The following announcement is from Seattle Center Festál.
Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, a founding member of Seattle Center Festál, commemorates the long friendship between the people of Japan and Washington State. The Festival, one of the longest running Festál events at 38 years, seeks to highlight the common values we all share beyond cultural differences, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, April 21-23, in Seattle Center Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion.
In celebration of Festál turns 20, the Festival will reenact its 1997 Guinness record title in the category of “Longest Sushi Roll.” Organizers plan to create a roll of over 100 feet with the assistance of 16 five-person teams. In celebration of the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association 60th anniversary, Singing Sparrows, a women’s gospel choir from Kobe, will perform. Also featured are Japan’s Cultural Envoy Fujima Rankoh in a demonstration and workshop of a traditional Japanese dance. Hapa rapper Aisha Fukushima performs as well and speaks at the Hapa Hafu Heritage Forum on Friday.
Several dance ensembles will appear at the Festival including Dance Fujima, Okinawa Kenjinai and the John Stanford Soran Bushi Dancers. Musical guests include Okinawa Kenjinkai, the Cherry Blossom Trio, George Satake Group, Miss Chi Ka from Okinawa, Music Miyagi Kai Koto, Inochi and a number of Taiko drumming groups from across the region. Several martial arts groups also will present.
The Festival offers numerous child-oriented activities. Friday focuses on hands-on activities for students, and many of the activities continue through the weekend: calligraphy workshops, play with traditional toys, happi and kite making, origami and kirie paper cutting and a special Friday dance workshop. The festival gift shop offers many items including books and vintage Japanese goods. Festival-goers can enjoy a variety of Japanese edibles including: the Festival’s own gyudon, curry rice, sushi burritos, a Japanese pork belly bowl, traditional tea prepared by MyGreenTea and more.
In 2017, Seattle Center Festál celebrates 20 years of global music, dance, art, crafts, history, food and insight presented through a unique partnership among community organizations and Seattle Center. Festál provides a stage and platform for them to share their traditions, accomplishments and artistic expression. Festál events captivate and enlighten festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that shape the character and course of our broader community.
Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival, visit www.cherryblossomfest.org, and to learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206-684-7200.