Looking for something fun to do in Seattle over Memorial Day Weekend? Don’t miss out on the return of the Northwest Folklife Festival!
This will be the 51st year for the Northwest Folklife Festival, which runs from Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30 at Seattle Center. This celebration of Northwest arts and culture will have live music, dancing, food, vendors, and more. Best of all, admission is free, so there’s no reason to not check it out if you’re in the area!
The history of the Northwest Folklife Festival dates back to its inaugural year of 1972. The festival was started and is maintained by the Northwest Folklife organization, which has worked to celebrate and preserve the culture and heritage of Pacific Northwest communities since 1971. You can view a fascinating gallery of the festival over the years, dating back to the 1970s, here.
This year’s festival-goers can look forward to a four-day lineup of live entertainment, performers, and vendors. All of the festival events will be taking place at various stages and areas at Seattle Center. If you can’t make it to the festival in-person, you can enjoy it virtually! There will be a live-stream every day of the festival starting at 1pm.
Surprise yourself by learning the steps to another culture’s traditional dance this weekend. Some of the live performances you can enjoy include an open drum circle, a cajun jam, traditional Hula dancing, Celtic musicians, a pop-funk brass band, tango dance, a cowboy sing-along, and a Scandinavian dance workshop. Many of these music and dance performances welcome audience participation. See the full event schedule here.
This year’s festival also emphasizes hands-on activities, allowing you to learn a new skill such as basketweaving or stop-motion animation. The festival will have free workshops that are open to all ages Saturday through Monday. A few options include a graffiti demonstration, a spice-making tutorial, a writing workshop, and a musical jam station. See the full list of Maker’s Space workshops and activities here.
Finally, there will also be vendors selling yummy food and eclectic treasures. Some of the vendors at the Folklife Food Market include Kaleenka Piroshky, Lajitana Greek Cuisine, Simply Thai, Curry House, Zieglers Bratwurst Haus. Be sure to bring your appetite! Bring your tote bag for shopping as well, since there will be vendors selling handcrafted jewelry, home goods, apparel, artwork, and more. See the list of food and retail vendors here.
The 2022 Northwest Folklife Festival Details
When: Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30. Hours are 11am – 10pm Friday through Sunday and 11am – 9pm on Monday.
Where: Seattle Center
Cost: Free admission (there is a suggested donation of $20)