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Originally published May 26, 2010 at 7:05 PM | Page modified May 28, 2010 at 11:05 AM

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Northwest Folklife Festival Starts Friday

Northwest Folklife Festival performances and participatory music and dance, May 28-31, 2010, Seattle Center.

Seattle Times staff

Footage from last year's festival

Music and dance from around the Northwest and the world will fill Seattle Center during Northwest Folklife Festival this weekend. A local favorite for 39 years, the four-day festival kicks off summer with more than 1,000 performances and participatory events, plus kids' activities, food, a crafts marketplace, and entertainment by sidewalk artists.

Folklife draws a diverse, all-ages crowd at indoor and outdoor venues large and small, from concerts at the Mural Amphitheatre and the largest groups of folk-, swing- and square-dancers you'll ever likely see in one place, to small events tucked away in rooms and quiet corners of the Center.

Highlight events include the East Meets West music and dance showcase, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mural Amphitheatre; Korean Cultural Arts Showcase, 5 p.m. Saturday at Bagley Wright Theatre; Old Time Kitchen Party tunes, 3 p.m. Sunday on the Northwest Court Stage, and Reggae Showcase, 6 p.m. Sunday at Mural Amphitheatre.

Check out your old favorites and find new ones among traditions of the blues, bluegrass or reggae and Filipino, Korean, East Indian and many other world cultures. Join the crowds grabbing a bite at the food vendors and relax with a splash at the International Fountain. Join in singalongs, dances, drum sessions, song circles and singing and dance workshops, then learn about green living at the Living Green Courtyard and Eco Active Zone.

Folklife is for all ages. Most interactive events and activities for children — including dance workshops, music lessons, mosaic art, mask-making and entertainment — are on Folklife Commons, on the Broad Street side of Seattle Center.

Folklife admission is free, though donations are encouraged and collected at all Seattle Center entrances.

The details

Time: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday; Folklife Commons family activities 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Cost: Free; daily donation of $10/person or $20/family encouraged.

Location: Seattle Center, Seattle.

Getting there: Seattle Center traffic hotline and parking info, 206-233-3989. Bike racks available at all Center entrances; bike route information, www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikemaps.htm. Some Center lots offer reduced parking rates for vehicles with three or more people. Metro Transit service, 206-553-3000 or http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/; Sound Transit Link light-rail information, 206-398-5000 or soundtransit.org. Seattle Center Monorail, 206-905-2620 or www.seattlemonorail.com.

More information: 206-684-7300 or www.nwfolklife.org.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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