Seattle's Top 10 : Festivals & Parades

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  1. Seafair

    A parade along 4th Avenue in early July kicks off Seafair, a celebration of maritime and aviation history highlighted by the aerodynamic “derring-do” of the Navy’s Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter pilots, an All Nations Pow Wow at Daybreak Cultural Center, hydroplane races on Lake Washington, and battleships open to the public on the waterfront.

  2. Bumbershoot

    Performers from all over the world converge for this Labor Day weekend festival  that transforms Seattle Center into the arts capital of the Pacific NW. Its three days are packed with concerts, intimate theater productions, independent film presentations, and literary arts.

  3. Seattle Pride March

    The Seattle Pride March runs from Westlake Park to Seattle Center. Sponsored by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, it attracts huge crowds from every orientation. Expect outrageous floats, dancing, and the popular “Dykes on Bikes”, a motorcycle outfit whose members freely show what they have beneath the leather.

  4. University District Street Fair

    Dating from 1970, Seattle’s first street fair stretches over ten blocks of “The Ave” and its sidestreets in May. Innumerable crafts booths, food vendors, and local rock music performances attract families from all over town.

  5. Fremont Fair Solstice Parade

    All floats at this innovative parade must be entirely human powered, stimulating the imaginations of Fremont’s anarchic arts community. Crews propel samba bands, dancers, and rock quartets using battery-operated amplifiers. It’s held on or near the summer solstice (June 21).

  6. Seattle Maritime Festival

    Aficionados of tugboats and ships flock to this May festival. It makes for a free, fun, and family-friendly way to learn how the working waterfront has become a major factor in Seattle’s economy and culture. The fair centers around the Bell Street Pier, which is adjacent to the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center. An exciting and humorous highlight is the tugboat race on Elliott Bay.

  7. Northwest Folklife Festival

    A free May celebration of the Pacific NW’s ethnic music, dance, and arts and crafts, Folklife is a magnet for all the old (and new) hippies in the region. Given the diversity of Seattle’s Pacific Rim population, it’s virtually a festival of and for the world.

  8. Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

    One of the most respected and comprehensive film festivals in the US, the SIFF screens more than 300 new works from at least 50 countries during May and June. Even midnight showings of cult films sell out, and notable directors attend many premier screenings.

  9. Earshot Jazz Festival

    The shoestring staff at the non-profit Earshot Jazz held between October and November present a well-respected event. The festivals have consistently showcased successful as well as struggling jazz artists, enriching and enlightening the Seattle community at large. Well-known performers have included Bill Frisell and John McLaughlin.

  10. Seattle Improvised Music Festival (SIMF)

    The largest and longest running music festival of its kind anywhere, SIMF is dedicated to the esoteric art of spontaneous composition. Local performers join eclectic international musicians to improvise sets that defy category, but always impress. After 19 thrilling annual productions, the ever-popular February festival draws larger audiences each year.

Top 10 Festal Cultural Events

  1. Tet Festival

    A colorful beginning in late January marks the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

  2. Festival Sundiata

    Seattle’s celebration of the West African Mansa of the Mali Empire, in mid-February, represents African and African American cultural traditions.

  3. Irish Week Festival

    Music and dance events comprise two days of authentic Irish culture in mid-March.

  4. Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

    Dance, music, martial arts, and tea ceremonies are the highlights of this mid-April fair.

  5. Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival

    Philippine independence is celebrated in mid-June with colorful costumes, dance, film, drama, and culinary arts.

  6. BrasilFest

    Expect infectious rhythms, joyful dance, and spicy flavors to celebrate this Brazilian Folklore Day in late August.

  7. Tibet Fest

    This late-August festival preserves Tibet’s rituals and traditions while incorporating cultural elements of its neighboring countries.

  8. Dia de Muertos

    Pay tribute to your ancestors Latin American-style with altars, artwork, food, and music in October.

  9. Italian Festival

    This early-October festival is all about fun and food.

  10. Hmong New Year

    November marks the end of harvest, a time for relaxing, and preparing special foods.

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