Photo Recap Of The 47th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival

Photo Recap Of The 47th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival

The allure of spending the Memorial Day weekend in the city brought me to the 47th annual Northwest Folklife Festival. Free admission, fantastic food, and energy made my an unexpected revelrous time. Festivals double as a new plug to satisfy my musical needs. I fiend for new sounds even when some of my favorite rappers like Raz Simone and Grynch drop long-awaited projects.

I was joined by Joey ‘J-Ping’ Brabo and Taylor Hart, friends of GreenRush and members of Respect My Region. It’s not a day with the RMR crew without rolling something up and taking some dabs. After J-Ping and myself took some rosin dabs and dabs of GreenRush Mt. Rainier sugar wax,  we picked up Taylor from the Pot Stop in Fremont and headed towards Seattle Center.

Friday is the first day of the festival and is the most low-key. Many vendor spots are still open and the grounds are noticeably empty, but the stages and performers were still lively for the entire time we roamed through the art booths, clothes vendors, and food tents. Friday was basically spent eating our way through the festival grounds. The first stop was a Vietnamese stand offering Banh mi’s, chicken skewers, and a few other Vietnamese dishes.

A Bahn Mi is a sandwich, it’s common Vietnamese street food. It’s usually chicken or pork with cucumber, cilantro, carrots, broccoli sprouts, mayo, and served on a baguette. The bread was warm and crunchy. The chicken was tender, while the veggies added a fresh crunch to each bite. A great first meal for the weekend.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

While we walked around and enjoyed our Vietnamese food, one of the acts that caught my ear was Inner-City Medicine Show, a three-piece blues and jazz band. I’m a sucker for anything with a stand-up bass guitar.

My First Time At The Northwest Folklife Festival

After Inner-City Medicine Show played a couple songs, J-Ping introduced me to beignets. A beignet is a French pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry dough, that was made famous in New Orleans cafes.  They’re light and fluffy, covered in powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and a fruit jelly.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife FestivalThis donut-crepe hybrid that was once unknown to me, is now one of my favorite pastries. The dough is airy and the powdered sugar is sweet and fluffy, the whole thing is like a delicious pillow. While the beignets settled, we meandered through the artists’ booths and munched on artisanal chocolates. Orange creme, salted caramel, espresso and cheesecake chocolates were all so rich, only one got completely finished. But the unique flavor experiences made them worth the money.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

One of my favorite northwest artists, Justin Hillgrove was there. other artists that I had work I enjoyed were Chris Paulsen’s pottery and Jesse Link’s paintings. Many of Link’s paintings are aquarium themed, my favorite was creepy red octopus tied up with a noose.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

Aramis O. Hamer is the painter who painted the Rihanna painting below. The red and yellow colors spoke to me and I liked the old-school pin-up girl art style. Hamer confirmed this by stating the painting was inspired by Marilyn Monroe.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

Hamer talked about working with pot shops on various projects in the past, as well as expressing interest in live painting sessions, like when Perry Porter painted a mural during our Respect My Region’s 7 Year Anniversary. 

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

It wasn’t long before we continued to stuff food down our faces. I grabbed shrimp and mango taco while Taylor and J-Ping waited in another line.  It was one of the better seafood tacos I’ve had in my life. Delicious and juicy shrimp, fresh cilantro, red peppers, onions, and a chili mango vinaigrette. The corn tortilla was cooked perfectly and set the whole dish off.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife FestivalWhile I was eating my taco and taking pictures for this article, I caught the attention of one of the cooks in the neighboring noodle tent. A man who identified himself as ‘Moe Noodles,’ asked what I was taking pictures for. When I told him about RMR, he asked if he could be in the article, and I happily obliged. He was all smiles and started flexing his noodle cooking prowess for the camera. People like him have infectious energy and make my job much easier and less awkward.
Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

After visiting with Moe, J-Ping and Taylor greeted me with delicious treats dipped and drizzled in chocolate. T had strawberries dipped in white and milk chocolate, and J-Ping had a piece of cheesecake dipped in chocolate and topped with raspberries and white chocolate drizzle. I can’t speak for the cheesecake, but the strawberry dipped in white chocolate was one of the better things I tasted all weekend. The strawberry itself was so ripe and juicy it made me do a double take.

 

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

I went to the festival early by myself on Saturday. At the Mercer Street entrance, I was greeted by a group of dancers in lederhosen and a bandleader with an accordion. It was just nice listening to music I had no emotional connection to at all. I just stayed and went where my ears took me. My first day was lead by my stomach, but today was lead in my ears. Several times throughout the festival, the music made me felt like I was on the set of a Pirates of the Caribbean film.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

It’s not a festival in my book without some pork sliders. Tender pork, tangy barbeque sauce, slaw and a plain Hawaiian roll make for something that’s so simple you can make it at home but is delicious anywhere and always.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

All of the best performances were along the sidewalks and vendor booths. This is one of the best parts about Folklife, you don’t even have to use a schedule to have a great time. You can just let your senses guide you and you’re bound to have a great time.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

Everywhere you went there were happy families and people dancing. There was one drum circle outside of the armory that brought together a crowd of fifty or so people, some breaking into dance as the rest would circle around them and cheer them on like a scene from Stomp The Yard.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

This best act on a stage I saw in the two days was Tres Leches, a Mexican punk jam band. Two guitarists and a drummer would riff to an ecstatic crowd. They didn’t have a lot of energy on stage, but their music was rockin’. The Northwest Folklife Festival is free to attend, they just ask for a $10-$20 donation. Cheap admission lets me spend more money on food and tipping the artists that caught my attention. Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

Good Morning Bedlam was my favorite act I saw all weekend, and I caught them on my way out of the festival.  A midwestern folk band that had a lot of soul and emotion accompanying their sound.

Eating And Jamming My Way Through The Northwest Folklife Festival

Good Morning Bedlam was throwing down some heartfelt folk tunes and I was bummed they were getting drowned out by the stage behind them, so I decided to buy their album, and it was a pleasant thing to listen to on the drive home, it was not mad about the $10 I threw in their guitar case. I decided to grab a glazed lemon biscuit for the walk back to my car. It was fluffy and warm, while the glaze was sweet, light with a real lemon flavor.

All in all, I had a great time at the Northwest Folklife Festival. If I’m around Seattle for Memorial Weekend next year, you can bet I’ll be back. Next time, I’ll research and plan out my trip in advance to take advantage of the cultural theme instead of just winging it.

Northwest Folklife Festival Gallery

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.

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