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Balkan Night NW is a rousing music and dance event for families

Before the night is over 30 different bands will have graced the stages at Balkan Night NW.

Whether you are looking to chow down or boogie down, Balkan Festival Northwest has got you covered. The cultures of  Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece,  Macedonia, Romania and Serbia will be featured at events this weekend, March 4th, 5th & 6th.  “Balkan Night is a fun place for kids of all ages to experience music, dance and culture and to be pulled into a great community experience,” said festival organizer Ruth Hunter.

Kids and adults can prepare for the Saturday festivities with a  Kukeri mask-making workshop on Friday night led by Mariya Apostolova.  Held at the Russian Community Center of Seattle at 7pm on March 4th, the workshop only requires your imagination, creativity and $20. Participants will make kukeri masks which are traditionally worn in parades in Bulgaria to ward off evil spirits and usher in a year of prosperity and health for the village.


Saturday, March 5th is a day-long celebration of all things Balkan at Saint Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church in Montlake. From 3pm to midnight, the festival will be hopping with three stages showcasing high-energy music from Dionysian zournas  to electropop dance and brass bands. This year’s special musical guests are Kalin Kirilov and Sergiu Popa, accordion virtuosos who offer their own spin on Bulgarian and Romanian music.  Local musical favorites include Bucharest Drinking Team, Orkestar Zirkonium, Dragi Spasovski, Dromeno, the m9, Eurodanceparty USA, and Gino Yevdevic.

Before the night is over, 30 different bands will have graced the stages and transported the audiences to the heart of 10 different countries. The evening culminates with the appearance of the kukeri-mask wearing participants who parade and romp about - fortunately after the age-group most likely to be terrified by these creatures are safe home in bed. 


Advance tickets are $25 adult, $15 student, and $10 youth (ages 10-18). At the door, tickets will be $30 for adults. Children under 10 are admitted free. Food and drinks are available for purchase.


Sunday, March 6th the after-party will be at the Sarajevo Lounge. If  the big party left you wanting more, the after-party will bring more of the best of Balkan music and food. From 7:30-11pm, you can enjoy the masterful madness of accordion greats Kirilov and Popa along with traditional Balkan cuisine. Tickets for the after-party are $15 adult and $10 student and youth.


For more information on Balkan Night Northwest, the mask-making workshop or the after-party, go to balkannightnw.com.

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