The News Tribune logo

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunny Weather Draws Crowds To View Northwest Folklife And International Films Over Memorial Day Weekend

Above: With the Space Needle not far in the background, a sampling of Saturday's crowd enjoyed the cooling views and equally refreshing spray off the popular International Fountain. All photos included in this blog copyright 2008 by Mizu Sugimura.

The weather couldn't be more divine for this year's Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center over this Memorial Day Weekend as happy crowds shown here well attest. In every direction you could possible look there was either an abundance or over flow (depending on what size crowd you enjoy) of musicians, dancers, handicrafts and food items. Selections included talent and merchandise from around the region and over the globe, all to the very last deserving careful examination and enthusiastic sampling.

Additionally good crowds are always to be had on such beautiful afternoons in the festive playful atmosphere and cooling spray by the always popular International Fountain. As it has been over a full decade since my last visit, today's numbers looked pretty impressive.

Right: Any break in the crowd might reveal ethnic dancers...

My spouse and I were in the area after driving up from South Puget Sound about a hour and a half before the early evening screening of a Japanese film scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in McCaw Hall that was being offered in connection with the equally famous Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) which made it's annual debut last Thursday night.

The folks at the Will Call desk told us earlier in the afternoon that movie seats were available on a first-come, first-serve basis and the line-up for the Seattle debut of the Yoji Yamada film Love and Honor would most likely begin forming about 45 minutes prior to screening.

So despite the powerful lure of activities on the grounds in connection with the Folklife Festival, both my spouse and I made a special point to hustle ourselves over to McCaw Hall sometime in the neighborhood of 5:50 p.m.

Above: ...or simply the most splendid tutus ever seen in sparkling rainbow sherbet colors.

And while I initially regretted the lack of more time to peruse what wonderful colors, sounds and textures were clearly part of this year's Folk Festival palette, the movie was the third in a trio of period drama's of which we've become quite fond, SIFF won out in the end.

Left: Traditional strawberry shortcakes attract hungry fans of all ages like a magnet.

The demands of our schedule turned out to be most fortunate for us, as we were not anywhere nearby the area of the International Fountain at 6:30 p.m. when a man was arrested by the Seattle Police for firing a gun in the area which injured two people.

Far right: One fan included this distinguished-looking male visitor. "So how's the shortcake?" we asked. His quick reply was a hearty and immediate : " Mmmmmn!"


Lorraine Hart said...

Thanks for taking me along to Folklife Mizu! I haven't been able to make it up there in the last few years, despite every intention...every year!

Wha? Someone was shooting?! I just don't know what's happening...all this rage ready just a scratch below the surface. I'm sooooo glad you're okay and my prayers go out to those who were hurt.

JosephMcG said...

Quite a fine looking gentleman you caught getting into that shortcake...
wonderful pictures... I miss the fun and laughter of the Needle a lot...
and there is the sadness of the hurt that always happens during the holidays...
tell us more about the film...

Stephanie Frieze said...

I love Folklife, but it may be time to rethink a nominal ticket to keep out those bend on evil deeds.

Thanks for the picutures, Mizu!

Kim Thompson said...

Hi Mizu:

I was up in Seattle, too, this weekend. We thought about Folklife, but instead to our brood (and our friends with their brood) for a long and lovely outing at the zoo. Then we headed into Ballard for the beach, waterview, lunch outside, and sunshine.

I lived in Seattle for a long time during my single and just married days. It really is a good city and a neat place, despite it all.