Seattle Center's Winterfest celebrates the Dec. 21 Winter Solstice with storytelling, crafts and an outdoor performance on the weekend before the celestial occurrence, Dec. 16 and 17.
Meaning "winter sun stands still," this year's Winter Solstice marks the annual planetary occurrence where the earth's axis tilts farthest from the sun, resulting in the shortest day (and the least sunlight) of the year. The planet's seasonal changes are the result of this global tilting. After the Solstice, the earth begins to tilt closer to the sun, raising temperatures and extending daylight.
In its fifth year, this free annual holiday event begins at 1 p.m. with craft activities in the Seattle Center House, 305 Harrison St. Performers illuminate the Center House Stage at 3:30 p.m. Around the earth and to the heavens, they will take the audience on a hysterical and mythic journey by sharing stories, myths and legends about the sun, moon and heavens.
A parade guides the audience outdoors at 4 p.m. onto the center's festive grounds. At sunset, the parade ends at the International Fountain for a performance of "Orbis," directed by Manuel R. Cawaling; dance choreography by Frances Kao and fire choreography by Donia Love.
The outdoor performance weaves together words, movement, music, fire performances and large luminaries to transform the center's grand International Fountain into a stunning celestial wonder.
The program will feature 50 performers from a broad spectrum of genres, including theatre, music, spoken word poetry, cultural storytelling, break-dancing, fire performance and more. Fire performances are planned by 14 fire performers, including Cirque De Flambe, Pure Energy and Spinnergy, who will participate in the evening's highlight, a dazzling fire show.
The show goes on, rain or shine, so dress appropriately.
For more information, visit www.seattleseasons.com.