Seattle Center Polish Festival Celebrates Warsaw’s Cultural Influence and Heritage

Seattle Center Polish Festival Celebrates Warsaw’s Cultural Influence and Heritage

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Polish Festival Celebrates Warsaw’s Cultural Influence & Heritage

Photo: Piotr Horoszowski
Photo: Piotr Horoszowski

Polish food, high energy performances, cultural workshops and vibrantly decorated costumes and crafts celebrate this jubilant culture at Seattle Center Festál: Polish Festival, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, July 9, at Seattle Center Armory and Mural Amphitheatre.

The fifth annual Polish Festival celebrates Poland’s capital city Warsaw, situated in the dynamic Mazovia region. Performances by Paweł Chęciński, a graduate of the Music Academy in Warsaw, band Warsaw Pearl and folk dance groups Mazovia and Lajkonik Polish Folk Ensemble highlight the cultural influence of the capital region.

An exhibition in the Armory Loft Lobby invites festival-goers to explore the history of Warsaw and Mazovia through costumes, photographs, folk art, and artifacts. Warsaw-based composer and video artist Robert Jędrzejewski and butoh dancers Joan Laage and Sylwia Hanff present and discuss their film Beksiński Butoh Untitled 2 at 5 p.m. in Armory Loft 3. The cross-cultural project takes it inspiration from Polish painter and photographer Zdzisław Beksiński’s evocative dystopian surrealist works.

Other musical highlights include folk and contemporary compositions by Duo Draka and the Matt Strutynski Band, accordionist Andy Mirkovich, Eastern European Romani music by Parno Drom, a choral performance by Vivat Musica! and Polish jazz singer Kasia Zaręba. Enjoy folk dance performances by Młodzi Polanie and Sobótka, and join the dancing with a polka contest accompanied by live accordion music at 2 p.m.

Children’s activities include wycinanki (paper cutout art), palemki (paper palm fronds), wianki (floral headbands), Mazovia-themed coloring projects, a scavenger hunt, and face painting. A hands-on dessert cooking class designed for kids begins at 2:45 p.m. in Armory Loft 2.

Cooking demonstrations in Armory Loft 2 offer the opportunity to learn recipes for Polish bread at 11:15 a.m., bigos or hunter’s stew, 5:15 p.m. and babka at 2:15 p.m. Also in Armory Loft 2 are pierogi making workshops for all ages, taught from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. – or while supplies last. Food vendors offer authentic specialties including kielbasa, gołąbki (cabbage rolls), placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes topped with sour cream or applesauce), bigos, naleśniki (crepes with cheese filling and fruit sauce) and pączki (doughnuts filled with jam). A beer garden serves imported Polish beer and local wines, accompanied by live accordion music.

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 organization celebrates 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 seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200. Learn more about Seattle Center Festál: Polish Festival at:  polishfestivalseattle.org.

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