Sunday, May 29, 2005


For many musicians, dancers and craftspeople in the Pacific Northwest, Memorial Day Weekend is all about Seattle's Northwest Folklife Festival. Begun in 1972, the original festival's concept was to provide a public forum where the traditional and ethnic communities and artists of the Northwest Region of the National Park Service (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Western Montana) could present their music and dance performances and crafts. The theme was presenting what people "make for their own use and do for their own entertainment."

Thirty-three years later, Folklife is going strong. At the Seattle Center this weekend, from mid-day Friday until Monday evening, over 6,000 musicians, dancers, and visual artists are entertaining and teaching an estimated 250,000 visitors.

I was at Folklife today fiddling for my morris dance team. Tomorrow evening, I'll be playing for a performance of English country dancing (think Jane Austen movies). I'll be back after the Festival's over.