music and dance, Rumi poetry and face painting provide a glimpse into this culturally opulent and expressive culture.

The ninth annual Iranian Festival takes on a theme of Celebrating the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). Hamid Rahmanian, an award-winning filmmaker and graphic artist, presents his illustrations for an edition of the epic manuscript. Based on the pictorial tradition of the Persianate world from the 14th to 19th centuries, Rahmanian’s intricate illustrations invite viewers to discover the rich visual traditions of Persian culture.

Performance highlights include classical Persian music played by Sahba Motallebi, Vandad Massahzadeh and Mehdi Bagheri, and dances based on traditional Iranian folklore by Vancouver Pars National Ballet. Iranian-American comedian K-Von brings stand-up performances to the festival. A screening of K-Von’s documentary film “Nowruz: Lost & Found,” an exploration of the dancing, food, clothing and traditions surrounding Persian New Year, follows the festival on August 9 (5:30 p.m., King County Library – Bellevue Branch).

A vibrant marketplace offers books, handmade jewelry, artwork and an assortment of delicious Persian stews. Workshops on Persian calligraphy and language offer fun and educational experiences for all ages.

Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on Iranian Festival and other Seattle Center public programming, click on Seattle Center or call 206 684-7200.