Seattle gets ready for 38th annual Northwest Folklife Festival

Great food, free music, beautiful art, and people of all ethnicities are just a few of the things you’ll see at this year’s Folklife Festival.

The 38th annual Northwest Folklife Festival will take place at Seattle Center on May 22 and will run through Memorial Day weekend, ending on May 25, 2009. Folklife begins each day at 11:00 a.m. and will end at 10:00 p.m. every night, except for the last day which, will end at 9:00 p.m.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will announce the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) Centennial at 3:00 p.m. on May 23. The AYPE was Seattle’s first world’s fair in 1909. The fair recognized and honored the first communities to settle in Western Washington in the 1900s. Scandinavians, Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiians, Filipinos and Alaska Natives are some of the major ethnicities the AYPE will celebrate.

Nickels will start the festivities at the Mural Stage; two parades will follow.

Nickels isn’t just involved in Centennial, however.

The mayor has been trying to pass a law that will ban guns—even for those that have a Concealed Weapons Permit—in all Seattle parks, city buildings, and the Seattle Center.

According to the Seattle Times, the law has not passed yet; however Nickels’ goal was to have it passed in time for the 2009 Folklife Festival.

The shooting incident that occurred at last year’s Folklife Festival is a primary reason for the new law.

The gunman had attained a permit before the deranged shootings at the 2008 event, which explains the precautions Nickels is trying to enforce today.

Folklife’s security check will be on high alert. Even if the law hasn’t been enacted, any guns that are found will be kept or the owner will be asked to leave the premises.

The events scheduled include various workshops that focus on music, dance, and singing. Performers are also welcomed to sing and dance for free. Many artists are lined up to entertain, with performances in belly dancing, waltz, and hula, just to name a few. Family storytelling and the famous Beer Garden sing-a-longs are sure to take place as well.