The SIFF team scours the globe in search of extraordinary films. Their mission is to bring the community—and the world—together through quality international showings, and they host premieres, classic films, and revivals at the SIFF Cinema Uptown and the SIFF Film Center 365 days each year.
As one of the largest and best-attended film festivals in the U.S., the Seattle International Film Festival reaches more than 150,000 moviegoers each year. The 25-day festival presents more than 250 features and 150 short films from more than 70 countries during its run, giving people a perfect excuse to try out an all-popcorn diet.
Chocolate lovers unite at the Northwest Chocolate Festival, an annual event dedicated not just to eating chocolate in its many forms, but to tracking its journey from cacao bean to confection. Visitors hone their expertise through seminars on trade equity and cacao farming, chocolate-making workshops led by confectioners, and tastings where palates learn to distinguish between milk chocolate and a chocolate bar clumsily forced inside a milk jug. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefits local nonprofits aligned with the festival’s mission. Recipients are announced yearly.
Emerald Downs possesses all the beauty, glory, and betting that occurs at America's classic horse tracks. Jockeys ride thundering horses toward victory as families picnic on the manicured grounds or view the action from grandstand seats or tables at The Rainier Restaurant. Yet there's more to do than watch and wager. Every Saturday, facility managers conduct free tours of the stables during the races. They can also point visitors toward The Gift Horse, a shop in which to pick up equestrian related souvenirs.
The Renaissance Faire takes place at the lush Maris Farms in Buckley. The theatrical event features fully costumed kings, queens, jesters, revelers, domesticated basilisks, bands of merry minstrels, and more in a celebration of all things post-medieval. The event entertains elegant lords and ladies alike with fun 16th-century-themed activities for the whole family, including puppet shows, games, and full-contact jousting. Drink in the musical stylings of Hawke the Balladeer, watch a dazzling alchemical display when Zinger's Royal Magick takes the stage, or brace yourself for the acrobatic equestrian trickery of Cavallo Equestrian Arts. Compulsive gambolers, meanwhile, can bust out their fly morris dance moves during the day's peasant dancing, which takes place before professional fencing demos at the Academia della Spada. For something more modern medieval, No Parchment Needed will be performing unscripted japery on the Queen's Stage, while the Hammered Troll Ale House boasts a full line-up of Celtic, Scottish, and even pirate troubadours. You can find a full list and times of the faire's events by clicking the schedule on the sidebar here.
Big cities have a wealth of entertainment, but the options can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, the founders of Festivals Inc. have established several events that gather the Seattle region’s diverse food, drink, and music all in one place. Their flagship shindig, Groupon Bite of Seattle, attracts over 400,000 people with healthy appetites to try cuisine from more than 60 eateries alongside craft beers and live bands. During the fall, Oktoberfest Northwest celebrates the German beer festival, while the Taste of Tacoma rings in the last weekend of June with culinary offerings from its titular city.
At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.