Learn how our diverse communities contribute to the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest on Next 50 Cultural Exchange Tours to four Seattle neighborhoods. The tours start and end at Seattle Center and include lunch and roundtrip transportation from 1st Ave N. along the West Plaza of KeyArena at Seattle Center, 10 a.m., Saturdays, Sept. 15, 22 and 29.
These special neighborhood visits reveal the foods, history and pace of life in Ballard, the Chinatown-International District, Martin Luther King Way and South Park. Each tour features an ethnic cuisine, neighborhood folklore presentation and look at that community’s economic drivers and innovations.
The tours are tailored to people who live in the region who are interested in finding out more about the business activities, celebrations, cultural institutions and great edibles offered at neighborhoods beyond their usual locale.
Tour goers may purchase tickets for the four tours at www.ticketmaster.com.
South Park Neighborhood Cultural Exchange Tour, Sept. 15.
The bus arrives at the South Park Community by 11 a.m. for the Fiestas Patrias parade, followed by a guided tour of South Park restaurants and businesses. The tour, focusing on the South Park immigrant communities and their economic and cultural impact in Seattle, finishes around 1 p.m. at Sea Mar Plaza, where there is a Community Fiesta with booths and activities for the entire family. Duration: 4 hours. Cost: $25.
Chinatown-International District Cultural Exchange Tour, Sept. 22.
Everyone loves the countless dining options and bustling atmosphere in the Chinatown-International District, but if you haven’t explored its history, you really don’t know it. Take this tour with Chinatown Discovery Tours and learn about the 100 year old neighborhood and its contributions to the city and region. Tickets include a multi-course lunch. Duration: 4 hours. Cost: $43.
Ballard Cultural Exchange Tour, Sept. 22.
First stop is the Nordic Heritage Museum, with its Dream of America exhibit and some scrumptious Scandinavian foods. Tour takers will learn about the economic and cultural importance of Scandinavian immigration here. Participants will also visit Marvin’s Garden in the heart of the historic Ballard Avenue Landmark District. Group members may also enjoy some free time to explore the unique shops and restaurants in contemporary Ballard before returning to the Seattle Center by tour bus. Duration: 4 hours Cost: $21. (including museum admissions).
MLK Business Association Walking Tour, Sept. 29.
MLK is located in the most diverse zip code population in the nation, where 90 languages are spoken. The high concentration of small, locally owned and operated businesses and service providers that thrive along MLK reflects the community’s rich cultural diversity and history. The tour includes stops at a Vietnamese Restaurant, jewelry store, Deo Valente and other ethnic shops. Cost: FREE. (includes food samples from some restaurants).
The Cultural Exchange Tours are part of The Next Fifty, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and the legacy it left. For more information on the tours and other events at Seattle Center, visit www.seattlecenter.com. To purchase tickets for the tours, go to www.ticketmaster.com.
About Seattle Center and Next 50
Since its beginning 50 years ago, Seattle Center has served as a cultural and civic gathering place at the core of our region. In 2012, The Next Fifty at Seattle Center celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair and the physical legacy it left. The 74-acre Seattle Center campus exists to delight and inspire the human spirit in each person and bring together our rich and varied community. The 12 million visits to Seattle Center each year generate $1.15 billion in business activity and $387 million in labor income for King County.
Next 50 premier partners include: Bartell Drugs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, Grousemont Foundation, Microsoft, Samsung, Seattle Center Monorail, T-Mobile, TPN (The Production Network) and World Vision. Funding and participating partners include: 206 Inc., 4Culture, City of Seattle, Global Health Nexus, Hill & Knowlton Strategies, KOMO 4 TV, KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, One to the World, Safeco Insurance: A Liberty Mutual Company, Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Washington Economic Development Commission.
Only In Seattle Highlights Local Businesses
Be sure to check out onlyinseattle.org, which shines a spotlight on charming and unique businesses throughout Seattle, including such local businesses as Bop Street Records and Blackbird in Ballard; Momo and Mon Hei Bakery in the Chinatown/International District; and Borracchini’s Bakery and The Cajun Crawfish in the Rainier Valley!