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Festál: Irish Festival, March 17-18

Put on your Irish at Seattle Center Festál: Irish Festival, Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18, at Seattle Center Armory. The centerpiece of week long festivities in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Festival honors the region’s Irish heritage with jigs, live music and discovery. Festival goers will also find history and art exhibits, authentic foods, ethnic items for sale, workshops and hands-on learning for kids and adults.

This year, the festival offers a daylong Irish Genealogy seminar, 10 am-6 pm, Sunday, in the Armory Lofts. Go to Irish Week for a detailed schedule. Additional workshops include: Irish Women and the Struggle for the Vote, 2 pm; Basic Irish Genealogy, 3 pm and Tips for Visiting Ireland on a 3-5 Star Budget, 4 pm, all on March 17 in Armory room 301. Afternoon cooking demonstrations both days show festival goers how to prepare an Irish meal consisting of Irish Soda Bread, 12:30 pm; Dublin Coddle Irish Stew with bacon, sausages, potatoes and vegetables, 1:30 pm; side dishes, 2:30 pm; and Irish trifle, 3:30 pm, on the Armory Loft level.

Festival entertainment includes Irish music using the harp, cittern, banjo, guitar, pipes, whistles and more presented by local players steeped in traditional song and dance. Listeners will hear a theatrical combination of Irish standards and originals, and they’ll see all kinds of Irish dance enlivened by colorful costumes and the percussive beats of the Irish drum.

Irish Festival offers a variety of hands-on children and family activities. Leprechauns, masked dancers and finger puppets will be on hand in the Children’s Play Area, along with a selection of interactive games and storytelling, 12 pm– 5 pm, on the Loft level. On the Main Stage, kids can compete in Most Irish-looking Face and Smilingest Irish Eyes contests.

Seattle Center Festál is a public program presented by Seattle Center in partnership with Irish Festival. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on this festival, visit Irish Club, 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.