Seattle Center Festal to Celebrate Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Lion dances, martial arts, live music and expressive art forms explore Cambodian, Thai, Lao, Filipino and Tongan civilizations at Seattle Center Festál: Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration, 11:45 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, May 1, in Seattle Center Armory.

The Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team opens the 15th annual festival, followed by a full day of performances sharing the cultural diversity of the Asian-Pacific Islander community. Dance highlights include Filipino Youth Activities Drill Team, Mien cultural dance by 12 Fingx, Te Fare O Tamatoa Tahitian dance, traditional Lao dance and music by Kinnaly, Natya East Indian dancers, Filipino folk dance by FACES, Fraggle Rock Crew, belly dance by Shiori, Seattle Thai Dancers, Hula `Ohana `O Ke`alaileiha`aha`a, Federal Way High School Samoan Club, female hip-hop group The CrUW and an international lion dance. Musical performances by OBGs (Oldies but Goodies) Band and Kaze Daiko taiko drummers showcase traditional and contemporary influences.

Scheduled activities provide fun for festival-goers of all ages. Cheer on local notables in the Celebrity Hum Bow Contest at 1:30 p.m., as they race to eat three hum bow the fastest. Confirmed participants include former Seattle Sonics player Fred Brown, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, KIRO 7 anchor and reporter Siemny Kim and State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos. A fashion show presents Vietnamese traditional dress at 3:30 p.m.

Explore the books of local Asian-Pacific Islander authors and tour 10 cultural booths presented by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center of Tacoma. Children's activities include button making, coloring, origami and a table display highlighting eight Asian countries.

As Seattle Center Festál prepares for a milestone in 2017, the 20th anniversary of this illuminating series of ethnic cultural events at Seattle Center, we 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 at Seattle Center, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that influence 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 this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200. Learn more about Seattle Center Festál: Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration at: www.apiheritage.com.



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