Northwest Folklife Festival: Still Folksy, Still Free

Annie Ford Band performed at the 2012 NW Folklife Preview Party.

It's almost that time again: time to get down at the always free and always folksy Northwest Folklife Festival this weekend (5/25-5/28; 11am-10pm) at Seattle Center.

New entries on the lineup that grabbed our attention: something called "Gender-Neutral Square Dance," Bollywood "dance performance extravaganza" and a "Northwest Stringband Throwdown." Also, appearances by Shelby Earl, Kris Orlowski and Ravenna Woods.

Bonus: the streaming audio feature from previous years has expanded to include almost every stage at the festival. So you can replay your favorite songs after the fact - or be sure to catch any shows you missed.

Browse the online schedule to explore the many music, dance and cultural groups (and food vendors!) that will turn Seattle Center into a wild hootenanny overnight. The music really is a hoot to hear.

Plus, there's nothing quite like seeing someone dressed like someone from Portland play a washtub bass in the shadow of the Space Needle. 

For more information and full performance schedule, visit