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Seattle has a brimming events calendar. There are plenty of festivals and celebrations taking place across the city throughout the year; great opportunities for expats to immerse themselves in the city's culture and meet people.
Here of some recommended annual events in Seattle.
Annual events in Seattle
Northwest Flower and Garden Show (February)
This is a lovely indoor festival where expats with a green thumb – or simply those who want to enjoy the view – can visit several breathtaking show gardens and shop for plants and gardening items at over 300 different stalls. There's also an artisanal food market known as the 'Tasting Corner' if attendees get peckish. The event is held at the Washington State Convention Center.
St Patrick’s Day Parade (March)
This colourful parade celebrating all things Irish takes place yearly, beginning with a flag-raising ceremony before the parade marches along 4th Avenue. Spectators are entertained with Irish music, singing and dancing.
Seattle Restaurant Week (April and October)
A must for all foodies living in Seattle, this twice-yearly event sees more than 150 of Seattle’s top restaurants offering their fare at a fraction of regular prices in the form of two-course lunches and three-course dinners. As the specials last only a week, diners will need to book early to secure a table at the most popular restaurants.
Seattle International Film Festival (May)
This event is billed as one of the largest film festivals in the country with more than 150,000 attendees a year. A unique feature of this festival is its Secret Festival. Only accessible with a special pass, the Secret Festival consists of four screenings of unreleased films. Audience in attendance of the Secret Festival are sworn to secrecy.
Seafair Summer Fourth (July)
This Fourth of July festival is held in two different locations: Gas Works Park and the South Lake Union Park. Highlights include a range of family-friendly activities such as sack races, pie-eating contests and more. Adding to the festivities are live music performances, beer gardens and plenty of food vendors. The evening brings a spectacular fireworks display which is not to be missed.
Seattle Street Food Festival (August)
At this delicious festival, visitors can enjoy a day in the sun while sampling scrummy street food from local vendors. With dozens of food trucks and booths spanning five blocks, guests are spoilt for choice. Festivities continue into the evening with the 'Moonlight Night Market'.
New Year’s Eve at the Needle (December)
Wrap up warm and head to the Seattle Center to see the city's legendary New Year’s Eve fireworks display, which kicks off at midnight. The party upstairs sells out fast, but should visitors miss their chance to get in, they can still view the show from the ground at no cost.