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CityLink Seattle

Seattle Center Festál 2020

Where Seattle Comes Together Around Cultural Celebration

Beyond the music, dance, craft and creativity, Seattle Center Festál is about the pride people have when they come together to just be themselves, where they can share their stories with the greater community–and where all can feel a sense of belonging, united around a common experience.

This series of 23 ethnic cultural festivals in 2020 offers the space where individual spirit may find inspiration and a stage and platform for the traditions, accomplishments and artistic expression of communities that shape the character and course of our region. Festál seeks to build understanding and dispel stereotypes as they celebrate traditional holidays, harvests, the departed and new beginnings.

Tết in Seattle–Vietnamese Lunar New Year, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19, Armory, shares the spirit and energy of Vietnam during a two-day celebration for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The festival includes traditional Vietnamese food, lion dances, firecrackers, martial arts and an all-inclusive health fair.

Irish Festival Seattle, Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15, Armory, highlights a part of Seattle’s Irish Week celebration by connecting performers and artists to present Irish culture in our midst. Enjoy a two-day festival filled with traditional jigs, Irish films, exhibits, and genealogy.

Seattle’s French Fest: A Celebration of French-Speaking Cultures, Sunday, March 22, Armory, Embraces the diversity of traditions, beliefs and dialects that make up French-speaking cultures around the world. Celebrate the French idea of “joie de vivre” through film screenings, wine tastings, music, dancing and cooking demonstrations.

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, Friday through Sunday, April 24-26, Armory and Fisher Pavilion, works to deepen understanding, exchange ideas and advance the cultural contributions of the Japanese American community. The festival includes performances and martial arts, exhibits and demonstrations, hands-on activities and Japanese culinary treats.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, Sunday, May 3, Armory, celebrates the beginning of the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month by showcasing API culture and diversity. The festival aims to promote API ways of life through live music, traditional dances, children’s activities, food trucks and craft and clothing vendors.

A Glimpse of China–Seattle Chinese Culture & Arts Festival, Saturday, May 16, Armory. This Chinese Culture & Arts Festival showcases traditional and contemporary influences of a resilient nation. Engage in this ancient culture through folk dances, artwork, martial arts, tasty foods and tea tastings.

Northwest Folklife Festival, Friday through Sunday, May 22-25, on the grounds. The annual Northwest Folklife Festival is a community-powered celebration of the music, arts, and heritage that make up the brilliant cultural tapestry of the greater Pacific Northwest. This is the place to find your folk.

Spirit of Africa, Saturday, May 30, Armory, Spreads awareness and appreciation for the diversity and richness of African cultures. The festival strives to entice and educate guests through live music, a fashion show, visual arts, traditional foods, a marketplace and more.

Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival, Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, Armory, reveals the beauty and strength of the Filipino culture through art, history, music, martial arts, literature and a youth drill team. The festival strives to perpetuate, educate and share Filipino heritage.

Indigenous People Festival, Saturday, June 13, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre, celebrates the unique and varied indigenous cultures to build a better understanding for American and Alaskan Natives in the Pacific Northwest. The festival combines traditional and contemporary music, dance, and visual arts.

Festival Sundiata presents Black Arts Fest, Saturday and Sunday, June 20-21, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Rooftop, shares traditional and contemporary African American heritage by showcasing local artists throughout an entertainment-filled weekend. The festival includes visual arts, soul food, hip hop, gospel, historical exhibits and more.

Seattle Iranian Festival, Saturday, June 27, Armory, Focuses on celebrating the rich traditions of Iran, the festival seeks to build bridges within and between communities. Learn more about the expressive culture through authentic cuisine, live performances, traditional music, poetry and participatory activities.

Polish Festival Seattle, Saturday, July 11, Armory and Mural Amphitheatre. Engage in Polish traditions through live music, food, a beer garden, hands-on workshops and children’s activities. The festival offers a rare glimpse into this rich and colorful culture for the greater community to enjoy.

Festál: BrasilFest, Sunday, Aug. 16, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Rooftop, introduces the broader community to Brazil’s dynamic and diverse culture through live music and dance, visual exploration, authentic foods and instructive workshops as platforms for Brazilian cultural expression

Tibet Fest, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23, Armory, fuses traditional and contemporary Tibetan arts and culture to entertain and enlighten the public. The festival strives to preserve and advance Tibet’s endangered culture through Tibetan art, music and dance.

Live Aloha Hawaiian Cultural Festival, Sunday, Sept. 13, Armory, Mural Amphitheatre and Fisher Rooftop, infuses the Center with the vibrancy of Hawaiian culture, inviting festival goers to glimpse at the rich history and experience the Islander life through music, food, hula and hands-on workshops.

Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19-20, Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Fisher Rooftop, celebrates Latin American independence, Latinx history and contemporary life in our region. Join in cooking demonstrations and cuisine, live music, art displays, free health screenings and children’s activities.

The Italian Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26-27, Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Fisher Rooftop. Italian cuisine and culture abound in this two-day fete of art, food, dance and interactive activities for all ages. The festival features an Italian dog show, car show, cooking demos, bocce ball, pizza tossing and a grape crush.

CroatiaFest, Sunday, Oct. 4, Armory, aims to preserve and promote the traditions of Croatian culture. CroatiaFest invites you to experience the dynamic music and dance, colorful arts and crafts, handmade merchandise and hearty foods of Croatia.

Turkfest, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, Armory, highlights the diversity and richness of Turkish culture by enlightening and entertaining the greater community with Turkish art, textile displays, workshops, cuisine and dance

Lights of India, Saturday, Oct. 17, Armory, relishes in the Indian festival of light and elevating Vedic culture by sharing Indian stories and visual arts, traditional dance, henna tattooing, rhythmic music and spicy cuisine.

Dia de Muertos – A Mexican Celebration to Remember Our Departed, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, Armory, honors the departed with ritual and tradition that preserve the celebration for younger generations to experience. Explore elaborate community altars, sugar skull making, face painting and processions that keep the tradition alive.

Hmong New Year Celebration, Saturday, Nov. 7, Armory, shares the Hmong culture through a multi-generational harvest festival. Enjoy the beginning of a new year with elegant and intricate clothing, folk dancing, visual arts and long rooted traditions.

Seattle Center Festál highlights the culturally rich communities who shape the character of our region. The series began in 1997 to offer a central place for festivals to invite the public to join in their unique cultural expression. Seattle Center presents Festál in partnership with community organizations. Admission is free of charge. For more information, visit www.seattlecenter.com/festal or call 206-684-7200.

About Seattle Center Festál

This enriching series of 24 ethnic cultural festivals on weekends throughout the year seeks to connect people in ways that build understanding, dispel stereotypes and generate pride among the generations who participate in these shared experiences. Seattle Center Festál is produced with the generous support of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, Lyft, 4Culture, the City of Seattle and Seattle Center Foundation.

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