Under the Space Needle, the Northwest Folklife Festival sprawls across the 74 acres of Seattle Center every Memorial Day weekend. The event is a four-day extravaganza of ethnic music, dance, crafts, food, and folklore from more than 100 countries. Eighteen stages offer nonstop performances, demonstrations, and workshops for every imaginable cultural tradition, including gospel music, hula dancing, and barbershop singing. There are also gypsy bands and a hilarious liar's contest. Street performers and artists are everywhere -- you can find a musical saw player, a kilt-clad highland piper, and a punked-out preteen virtuoso on the violin.
Programs featuring music, storytelling, and crafts are headquartered in the Family Stage Activity Area, where kids can create Chinese dragon masks and build their own harmonica and learn how to play it. The large stages showcase the most popular acts, which might be a group of bluegrass fiddlers, a Brazilian carnival band, or a West African drum corps. The food village offers regional favorites such as berry shortcake and Pacific Northwest salmon; more exotic fare from around the world is also available.
Where else in the world can you see fish mongers tossing their wares and putting on a show? Go to the next page to learn about the Pike Place Market.
Northwest Folklife Festival Information
Address: Warren Ave. N. and Mercer St
Hours of Operation: Memorial Day Weekend, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Admission: Free; Suggested Donation
To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
- Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
- Seattle City Guide: Discover Seattle, a city that's synonymous with Starbucks, the Space Needle, and rainy weather.
- Washington State Guide: Learn about the natural beauty you'll find in the state of Washington, including the Columbia River and Mount Rainier.
- Scenic Drives: For those who think getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.