Northwest Folklife Festival returns in person, other fun Memorial Day weekend events

“Metamorphosis: With the Old, with the New” is the slogan of the 51st Annual North West Folk Life Festival this year.

The festival is once again offering an in-person experience after switching to virtual events for the past two years during the pandemic.

Go Early or Go Late: A Western WA Memorial Day Weekend Travel Guide

Although you can visit the festival in person this year from Friday, it is now a hybrid event. There are also daily streaming virtual performances starting at 1 p.m. This is the festival’s first year to offer both in-person and virtual events.

Showcasing the music, arts and heritage of the Pacific Northwest, the festival celebrates diversity and features more than 6,000 performers on at least 20 stages and 200 food, craft and import vendors. The festival employs 500 volunteers and attracts over 250,000 attendees.

Entertainment includes street musicians, street performers, music, dance, workshops, visual arts, films, storytelling and cultural events.

The festival is held at the Seattle Center and runs Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission to the festival is free, but donations of $20 per person are suggested to cover operating expenses, produce the festival, and maintain year-round programs provided by the non-profit organization Northwest Folklife.

In addition to the in-person return of the Northwest Folklife Festival, the Juan de Fuca Festival returns this weekend. Split between the towns of Port Angeles and Sequim on the northern end of the peninsula, the festival features bands, food and crafts. Musical headliners include Lady A, Hiroya Tsukamoto and the Country Lips.

The Brinnon ShrimpFest captures the delicate annual window when shrimp are in season. And this year, Memorial Day weekend is one of them.

The Whatcom County Memorial Day Parade returns after two years of COVID cancellations, performing in downtown Bellingham on Saturday, featuring floats, clowns, horses and marching bands. This is the 100th anniversary of Whatcom County’s first Memorial Day Parade.

Mill Creek also has its own parade for Memorial Day weekend. The program begins with a ceremony at the Veterans Monument in Mill Creek’s Liberty Park, which will set the parade in motion as it marches through downtown Mill Creek. The show will feature veterans of foreign wars, the American Legion, the Civil Air Patrol, military vehicles and a flyover in military jets.

About Dwayne Wakefield

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