By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
The Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle’s free four-day party, is a celebration of cultures where people can listen to music, try out dances and hear stories from all around the world.
Whether you are into the sounds of Bollywood, Celtic traditions, Asian music or hip-hop, you can listen, experience and learn during this 42nd annual festival at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., which runs from 11 a.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Monday.
This year, Folklife focuses on the workplace with stories and personal histories shown in a multimedia program, “Washington Works.”
But let’s get back to the party.
Folklife features hundreds of performers, a Monday night reggae show, an urban square dance and music across all the stages. A complete schedule of entertainment can be found at www.nwfolklife.org.
The bands, just to name a few, include The Shed Players, who help kick off the festival action Friday. This folk group has performed at festivals and farmers markets throughout Snohomish County and are known for roots music and a jug band style.
Also Friday, you might want to check out The Terrible Lizards whose press material has them performing Celtic tunes and songs for 65 million years.
Also Friday, the LoveBomb Go-Go Marching Band of Portland play Indie-Balkan-funk-punk.
On Saturday the entertainment continues with Ancora, an a cappella women’s choir, among many other performers.
On Sunday you can check out the Northwest Junior Pipe Band, a traditional Scottish bagpipe band comprised entirely of kids from elementary through high school. There’s also Komplex Kai, a Native American rapper from Tulalip who performs hip-hop.
On Monday, you can hear the Everett Norwegian Male Chorus, which upholds Nordic culture through song.
The festival’s closeout band Monday night is the Fabulous Downey Brothers, who are reminiscent of The B-52s, a little more weird but definitely poppy.
Family activities are part of the party and are centrally located this year on the Fisher Terrace. The activities include the Seattle Family Dance Tent, open Friday and Saturday where the youngest visitors can dance, listen to stories and sing songs from many cultures.
There’s also toy boat building and knot tying Friday through Monday put on by the Center for Wooden Boats, which will supply traditional hand tools and show knot-tying skills and help kids make traditional rope sailor bracelets. There’s a $2 materials fee.
Another family activity is creating mosaic art with recycled glass Friday through Monday. Visitors can make and take home trivets, coasters and mirrors. There’s a $4 to $7 materials fee.
In addition to a complete schedule of events, the Folklife website provides a list of special attractions and a category called 28 Things to See This Year.
The website also offers tips on where to stay and where to eat and offers the best ways to get around the festival along with a Frequently Asked Questions section. The website is www.nwfolklife.org.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; firstname.lastname@example.org.