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Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration Kicks off with Massive Monkees, Beatbox Panda, and more! | May 6

Photo credit: Susan Fried

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Experience the rich cultural heritage of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities on May 6 at Seattle Center

SEATTLE – May kicks off with Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration on Saturday, May 6th, to celebrate the first week of National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. With more than 40 countries and distinct cultural groups, languages, and customs represented by the API community in the greater Seattle Area, this family-friendly festival will be held at Seattle Center from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and streamed online.  

Working to promote Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture, heritage, and contributions for current and future generations along with the general public, the festival aims to give space to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to share their preserved traditions.

“The goal of One Seattle is to unite the various communities across the city to celebrate the diversity that makes our city stronger,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “The Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration is a great opportunity to bring the community together to share the vibrant traditions of a multitude of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures as well as honoring our city’s API communities through traditional music and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, and delicious food.”

The day begins at 11:00 a.m. with Mak Fai Kung Fu Dragon and Lion Dance, followed by performances from the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, Traditional Dance of China at UW, Huayin Performing Arts Group, Live2Dance Seattle, and Lotu Mo Ngaue, a Tongan Dance Group.

Headlining the event is local b-boy crew Massive Monkees, a 28-member crew from Seattle that won the 2004 World B-Boy Championships in London and appeared on Season 4 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Other traditional and contemporary dance and musical performances include Beatbox Panda, The Kompany, MiYoung Margolis Dance Collective, Kaze Daiko, Sunshine from Polynesia, and the First Samoan Congregational Church, with a traditional Samoan dance. 

The Alan Sugiyama Hum Bow Eating Contest, named for the late longtime chair of the festival and community activist, will begin at 2 p.m., featuring local vendors, performers, and sponsors. Other activities include traditional culinary delights, performance videos, martial arts demonstrations, API community tables, a cultural display of nations, and local author Cindy Wong-Li, reading her children’s book Starhug.

“Festál is a year-long chance for the Seattle area to come together and celebrate its diverse community,” said Marshall Foster, Seattle Center Interim Director. “Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities with this family-friendly event showcases our ability to offer great events and experiences at Seattle Center.” 

Seattle Center Festál is a public program presented by Seattle Center in partnership with the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC). Admission is free of charge. For more information on this festival and to learn more about this collection of ethnic, cultural events, or call 206-684-7200.

About Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration and the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition

The Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC) has been a strong advocate for the community and has provided the leadership and support to this event for over 25 years at the Seattle Center and in the community. The group has a deep commitment and ties to the numerous AAPI groups represented at the festival and is interested in preserving and showcasing the rich culture of the community. APDC members and organizations are the primary sponsors, supporters and organizers of the event. Information on the festival is available at, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Seattle Center Festál

Seattle Center Festál cultivates a deeper understanding of the cultures and ethnic diversity that contribute to the rich vibrancy of the Pacific Northwest. This unique series links together 24 free festivals presented on weekends from January to November, each with its own cultural focus, identity, and range of engaging activities. Seattle Center Festál is Where the World Gathers to celebrate the people, the places, the stories, and the traditions of the city’s communities. Seattle Center Festál is produced in partnership with 24 different community groups and supported by City of Seattle, Seattle Center Foundation, 4Culture, and KUOW. Festál is also part of the ArtsFund Cultural Partners Network.

About Seattle Center

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts, and family gathering place in the core of our city and region. Seattle Center’s 74-acre campus, centered around the International Fountain, is part of the Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena; more than 30 cultural, educational, sports, and entertainment organizations; and a broad range of public and community programs. In everything it does, Seattle Center’s mission is to create exceptional events, experiences, and environments which delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities.

In 2023 Seattle Center is expanding its role to provide maintenance and public safety services for Seattle’s new Waterfront Park, a series of new public spaces on Seattle’s downtown waterfront between Pioneer Square and the Seattle Aquarium. Seattle Center will support managing these new waterfront public spaces in partnership with the non-profit Friends of Waterfront Seattle, which offers the community a range of recreational and cultural programming.  Thanks to the support of Official Seattle Center Partners – Alaska Airlines, The Climate Pledge, Coors Light, Pepsi, Premera, Symetra, T-Mobile, and WaFd Bank – Seattle Center is the #1 arts and entertainment destination in the Pacific Northwest with 12 million annual visitors, generating $1.864 billion in business activity and more than $631 million in labor income annually.