Seattle’s art scene is where you can discover the city’s cultured, fun, and playful personality.
Seattle has a reputation as one of the greatest arts cities in the world—after all, this is the home of music legends like Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Pearl Jam. Dancers, artists, musicians, and writers showcase their craft in new and unexpected ways city-wide.
Seattle Symphony plays the classics and puts adventurous twists on famous soundtracks. Museums, galleries, and public parks shine the spotlight on treasured artifacts as well as the best in contemporary art. Pacific Northwest Ballet embraces boundary-pushing choreographers for new dance expressions en pointe. And the city is home to more than 100 theater companies, presenting new work and classic favorites in captivating productions on stage. When you take in all that Seattle’s vibrant arts community offers, you can glimpse the very soul of the city.
Overall, Seattle’s arts scene mirrors its inhabitants. For every traditionalist, there’s a non-traditionalist; for every serious piece of art, there’s something to make you laugh. What inspires them? Some say it’s the coffee culture. Others say it’s the weather. It could just be that Seattle is the cultural center of the Northwest, and its citizens are happy to celebrate. Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that things are fun and a little quirky, too.
Treat Yourself to Theater
Seattle earns its standing ovations with world-class theater that will leave you wanting more! Seattle’s lively theatre scene is second to none. Catch a bold new premiere or an inventive interpretation of the classics at Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT or Book-It. Be dazzled by a blockbuster Broadway show at the historic Paramount or 5th Avenue Theatre. If cirque and magic is more your style, don’t miss the unique Teatro ZinZanni experience. Housed in a stunning antique cabaret tent, it has delighted audiences with a fine blend of comedy, cirque and cuisine since 1998.
Enjoy All Sorts of Dance
A number of recognized dance companies are putting both feet forward in Seattle. Some are producing exquisite renditions of classic pieces, while others are projecting a more modern artistic vision. Pacific Northwest Ballet is widely recognized as one of the country’s premiere regional dance companies. Founded in 1972, it is now delighting audiences under the artistic leadership of Peter Boal, a well-regarded former dancer with a distinguished 22 year career with the New York City Ballet. The sheer brilliance of the choreographers and dancers will captivate you. If you want to put on your own dancing shoes, don’t miss the Century Ballroom. With its elegantly draped balconies and glossy wood floors, it sets the mood to swing or salsa, and for those of us with two left feet, lessons are usually offered before the dance. You can usually find top international and national companies performing at The Paramount Theatre, On the Boards or the UW World Series at Meany Hall, or catch our up-and-coming artists at Cornish College of the Arts.
Take in Some Live Music
With so many venues that cater to every taste, Seattle is a true mecca for live music. Here’s a small sampling of the most epic places to see your favorite bands:
Neumos – Pronounced “new moe’s,” this club on Capitol Hill has an always-relevant and carefully curated music calendar, outstanding light production, and a state-of-the-art sound system. The showroom features three full service bars, a second floor mezzanine, and a balcony that over looks the stage. Neumos hosts a variety of national and local musicians who play genres across the spectrum.
The Triple Door – Combining world-class entertainment with the award-winning food of Wild Ginger, the Triple Door’s mainstage theater features touring national acts, while the Musicquarium lounge is one of Seattle’s best destinations for happy hour and local music.
The Crocodile – Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of “The Best Clubs in America,” there may be no other spot in the Pacific Northwest with such storied and beloved past, and no other rock and roll venue that has earned its right to occupy the hearts of so many. Countless incredible bands played within their walls, so come check out who’s up next.
The Showbox – With two locations (across from Pike Place Market and in SoDo), the Showbox has Seattle covered. Opened in 1939, this beautiful art-deco gem has been delivering the goods from the Jazz age, through the Grunge Era to the current wave of Seattle exports. From Prince to The Roots to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Showbox has the shows you want.
Benaroya Hall – Home of the internationally acclaimed Seattle Symphony, the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall is one of the world’s finest concert halls. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot, the Symphony is heard from September through July, dazzling more than a half-million people each year.
Tractor Tavern – With more than 20 years of diesel music, drinks and dancing, Ballard’s Tractor Tavern delivers the best selection of live local and national alt-country, rockabilly, old-time, folk, blues, and bluegrass bands in town. And square dancing once a month.
Vera Project – Seattle’s “premier” all-ages venue, the Vera Project is a mostly volunteer-run, cathedral-ceilinged hall next to the Seattle Center, which plays host to local hotshots as well as nationally touring acts.
The Royal Room – Located in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, The Royal Room hosts live music seven nights a week. The restaurant and bar has a comfortable neighborhood feel that welcome patrons of all ages and tastes.
Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley – Family owned & operated since 1979, the all-ages Jazz Alley is a legendary live music & dinner club hosting world-renowned jazz and fusion acts from across the globe.
While Seattle is known for its natural beauty and the great outdoors, there’s still plenty to discover indoors and high as well! Head upwards and check out these highlights.
The undisputed icon of Seattle, the Space Needle soars 605 feet in the air. Take the 43-second elevator ride to the outdoor observation deck, where you’ll be at the perfect vantage point to plan where to go next. Recently transformed. Totally transforming. Two viewing levels with floor-to-forever glass and the world’s first revolving glass floor clearly show off more Seattle than ever before.
Sky View Observatory
The tallest observatory of all is located inside the sleek Columbia Center. Head to the 73rd floor, where you’ll be treated to 360-degree views that include the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Elliott Bay, and all of Seattle’s skyline.
Before the Space Needle came to town, the Smith Tower was the tallest building in the city, and even the tallest building west of the Mississippi for many years. Its observatory offers picture-perfect vistas, along with Prohibition-era craft cocktails and a legendary Wishing Chair.
Seattle’s excellent art museums allow you to access exhibits of every kind. Check out any of the below museums for an expansive experience:
Seattle Art Museum – Just one block from Pike Place Market, light-filled galleries invite you to wander through global art collections, temporary installations, and special exhibitions from around the world. Visitors from out of town especially enjoy the remarkable Native American galleries featuring Northwest Coast art.
Frye Art Museum – Located on First Hill, the always-free Frye Art Museum opened as the legacy of Charles and Emma Frye, prominent early-twentieth century Seattle business leaders and art collectors. With its marvelous Founding Collection and constantly changing featured exhibits, the Frye is a powerful revelation and often the most exciting contemporary art museum in Seattle.
Olympic Sculpture Park – Experience a variety of sculpture in an outdoor setting while enjoying the incredible views and beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Admission is free.
Henry Art Gallery – A museum of contemporary art and ideas and known for taking risks and for allowing space for uncertain outcomes, the Henry presents provocative exhibitions by a multi-national roster of emerging and mid-career artists.
Any cultural institutions you recommend?
"The Wing Luke Museum—as an Asian person, to walk among the actual rooms of people who lived in the boarding house there… wow. But the best way to experience culture is to get out and support small businesses in the neighborhoods. Take Light Rail to Columbia City, in the zip code where more than 50 languages are spoken! Try Banh Mi in Little Saigon, Filipino sweet breads, Indian food, Ethiopian food, Caribbean, Mongolian hotpot. When I think about food I think about community."
- Sara Porkalob (Performance artist, activist, curator).
What are some of your favorite Seattle murals? "We’re spoiled—there’s a robust mural culture here. The historic mural at Colman Pool in Lincoln Park is a good example of traditional style (Also: is there a more beautiful public pool in the world?). I love the heron mural in the parking lot at 20th and Jackson, the girl planting ginger root on Beacon Hill, and the sci-fi scene above Cinerama."
- Kristen Ramirez (Artist, arts administrator).
You’ve lived in other cities. How does Seattle compare?
"Seattle is a special place—it’s the only place I feel like I can be part of a city and surrounded by nature without even thinking about it. There are great things happening here, and an especially strong push to support emerging artists."
Jade Solomon Curtis (Choreographer, dance artist).
What do you wish people knew about Seattle?
"I want people to know that the native art of Seattle area is Coast Salish. It’s distinct from Northwest Coast peoples, who stretch from Northern California to Alaska. Traditionally, Coast Salish art was utilitarian, carved into things people actually used. That’s why our art is on phone cases and tote bags. It’s more accurate."
- Louie Gong (Artist, entrepreneur).
What are some great literary places?
"I’ve lived in a lot of cities, and Seattle has a very strong book culture. Open Books is one of the only poetry bookstores in the nation, so that’s a must for poetry fans. Elliott Bay Books, of course. Secret Garden Books, in Ballard, has a great kids selection. Also, Kinokuniya, the bookstore next to Uwajimaya grocery, has an incredible collection of Asian literature and J-pop magazines. And Fantagraphics, for graphic novels."
- Shin Yu Pai. (Poet, artist, events curator).
Your plays are often immigrant stories. How does that fit with living in Seattle?
"Seattle wasn’t established until the 1850s—that’s nothing! Unless you’re Native American, everybody here basically just got here. Immigrants like me have a sense of being on the edge. So it makes sense to venture here, to the edge of the continent."
- Yussef El Guindi (Playwright, writer).
Seattle has a rich history in glass art. Where can visitors see some of the best?
"Traver Gallery and Vetri specialize in some of the finest artists working in glass. Foster White also features talented glass artists. Pilchuck Glass School has a great exhibition space in Pioneer Square, featuring work by artists associated with its Stanwood campus. Good places to watch glassblowing include the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Seattle Glass-blowing Studio in Belltown, Totally Blown Glassworks in Georgetown and Chihuly Garden and Glass, which features onsite glassblowing November to May. The artistically inclined can take a custom four-hour glassblowing class at Pratt Fine Arts Center—where some of our best teaching artists work."
- Paula Stokes (Gallerist, glass artist)
What makes dance a natural fit for Seattle?
"Movement is a year-round pursuit here. It’s a big part of life.
I walk to work at least once a week. People do yoga at Chihuly Garden and Glass. From the highway you can see people on the REI climbing tower. We’re staging performances amid the art at the Olympic Sculpture Park—incorporating dance into the turf of Seattle. And when the sun comes out people drop everything to get outdoors. I love this city. It really feels like my home."
- Peter Boal (Artistic Director, Pacific Northwest Ballet)
What gets you excited as an artist?
"I’m a junkie for the colossal. Like Mount Rainier! I’m such a fan of big installations—like John Grade’s huge tree installed in the SAM lobby—because they put me in my place. They put humanity in its place. Mad Art Studio has wonderful, big installations. Echo, the giant head at the Olympic Sculpture Park, is amazing. Bainbridge Art Museum, which you can walk to from the ferry, always fills its big front window with huge pieces. And one of my favorite places is the Porcelain Room at SAM. It’s floor to ceiling! I love being overwhelmed by art. We should all be overwhelmed."
- Marita Dingus (Mixed media sculptor).
What’s it like waking up early to host your 6AM Show?
"This is the most beautiful city in the world, and on my drive in to work, I get to see it in a way almost no one else does. There’s no traffic, no distractions. I drive by the stadiums, the Great Wheel, the waterfront. I see the mountains, the ferries, the water—it’s inspiring."
- John Richards (DJ, Morning Show on KEXP 90.3 FM)
Any hidden gems you recommend?
"The Georgian restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel is a treasure. It’s so not Seattle—it’s fancy looking. But the lunches are reasonable and it always feels like a special occasion. Also: Café Mox in Ballard. It’s attached to a board game store [Card Kingdom], so you can borrow a game and bring it over to play. And I love going to the Pretty Parlor vintage clothing store—it feels like I’ve been swallowed by a bubblegum monster."
- Wes Hurley (Filmmaker, writer).
Seattle isn’t nicknamed the Emerald City by accident — the greenery here is something to behold year-round. There’s no shortage of ways to get out and explore in this nature-filled mecca. Dig in and see why people from all walks of life – locals and visitors, artists and innovators, explorers and dreamers – are inspired by the urban natural spaces of Seattle.
Discovery Park: This 534-acre city park in Magnolia feels like true wilderness, with meadows, beaches, bluffs, mountain views, and tall trees. Stroll the nearly 12 miles of walking trails, or visit the West Point Lighthouse for a postcard-worthy photo op.
Mount Si: One of the most popular hikes in the area, Mount Si is a great place to gain some elevation—3,150 feet of it, to be exact. You’ll see plenty of people with loaded packs training for summits like Mount Rainier, but it’s just as enjoyable for casual day hikers traveling at a leisurely pace.
Mount Rainier: Make a day trip to Mount Rainier, the icon looming on the horizon. It’s a 2.5-hour drive to the active volcano, with many tour operators offering guided tours.
The Paradise visitor area is a great place to start, with trail-heads that are both beginner-friendly and suited for expert climbers. Take in the alpine meadows abloom with wildflowers in the summer, or embark on a snowshoe excursion in winter.
Burke-Gilman Trail: Winding 27 miles through many of Seattle’s notable northern neighborhoods—such as Ballard, Fremont, and the University District—the Burke-Gilman Trail is a cyclist’s delight, offering uninterrupted pedaling past spectacular scenery.
Seattle Cycling Tours: The signature offering at Seattle Cycling Tours is a 2.5-hour intro to the city on two wheels, hitting highlights like Pioneer Square, South Lake Union, and Seattle Center. Try Georgetown, Bainbridge Island, or Alki/ SoDo itineraries.
Seattle to Portland (STP): A Northwest rite of passage since 1979, the STP riding event takes bikers all the way from Seattle’s University of Washington campus to Portland’s Holladay Park. Most of the 10,000 or so participants spend two days traversing the 200 miles, but the truly ambitious can complete it in one.
Let’s Go Sailing: Trim the sails or sit back and relax. Let’s Go Sailing makes getting out on the water fun and easy for anyone. Bring your own food and beverage and sit back as our highly skilled crew do all the work. But don’t be afraid to ask the captain to try your hand on the helm.
Washington State Ferries: Hop aboard the largest fleet of ferries in the United States for a super-convenient (and beautiful) way to get out on the water. From downtown Seattle, head to Bainbridge Island (35 minutes away) or Bremerton (60 minutes away), both of which have attractions within walking distance of the docks.
Alpine Adventures: Prefer something a bit more fast-paced? Alpine Adventures leads guided whitewater rafting trips & scenic floats throughout the Cascades. Grab a paddle and explore beyond city limits.
Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club: After renting a kayak and exploring the floating homes of Portage Bay, the lily pads of the Washington Park Arboretum, or the unique architecture of Gas Works Park, paddle back to Agua Verde and refuel with nachos and a margarita.
Argosy Cruises: You’ll see a little bit of everything on the narrated Locks Cruise from Argosy Cruises, which starts in Elliott Bay and ends in Lake Union. Along the way, the ship passes through the Ballard Locks, which raise and lower to allow passage of vessels from salt water to freshwater.
Stevens Pass: When winter hits, the skis and snowboards come out at Stevens Pass. Located a two-hour drive north of Seattle, this resort features 52 named runs and 1,800 vertical feet on its two different mountains. Added bonus: Stevens Pass offers night skiing so you can catch some powder under the stars.
Crystal Mountain Resort: Crystal is the largest ski and snowboard resort in the state, but even if you’re not planning to go downhill, you can still have a ball here. Just board the Mt. Rainier Gondola and take a 12-minute ride more than 2,000 feet up, where you’ll find enviable views and the highest-elevation restaurant in the state.
Summit at Snoqualmie: There’s winter fun to be had for the whole family at the Summit at Snoqualmie, where you can take group lessons on some of the best beginner terrain, ski the back bowls of Alpental, or tube down a 550-foot-long hill.
Seattle Ballooning: Get a birds-eye view of downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier from aboard one of Seattle Ballooning’s beautiful hot air balloons. Book a semi-private or private flight depending upon the occasion and they’ll take you on an upscale experience you’ll never forget. The end of the flight is celebrated in traditional French style: with a champagne toast, fresh-baked croissants, triple-cream brie, and organic strawberries.
Kenmore Air: For a look at the city that can’t be beat, catch a flight on a floatplane with Kenmore Air. Their 20-minute tours take off from Lake Union and offer views of the stately University of Washington campus, famous Space Needle, downtown skyline, and magnificent lakeside estates before landing gently back onto the water.
Atomic Helicopters: Hop into a helicopter and cruise above Seattle’s signature landmarks, including the skyline, Space Needle, sports stadiums, marinas and more with Atomic Helicopters. And if you want to get away from the heart of Seattle, Atomic Helicopters offers a special, 40-minute flight to see the breathtaking 268ft waterfalls of Snoqualmie Falls, made famous from TV’s Twin Peaks.
Discover the lasting legacies of the region’s first peoples at historic longhouses and Native experiences. Explore the community’s significant Asian influences in the Chinatown–International District. Learn about Seattle’s Scandinavian settlers in the Ballard neighborhood. And glimpse Northwest Latino and African American communities at vibrant area museums and annual festivals.
SEATTLE IS INDIAN COUNTRY.
The city is named for a hereditary chief of the Suquamish and Duwamish people, and many of our communities and landscape features have Indian names from the Lushootseed, or Puget Sound Salish, language. A cultural revival is taking place in Native communities, based on renewing such traditions as canoe carving, preparation of traditional foods, and the revitalization of Lushootseed as a spoken language.
The totem pole, the most visible example of Native artwork in Seattle, actually comes from Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. Ever since the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, Seattle has had close ties to the Northwest Coast, and monumental works from that region can be seen in Pioneer Square, at Victor Steinbrueck Park, and other locations around the city. Coast Salish artwork, the traditional style of the Puget Sound region, features subtle and personal designs. Local traditions include carved objects such as house posts, twined baskets made from pounded cedar bark, woven blankets, and other items both functional and decorative.
Contemporary native artists are drawing on traditional styles and incorporating new materials such as glass and metal to create work that is increasingly visible. You can see traditional and contemporary artwork at Burke Museum* and Seattle Art Museum, as well as at Stonington Gallery and Steinbrueck Native Gallery, and in public art installations around the region. The Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, a cedar post and beam structure opened in 2009, was the first new tribal longhouse constructed in Seattle in more than 150 years. Regional tribal cultural facilities include the Suquamish Museum and the Tulalip Tribes’ Hibulb Cultural Center. Annual special events including the Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow (July), Canoe Journey (July and August) and Chief Seattle Days (August) celebrate the resilience of Native cultures.
Asian Pacific Americans have played prominent roles in Seattle history from the beginning of the city’s settlement.
Chinese pioneers first arrived in the 1860s and established a Chinese quarter near the waterfront. Japanese pioneers worked in lumber camps and farms starting in the 1880s, and a distinct Nihonmachi, or Japantown, grew north of Chinatown around S Main Street and Sixth Avenue S.
Pacific Islanders and Filipinos helped create a complex multi-ethnic urban neighborhood now known as the International District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Dragons perch on light posts, ornamental balconies grace the upper floors of Chinese family association buildings, and stone lanterns and tiled pagodas anchor community parks and gardens in this historic neighborhood that community activists have fought to preserve.
Since the 1960s, Seattle has become home to Korean, Vietnamese, and other South and Southeast Asian immigrants, and the neighborhood just east of the International District is now known as Little Saigon. This fusion of Pacific Rim cultures gives the region a truly unique flavor and aesthetic.
The influence of Asian cultural traditions can be seen everywhere in Seattle – in architecture, garden design, regional cuisine, and the arts. January or February brings the Lunar New Year Celebration to the International District, while Dragon Fest, Bon Odori, and the Chinatown Seafair Parade all happen in June & July. Film festivals highlight Asian and South Asian cinema, and community festivals at Seattle Center celebrate Tibetan, Hawaiian, Hmong, and many other cultural traditions.
The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience offers exhibits and programs interpreting these diverse communities, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park houses one of the nation’s premier collections of Japanese, Korean and Chinese art. (Please note: the Seattle Asian Art Museum was closed for renovation from February 2017 and will re-open in early 2020.)
The National Historic Landmark Panama Hotel & Tea House provides a unique glimpse into Seattle’s Japanese American history, while Kubota Garden, the Japanese Garden in the Arboretum, and the Chinese Garden at South Seattle College all offer opportunities to enjoy landscapes inspired by a variety of design traditions.
African American heritage in Washington goes back to the territorial era, with the arrival of Black pioneers who settled in both rural and urban areas. In 1845, George W. and Isabella James Bush and their five sons left Missouri and settled in south Puget Sound in an area now known as Bush Prairie.
From the late nineteenth century, two distinct African American neighborhoods developed in Seattle, in the East Madison area and the Yesler–Jackson area, and these eventually grew together to form the Central District or Central Area. The recently designated Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District celebrates and preserves the heritage of this community through the work of Black businesses, arts, and cultural groups.
World War II brought a tremendous increase in the region’s African American population from those recruited to work in defense industries. Seattle’s jazz music scene flourished, and the Civil Rights era brought hard-won achievements for the Black community. In recent years, immigrants from many African nations have established vibrant businesses and community organizations in neighborhoods such as First Hill and Southeast Seattle.
The Northwest African American Museum explores the history, culture and art of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Arts institutions celebrate the work of educator Thelma Dewitty, poet Langston Hughes, painter Jacob Lawrence, sculptor James Washington, and playwright August Wilson. The legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and musician Jimi Hendrix, along with many community leaders, are honored in parks throughout the city. Cultural events such as Festival Sundiata (June), Umoja Fest (August), and Earshot Jazz Festival (Oct-Nov) celebrate African American history, music, film, dance, and theatre.
Spanish and Mexican explorers made numerous expeditions to the Pacific Northwest beginning in 1774, calling the region Nueva Galicia after Spain’s rugged northwest coast. The first European settlement in the state was established among the Makah Tribe at Neah Bay, called Fort Nuñez Gaona.
The Pacific Northwest legacy of Spanish exploration, cartography and scientific discovery has long been overshadowed by British and American expeditions, but many place names that are still in use today commemorate Spanish exploration, including the San Juan Islands, Port Angeles, Fidalgo Island, Camano Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
East of the Cascade Mountains, Mexican vaqueros or cowboys, contributed to the development of cattle
ranching in the 19th century, and Mexican farm workers have played an important role in agricultural production throughout the state up to the present day. Following World War II, many rural Latino families migrated to the Puget Sound region, seeking employment in Seattle’s booming post-war economy. The Civil Rights Era or El Movimiento brought widespread activism in the Latino community, including community arts projects.
Political turbulence in Central and South America in the 1970s and 80s brought immigrants to Seattle from Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua and other countries. According to the 2010 census, more than 10% of Washington’s population are persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, the largest minority group in the state.
The community of South Park is home to many Mexican and other Latino restaurants, markets and businesses, and the neighborhood’s annual Fiestas Patrias parade (September) brings the community together for music, dance, and other festival traditions. El Centro de la Raza on Beacon Hill is a vibrant community center providing multi-ethnic social services, educational and cultural programs. Annual events include Cinco de Mayo and Dia de Muertos celebrations. Latino arts organizations offer exhibits and performances at a variety of Seattle venues in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month (mid-September to mid-October) and throughout the year.
Immigrants from Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland – settled in large numbers in the Pacific Northwest in the late 19th century, drawn to a landscape of saltwater fjords, farmland, forests and mountains that reminded them of home. By 1910, Scandinavians were the largest ethnic group in Washington State, comprising over 30 percent of the foreign-born population.
Many Nordic immigrants worked as fishermen and in canneries, as loggers and in mills, and as farmers, miners and boat-builders. While Scandinavians settled throughout the Puget Sound region, Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood is most closely associated with Nordic heritage.
Now housed in a stunning new building (opened in May 2018), Ballard’s Nordic Museum is the largest museum in the U.S. that represents the cultural heritage of all five Nordic countries. Nordic fishermen rallied the Port of Seattle in 1914 to establish Fishermen’s Terminal, now home to one of the world’s largest fleets of fishing vessels.
Annual special events draw on a variety of Nordic traditions. The Syttende Mai Norwegian Constitution Day celebration (May 17) has one of the largest parades outside of Norway. Skandia Midsommarfest (June) features traditional music and dancing, and the raising of a garlanded Midsommar pole. Viking Days (July) includes craft demonstrations, Viking re-enactments, and traditional foods. Saint Lucia’s Day (December) and other Yuletide celebrations mark the season of short days and long nights with candlelight and choral music.