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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 17 May 2006

Participants from past festivals

Now in its 35th year, the Northwest Folklife Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. over Memorial Day weekend, May 26 through 29, at the Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.

Admission is free, but a $5-per-day donation is suggested.

During the festival's four-day run, the diverse communities of the Northwest will share their cultural traditions. Visitors will sing and dance, taste cuisine from around the world and learn from each other.

The Northwest Folklife Festival is the largest folk, ethnic and traditional arts event in North America and features more than 6,000 musicians, dancers and visual artists. The festival features music and dance performances, workshops, lectures, visual arts and folklife exhibits, symposia, workshops, children's exhibits and activities including face-painting, cartoon portraits, poetry readings, cultural booths, craft and cooking demonstrations and documentary films.

Each year a portion of the festival's programming focuses on a different community of the Pacific Northwest; this year it is the Arab community. Arabic influences are represented locally in language, foods, buildings, art and traditions. More than 10,000 people of Arab descent live in the Seattle metro area.

Festival highlights include a craft marketplace featuring crafts made by 116 of the Northwest's top artisans; a musical instrument makers' showcase with handmade instruments, accessories and books; an "uncommon marketplace" featuring imported and domestic folk and ethnic products; and an international food village with more than 35 different booths serving international ethnic cuisine.

For more information, visit www.nwfolklife.org.

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