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 cocoa bean to confection. Visitors hone their expertise through seminars on trade equity and cocoa 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.
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.
Something strange happens as soon someone steps through the gates outside of Camlann Medieval Village. The past seven centuries of human existence instantly disappear, and that same person?who once existed in a world of smart phones and talking fire hydrants?now finds his or herself in living history museum of the medieval era. A narrow street winds through a rural village, where villagers make their artisanal goods in full view.
Another attraction inside Camlann Medieval Village is The Bors Hede Inne Restaurant, which keeps its doors open year-round. An innkeeper greets guests and welcomes them into the dining room, which is usually warmed by a roaring fireplace. There, glasses of mead accompany rotating monthly entrees made using authentic recipes right out of the 14th century.
A gypsy rides through the crowd while standing upon two horses. Behind him follow more members of his troupe, who do back flips off their steeds and then regale spectators with fire breathing and juggling. Performed by the seventh-generation acrobats of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, this spectacle—called Ma'Ceo—often draws standing-room-only crowds every day during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. It's these kinds of glimpses into the Elizabethan era that fulfill the mission of bringing renaissance Europe to life. Turning the Kelley Farm into the Village of Merriwick, entertainers of all types, from courtiers to peasants, engage fairgoers with a range of acts. Flanked by her entourage, Queen Elizabeth travels through the streets, perhaps on her way to watch the jousters compete for her phone number, or perhaps to watch sprightly performers such as the Celtic fiddlers or the commedia troupe. Merchants peddle wares to passersby, talking up goods such as hand-forged weapons and armor, hand-tooled leather goods, and roasted turkey legs. Camel rides and bubble-filled buckets cater to kids, and adults can duck into two alehouses where quick-witted wenches pour draft microbrews and ciders. For guests who want to spend the whole weekend immersed in the renaissance festivities, organizers reserve a section of the grounds for tent and RV camping.
Those who find themselves near the Washington State Fair Events Center in early December may feel as though they've been transported straight into a Dickens novel. For five days, the events center transforms into a Victorian village that celebrates the sights, sounds, and spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas. Guests can ride a horse-drawn carriage past twinkling lights and old-timey storefronts, peering into the windows of more than 500 shops selling goods such as ornaments, handmade sweaters, and fudge. Kids can ride on the Christmas carousel or head to the North Pole, where they can take a tour of Santa's house, write a letter in Santa's post office, make toys in Santa's workshop, and do yoga in Santa's barely-used home gym, before posing for a photo with the big guy himself. Of course, one of the most important aspects of A Victorian Country Christmas is music: the festival welcomes more than 100 singers and dancers at its annual singing nativity program, and features many live musicians and singers who perform carols and holiday tunes throughout the event.
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.