Irish Eyes Are Smiling! Seattle Center’s Festal presents the 2018 Irish Festival

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to celebrate the beauty and depth of the Irish culture, and Seattle Center’s Festal is gearing up to do just that!

Head to Seattle Center on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th and find a serious taste of the Emerald Isle right here in the heart of in the Emerald City. Festal’s Irish Festival will bring to life a multifaceted, in-depth adventure through Ireland, its history and traditions, no passport necessary.

Enjoy a fun and fascinating exploration of Irish cultural heritage, past and present, through visual arts, live performance, games, activities, and of course, food! Explore the market place featuring Irish handicrafts, live Irish music and that famous and oh-so-impressive Irish step dancing.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out by tracing your own roots in geology workshops (yes! That’s at the festival!), and learn a bit of the Celtic language while you’re at it. The festival also promises Irish movies and short films, cultural exhibits and live demonstrations and maybe even a few Irish celebrities!


Festal is a series of multi-cultural events presented by and at the Seattle Center each year. Now in its 21st year, Festal continues to shine a light on the beauty and majesty of cultures across the globe by showcasing their rich and complex traditions, histories, art, music, dance, food and much more. Festal’s Irish Festival is presented in partnership with the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle.


Whether you’re looking to learn more about your own heritage, wanting to learn more about Ireland and its culture in general, or you’re simply tired of leprechauns and green beer and looking for a more authentic experience, Festal’s Irish Festival is sure to be a fun and fabulous way to spend your St. Patty’s Day weekend.

Seattle Center Festál
Irish Festival
March 17-18, 2018
Armory Main Level

Charette to Draw Public Input for Big Lid

 Marchers against I-5 construction, downtown Seattle, June 1, 1961 Museum of History & Industry

Marchers against I-5 construction, downtown Seattle, June 1, 1961
Museum of History & Industry

In 1967, the last phase of Interstate 5 opened. The freeway, which was designed to link Vancouver, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Everett, and Bellingham, demolished anything that fell within its path and nowhere was this more destructive than in Seattle. Rather than cut through downtown, or climb through the hills and ridges directly surrounding the city, planners selected a course of least resistance for 1-5 in Seattle. In 1957, more than seven blocks of residences and retail businesses on the east side of Eastlake were razed to make way for the Interstate. The freeway eliminated the bottom portion of the Republican Street Hillclimb, a stairway leading from Cascade to Capitol Hill built in 1910. South of the Ship Canal Bridge Interstate 5 separates the Eastlake and Cascade neighborhoods from the Capitol Hill neighborhood and separates Downtown Seattle from the Capitol Hill and First Hill neighborhoods. Its construction necessitated the demolition of significantly developed areas and cut off walking commutes to downtown for many First Hill and Capitol Hill residents.
Since its completion, there has been significant interest in placing a lid over the portion of I-5 that cuts through Seattle. An early attempt at this can be seen in Lawrence Halprin‘s Freeway Park, which opened in 1976. This Saturday, May 7th, a design charrette (a collaborative session where designers and stakeholders work to draft proposals to solve a design problem) is being held by the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council to gather ideas that could materialize into an actual lid.
The charrette will take place at 12th Ave Arts this Saturday, May 7th, from 8 AM to 1 PM (coffee and High 5 Pie provided). Attendees will be armed with markers and tracing paper over a blown up image of the I-5 corridor to draw up their best ideas for a lid. Organizers have also compiled packets of materials reviewing existing lids in Seattle and around the U.S.
Pine Street Group developers will next go before the Seattle Design Commission on June 7th, where public benefits for the WSCC addition will be discussed. Commissioners are not expected to take any action. However, the commission will consider materials submitted by the community ahead of the meeting, creating an ideal opportunity to present the results of Saturday’s charrette.