This blog post was updated on September 11, 2014.

Family Travel: Getting Folksy in Seattle, Flickr: perspective

Entertainment for the Whole Family!

For just over 40 years, the Northwest Folklife Festival has been celebrating cultural and artistic expression in the Pacific Northwest.  The annual four-day festival now draws a quarter million visitors from the entire globe, all excited to be entertained and enlightened by cultural groups and musical performers ranging from Irish cloggers, Middle Eastern dancers, and West African drummers, to hip hop, bluegrass fiddlers, and ska bands.  The best part of the festival?  It is entirely free, giving you the opportunity to engulf your family in a wide-variety of cultural and musical expressions, without a hefty investment. 

Start your day at one of the nine information booths to help get you oriented.  Here you can learn about performance schedules, food options, and vendors.   In addition to a wide variety of shows, exhibits, and food and craft galleries, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities taking place daily on the Fisher Terrace including storytelling, dancing, a milk carton derby, toy boat building, puppets, arts & crafts.

Here's a few can't miss acts to explore in 2013:

Friday:  Dance & sing to the Groove Train musical groups including Luc and the Lovingtons, Gravity Kings, and the Jefferson Rose Band.  The Bollywood Show is sure to keep the interest of your kids or take dance lessons at the Cajun Roadhouse.  

Saturday:  Jimi Hendrix fans will want to stop in to hear the Jimi Hendrix tribute or the Balkan Misfits Show, one of the most traditional showcase shows that returns each year.  Looking to go a bit more old school?  Learn to dance the English Country way (think Jane Austin) or get crazy and free at the World Dance Party.

Sunday:  Teens and tweens will get a kick out of the breakdance competition and hip hop showcase.  Watch as the best local youths compete to be the b-boy or b-girl of the year.  If that isn't quite your style, head to the cowboy swing dance, Latin dance party, or Rockabilly round-up.

Monday:  Take your kids to watch Kindiependent: major cool points.

The 2013 Folklife Festival runs May 24-27, 2013 from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.  Donations are accepted, but not required.

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