Celebrate Micronesian culture at Saltwater State Park Aug. 25

The Washington State Parks Folk and Traditional Arts Program invites the public to learn more about the people and cultures of the Micronesian Islands at a free family-friendly festival at Saltwater State Park in King County.

The inaugural Micronesian Cultural Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, at Saltwater State Park, 25205 8th Place S., Des Moines. Members of the South Puget Sound Micronesian communities will introduce the public to their ways of life through performances of traditional music and ceremonial dance. The festival will also include activities, displays and demonstrations for the entire family. In addition, Micronesian food will be available for purchase. Everyone is welcome, and admission is free.

“We’re excited to celebrate the customs and cultures of the Micronesian Islands with this new event,” said Makaela Kroin, program coordinator for State Parks’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. “We are always thrilled to connect with new community partners who see our state parks as gathering places to celebrate and share expressions of Washington’s rich living cultural heritage.”

Festival artists, performances and cultural organizations include:

Traditional dances and music, including internationally acclaimed Micronesian singers Clara Moonfell and Joseph Moongog.

Time-honored stories and folktales.

Decorated tents representing island huts featuring artifacts, games for the family, cooking demonstrations and arts and crafts.

Micronesian food available for purchase.

Micronesian clothing items, arts and crafts and materials available for purchase

According to Federated States of Micronesia Visitor Board’s website, Micronesia comprises 607 small islands in the western Pacific with a total land area of only 270 square miles spread out over more than 1 million square miles. In addition to English, eight major indigenous languages are spoken.

Entrance to the Saltwater State Park is free for vehicle access. No Discover Pass is needed for day-use visits to any Washington state park on Aug. 25, in honor of the National Park Service’s 102nd birthday.

About the Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program: The Micronesian Cultural Festival is a part of a broader series of events celebrating Washington’s diverse cultures presented by the Folk and Traditional Arts Program, with funding provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as support from the Washington State Parks Foundation. For more information about the Folks and Traditional Arts program, including upcoming events, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/folkarts, or contact Makaela Kroin, Program Coordinator, at Makaela.Kroin@parks.wa.gov or (360) 902-8635.

About Saltwater State Park: Saltwater State Park is a camping park featuring 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound, halfway between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle. The two cities jointly and literally buried a hatchet at the park during the 1926 park dedication as a symbol of the end of their mutual competition. The park is a recreational destination nestled into  an urban space, with forested trails and beach access. Visitors may explore marine life in tide pools at the park and the seasonal spawning of salmon in McSorley Creek. For more information about Saltwater State Park, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/578/Saltwater.

– Washington State Parks

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