Photo from Hmong New Year Facebook event page.
Photo from Hmong New Year Facebook event page.

Seattle Center Festál: Hmong New Year Celebration will be held on Saturday, November 5, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., in Seattle Center Armory. The family festivity preserves the ancient highland cultures of China, Laos, and Thailand as it brings together Hmong people from across the region. Admission is free-of-charge.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Past to Present,” as the festival celebrates its 19th year at Seattle Center. It showcases Hmong artists in ways that illuminate the history and current trends of this distinct culture. Popular Hmong-Canadian rock band SuddenRush headlines the festival, returning to the U.S. for the first time in five years. Along with traditional dance and music performances running throughout the day on the Armory Stage, festival-goers may join the fun in a Hmong line dancing class.

Engaging displays and participatory activities provide fun for the entire family. Put your appetite to the test in a sticky rice, sausage and cucumber eating contest. Artifacts on loan from the Burke Museum are on display and join a docent for a historical reading designed with children in mind.

The festival’s marketplace serves delicious Hmong cuisine including pork sausage with sticky rice and peppers, spicy papaya salad and nam vam (tri-colored tapioca in coconut milk). Hmong clothing, CDs and films are also available for purchase.

As Seattle Center Festál prepares for a milestone in 2017, the 20th anniversary of this illuminating series of ethnic cultural events at Seattle Center, the festival celebrate the diverse arts, crafts, foods and family activities presented on weekends throughout the year. The 23 Festál events, organized by ethnic/cultural organizations in partnership with Seattle Center, form the bedrock of our free, public offerings, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that influence the character and course of our broader community.

Seattle Center Festál 2016, a collection of 23 cultural events presented on weekends throughout the year, highlights the diverse cultures and common threads of ethnic communities in our region with traditional and contemporary art, music, foods, youth activities, workshops, marketplaces and more. Seattle Center Festál is produced with the generous support of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, Coca-Cola, Alaska Airlines, T-Mobile, RealNetworks, 4Culture and ArtsWA. Additional support is provided by the City of Seattle and Seattle Center Foundation.

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