Seattle Center Festál: Tết in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Feb 10-11, in Seattle Center Armory and Fisher Pavilion, welcomes the return of spring and chases out evil spirits with lion dances and firecrackers. It also ushers in the Year of the Dog with martial arts, traditional and contemporary dance, visual arts, authentic foods, ethnic items for sale, workshops, demonstrations and hands-on learning for kids and adults.
The festival theme in 2018, Loyalty to Your Roots, plays out in the selection of instrumental ensembles, traditional dance and performances by locally well-known singers including: Meena, Y Lan, Vu Manh Tuan and Tuan Ngoc. A festival exhibit contains contemporary Vietnamese art and culture. A fashion show, 4 p.m. on Sunday, highlights traditional and current fashion design. The festival also offers cooking demonstrations each day at 12 p.m. and children’s activities such as coloring, mask making and arts crafts, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Children may also participate in a spell bee, 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, and a Knowledge Bowl at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The festival’s 4th annual Health Fair, Sunday, Feb. 11, in Seattle Center Armory, provides free screenings and services for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, chiropractic care and massage therapy, nutrition and vision health. Healthcare seekers will also find mammography and dental health treatment vans, and the uninsured will find free health insurance enrollment. Appointment may be scheduled by calling (206) 430-1500, and interpretive services for Vietnamese speakers are available.
Seattle Center Festál brings to light the culturally rich communities who shape the character of our region. Although the series began in 1997, its origins stretch back to when ethnic communities were planting their roots here. For many of them, Seattle Center served as a central place where they could invite the public to join in their unique cultural expression. Some festivals were formed in response to wars or ethnic displacement and others to unite their communities, educate the public and dispel stereotypes. Now at 21 years, Festál producers are seeking to sustain their festivals with compelling programming that appeals to multiple generations.
Seattle Center Festál is a public program presented by Seattle Center in partnership with Tết in Seattle – Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on this festival, visit tetinseattle.org, and to learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206-684-7200.