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Northwest Folklife Festival takes over Seattle Center this weekend with music, dance, film and art by community groups representing cultures around the world.

Old favorites and first-time artists from 65 cultural communities perform at 24 indoor and outdoor venues, with music, art and cinema of “India and Its People” as this year’s cultural focus. Friday’s events kick off with a Bollywood Dance Party on the Armory Stage.

New features this year include a partnership with Seattle International Film Festival with film screenings daily at the SIFF Film Center, expanded visual arts programming including artists’ demonstrations, more Indie Roots programming, and a series of blues workshops by new Folklife partner Centrum.

Discovery Zone family-friendly performances, workshops and activities are also expanded this year with Games of the World, mosaic and puppet making craft activities, and singalongs, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in the Next 50 Pavilion.

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Dancing fills Warren’s Roadhouse in Fisher Pavilion, Cajun, swing, Swedish and Balkan styles and more. Drop by salsa, contra, country or dance workshops. Sing along with Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Beatles songs with the Seatles, join in a barbershop a cappella singing workshop or take a beginners’ class for Irish fiddle, blues slide guitar and more.

Folklife will honor legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger with a singalong tribute Monday at 1 p.m. and movies about Seeger at SIFF Film Center and JBL Theatre in EMP.

Food vendors will offer world cuisine and elephant ears, funnel cakes and other festival-style fare. Take a break at the beer gardens, browse the vendors’ area with local artists and crafts from around the world and learn about sustainability in the Living Green Courtyard.

Parking around Seattle Center tends to fill up early each day; arriving by bus, Seattle Monorail or bicycling are good options, with a large bike corral at the Harrison Street entrance. Folklife asks visitors to leave pets at home.

Admission is free, though donations, $10 a person or $20 per family or group per day, are encouraged. They will be collected at all Seattle Center entrances.

Madeline McKenzie:

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