Seattle Center Festál kicks off its 20th anniversary year with a festive and culture-filled evening, Festál Turns 20 FÊTE, 6pm – 9pm, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. The event is designed to present a taste of Festál in one evening. Attendees can experience the breadth of cultural and ethnic expression in the Pacific Northwest with live performances, wine tasting, ethnic foods and participatory fun. Each of the 24 Festál cultural festivals are represented through food, drink, décor, dance, art, exhibits and music.
The FÊTE features Japanese, Italian, African American, Mexican and Arab food specialties, along with a special tasting of French and Italian wines. Attendees may make Japanese origami, an authentic Hawaiian lei or a Marita Dingus African doll from recycled materials. Bollywood and Irish dance, along with a Vietnamese lion dance, bring excitement to the evening. A fashion show features traditional and contemporary couture from Croatia, Africa, Vietnam, Iran and India. Seattle Center ethnomusicologist James Whetzel deejays the event with sounds from the Festál series. The evening closes with a cup of rich Turkish coffee.
In 2017, Seattle Center Festál celebrates 20 years of global music, dance, art, crafts, history, food and insight presented through a unique partnership among community organizations and Seattle Center. This illuminating series of cultural festivals, held 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.
The series, which forms the bedrock of the free, public programming at Seattle Center, recognizes that we are a nation of immigrant, indigenous and ethnic cultures. Festál provides a stage and platform for traditions, accomplishments and artistic expression, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that shape the character and course of our broader community.
Festál Turns 20 FÊTE is the first of several new programs and initiatives in recognition of Festál’s 20th year. A special cookbook, Gathering Around the Table, A Festál Cookbook, featuring recipes from each of the festivals, serves as the centerpiece, along with curated food demonstrations at the Festál events. Northwest Folklife features Festál as its Cultural Focus during 2017, and Festál is partnering with Seattle Public Library, Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Downtown Seattle Association and others to introduce components of the series to audiences beyond Seattle Center.
The FÊTE is a 21+ event. It provides an opportunity to support this series of ongoing cultural festivals. Admission is $50. For more information on the Festál Turns 20 FÊTE, visit www.seattlecenter.org/festal-turns-20-fete, and for more on Seattle Center Festál and other free public programs at Seattle Center, click on www.seattlecenter.com or call 206-684-7200.