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Festál: Seattle’s French Fest, March 19

Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, part of the Seattle Center Festál series of 24 ethnic cultural festivals, highlights global Francophonie, 11am – 6pm, Sunday, March 19, in Seattle Center Armory. Originally a celebration of French Independence Day, organizers expanded the event in 2013 to include the larger French speaking world. They also moved the Fest to the third weekend in March to correspond with Francophone Day – and to encourage student participation.

This year, Seattle’s French Fest welcomes gifted jazz singer, originally from Canada, now living in Portland, Ore., Heather Keizur  and pianist Steve Christofferson in authentic French chansons, 3:15pm-4:15pm. Also on stage are Gypsy jazz ensemble Swing 49, 11:15am – 12pm; North Seattle French School Choir, 12:45pm-1pm; and Alliance Française Choir, 1:15pm-1:45pm.

Festival goers may partake in a variety of activities including Francophone films at SIFF, Rodin 101 celebrating the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death, French grammar jeopardy and Dictée (French spelling bee). The festival also offers a workshop on U.S. tax reporting rules for French nationals, a French improvisation troupe demonstration and a presentation on the historical, social, artistic and touristic context of French wine regions.

Younger festival participants receive a “passport” to be filled in through visits to activity booths. Upon completion of each activity, the child receives a stamp, and if they receive all the stamps, they may collect a prize at the festival information booth.

The Best Baguette contest returns this year, in which attendees taste bread baked by local bakeries and vote on which one is the best. French Fest also offers a variety of Bistro food including: Caesar salad, Pistou Provençal soup, Le Parisien sandwich, Merguez sandwich, hot dogs, Moules Marnières, French fries, French pastries, crêpes, fountain drinks and café. Guests also may attend a wine tasting.

Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, visit French Fest, and to learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit Seattle Center or call 206-684-7200.