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Seattle’s French Fest, March 20

Bonjour mes amis! Please join me for Seattle Center Festál:  Seattle’s French Fest:  A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, March 20, in Seattle Center Armory. Le festival presents music, dance, food and fashion to highlight French influence around the world and in our region.

Now in its fourth year at Seattle Center, Seattle’s French Fest draws inspiration from International Francophonie Day and celebrates the diversity of Francophone cultures and traditions. The festival’s opening ceremony includes the Honorary Consuls of France, Canada and Belgium. Musical performances showcasing songs in French and English include Carol Rossio and Rossio Rhythm, North Seattle French School Children’s Choir, La Famille Leger, Heather Keizur Band, Alliance Française Choir and Melomachine. Te Fare O Tamatoa Tahitian Dancers return to the festival, enlivening the Armory with Tahitian drumming, dance, music, history and culture.

Seminars run throughout the day, with sessions exploring the history of fashion in France, France’s wine growing regions, cooking and a musical presentation on the history of the Statue of Liberty. The University of Washington’s French Department sponsors La Dictée, a school exercise that tests spelling and grammar, for beginning and advanced French students of all ages.

A French marketplace offers French gifts for the kitchen and bath, household décor, custom gemstone jewelry, art and books in French. French chef and television host Jacques Boiroux curates a menu of French cuisine featuring merguez (spicy sausage), pistou soup (bean and vegetable stew topped with pesto), mussels, brioche, crêpes, croissants and pain au chocolat. Vote in the “Best Baguette” competition by sampling baguettes from a variety of local bakeries.

Children’s activities include face painting, art projects, a presentation of French short films and a special festival “passport” allowing young festival-goers to earn a prize by collecting passport stamps.

The Salon de l’Emploi job fair focuses on career opportunities for those avec French proficiency. Booths featuring local and multinational companies and employers offer current and future job seekers the opportunity to network, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

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, visit Seattle Center or call 206 684-7200. Learn more about Seattle Center Festál:  Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures at:  Seattle’s French Fest.