Week 3 – Festivals, Fire, & Football

Week 3 was jam packed with activities. It was Memorial Day weekend, and the weather was perfect – blue skies, sunshine, warm temperatures — a climate wouldn’t expect from Seattle. During this week, I attended the Folk Life Festival, watched a fire spinning performance, and attended my first MLS game.

The Northwest Folklife Festival

After recovering from my illness, I left my apartment later in the afternoon and headed toward Downtown Seattle to check out the Northwest Folklife Festival. It took place at the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle, EMP, and other popular attractions are located. Right at the entrance, there were many street performers. These performers ranged from animated statues, to musicians, to artists. It was a great way to spend the day walking around the complex and seeing these different acts come out and perform at one location.

As with every festival, there was plenty of food. Since it’s been a year since I’ve had an elephant ear (very similar to a funnel cake), and I’ll be missing my hometown festival, I had to capitalize on this opportunity to satisfy my sweet tooth. A friend of mine also let me try a deep-fried banana. I did not expect for it to taste good.

There was only one thing that was different about this festival, that was rather unpleasant for me. The air was stanched with the smell of marijuana. In the state of Washington, it is legal to recreationally smoke cannabis, and many people participated in doing so in public. This was the only downside to the festival, as it added an odious smell to the atmosphere, but I just shrugged it off since my elephant ear smelled much better.

A Memorial Day Cookout

On Memorial Day, a fellow intern asked if people would be interested in a cookout. Sure enough, many people turned up. We all met at Idylwood Park, close to Lake Sammamish. It was a great day for a cookout, football, frisbee, and volleyball. I was surprised that there was a beach as part of the park! This is the view of the lake from the park:

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Setting Fire to the Rain

One of the interns here is involved in an organization that puts on fire performances.  One evening after work, a group of interns headed to Gasworks Park to view a performance sponsored by Seattle Fire Gate. These events are known as Spinurns, and are held every two weeks. Experienced performers use this time to practice new moves, but for spectators like us, it was a performance.

On this evening, it was raining, so we had to move the performance into a shelter at the park. The drizzle was light enough to have the performance outside, but the consensus was that it was more comfortable being inside – otherwise the performers would be setting fire to the rain!

Most of the performers were involved with spinning Poi, which is a glowing ball of fire tethered to a rope. Other features include (but were not limited to) a fire whip, juggling fireballs,  and fire-breathing.

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¿Are You Ready For Some Fútbol?

I was lucky enough to receive tickets for a Seattle Sounders game, an MLS soccer franchise. I had no idea what to expect, as the only soccer professional soccer I have ever watched was the World Cup four years ago (remember the sounds of the vuvuzelas?). The Sounders were facing Real Salt Lake – turns out that this match up was between the top two teams in the MLS Western Conference. Real Salt Lake was undefeated, so this was an important matchup for the Sounders to win. The pre-game ceremonies are much more formal than the NFL. Sure, you have your typical national anthem, but the entrance of the two teams are unique in the world of sports. Check out the video below to see what I mean:

The Seattle crowd seems dedicated to the team. There were about 35,000 people in attendance, and there was plenty of noise during the game. Often times, when players from the other team were injured, the crowd would boo. Sounds harsh, but then again, the common misconception about soccer is about flopping or faking injuries to force a penalty on the opposing team. Also, the crowd is very active when the offense is close to the scoring box. It was a great atmosphere to be a part of, and I couldn’t believe how enjoyable watching soccer is. I guess it’s different being at a game in person than watching it on TV.

 

I’m really starting to think that you can never be bored when living in Seattle. That “sounds” good to me.

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