CROATIAN MUSIC AND DANCE
MAIN STAGE OF THE SEATTLE CENTER ARMORY
CroatiaFest is excited to once again feature a number of talented groups performing Croatian songs and dances on the main stage of the Seattle Center Armory on Sunday, October 1st. Performances will range from dance suites to a capella singing to full tamburitza orchestras.
This year, we welcome Trubarduri of Pittsburgh, PA , Tamburaški Orkestar Kardinal Stepinac from Vancouver BC, Klapa DooWopella, Seattle Junior Tamburitzans, Sinovi, Orkestar Kišobran, Radost Folk Ensemble, Dunava Women’s Folklore Ensemble, Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble, Ruže Dalmatinke, Bonaca, and Gorani.
Our opening ceremonies start at 12:00 PM and main stage performances immediately follow, lasting until 6:00 PM.
We are fortunate to have such a rich collection of performers of Croatian culture in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy!
BIG JOHN'S PFI COOKING STAGE
On Sunday, October 1st CroatiaFest will have two live cooking demonstrations on the 3rd floor of the Seattle Center Armory at the Big John’s PFI Cooking Stage.
Joanne Martinis will demonstrate the late Margaret Barhanovich’s signature cookie, Pol Mjeces at 1:30.
At 3:00 Sisters Marija Mataja and Toni Stipetic will demonstrate Knedle s Sljivama a Croatian plum dumpling made with a mashed potato dough and can be eaten as a dessert when sprinkled with sugar, as a meatless main course, or as a starch accompanying a meat dish.
Come to CroatiaFest , make your way upstairs to experience the art of creating traditional Croatian delicacies .
2023 CROATIAFEST T-SHIRT
PAG LACE DESIGN
Croatiafest is fast approaching and it’s time to introduce our 2023 Pag Lace design! We will also offer a variety of other tees, sweatshirts, and hoodies for sale! Stop by the tee shirt booth located on the main floor of the Seattle Center Armory on Sunday, October 1st from 12pm to 6pm!! Limited sizes available from S to 4X.
SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE AND SING-ALONG IS BACK!
After a long 4 years and by popular demand the CroatiaFest Kick Off Dance and Sing- Along will return on Saturday, September 30th featuring the very popular and renowned tamburitza orchestra Trubaduri of Pittsburgh. The “Trubs” will play your favorite popular and old time Croatian songs and kolos for your dancing pleasure. Our own Sinovi will share the stage and lead you all in the very popular sing-along.
We are pleased to announce the event will be held in West Seattle at Our Lady Of Guadalupe Parish Life Center 7000 – 35th Ave SW. The venue is easy access from I-5 and Hwy 99 and has ample off street free parking in the adjacent lot. Admission is only $15.00. Doors open at 7:00. A traditional Croatian ala-carte menu, catered by Seattle Jr. Tamburitzans parents, will be available for purchase as well as a wine and beer no host bar.
FEATURED YOUNG CROATIAN AWARD
ELLIE & GUS SCHAFER
On Sunday, October 1st, CroatiaFest will be honoring siblings Ellie and Gus Schafer as 2023 Featured Young Croatian Award. They will be presented a certificate by Croatian Ambassador to the United States from Washington DC, Pjer Šumović.
Fourth generation Croatian Americans Gus and Ellie are the children of Sarah and Gavin Schafer who trace their Croatian roots through their grandmother Helen (nee Budinich) Shafer to the Island of Losinj in Croatia’s Northern Adriatic.
Ellie and Gus were members of the Seattle Junior Tamburitzans from a very early age (Ellie joined at age 3 and Gus at age 4), performing with the group for 15 and 13 years respectively.
During the Covid pandemic, CroatiaFest did exclusively virtual programming, including two shows filmed on the stage of McCaw Hall, in which Ellie and Gus modeled traditional Croatian folklore costumes in the collection of the Seattle Junior Tamburitzans. CroatiaFest is grateful to Ellie and Gus for taking the time to be a part of these historical documentaries.
Congratulations to these two very special and talented young Croatian Americans.
SCAVENGER HUNT IS BACK!
FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES
Again, this year at CroatiaFest on Sunday, October 1st, kids of all ages will be able to enjoy the challenge of hunting for authentic Croatian accessories placed throughout the main floor and upper level of the Seattle Center Armory. A hat from Prigorje, a sash from Vrlika, a beaded wristlet from Slavonija, a decorative knife from Dalmatia and a hand-beaded necklace from Bratina are just a few items on the list. Players can pick up their game sheets at the Information Booth located on the main floor of the Armory and turn in their completed answer sheet at the same location to receive a tasty, imported treat from Croatia, while learning about the costume accessories along the way. All are welcome to participate.
WHAT CAN CROATIA DO FOR YOU
By Croatian General Consul of Los Angeles Renee Pea
Croatian Consul General Renee Pea is returning to CroatiaFest on Sunday, October 1st to present a very interesting lecture starting at 1:30 PM in the 3rd Floor Lecture Room #2 on what Croatia has to offer the Croatian diaspora. Croatia welcomes thousands of tourists from around the world. The country also provides several programs to attract Croatian descendants to learn about its rich history, language, business opportunities and more.
The Domovina Birthright Program is an unforgettable experience for young adults of Croatian descent.
“I Choose Croatia”– workforce mobility“ - The aim is to strengthen the business activities and increase their range in most parts of the Republic of Croatia.
Scholarships for members of the Croatian diaspora to study in Croatia.
Special Enrollment Quotas - several higher education institutions have provided special enrollment quotas for members of the Croatian national minority and the Croatian diaspora.
Free A1 and A2 Level Online Croatian Language Courses - One of the most important identity features of both a person and a nation is language.
Make your way upstairs to the 3rd floor lecture room # 2 to take in this very informative lecture.
FAVORITE FOOD VENDORS RETURN
ČEVAPI AND LAMB ARE BACK
Come to CroatiaFest hungry! A variety of traditional Croatian foods are available for purchase both inside and outside of the Seattle Center Armory.
Outside the Armory
Yes, our favorite barbequed meats are back! Balkan Store will be grilling čevapčići, a Croatian style sausage served with lepinja (bread)and condiments. There will be BBQ lamb sandwiches for purchase with accompaniments.
Inside the Armory
On the main floor of the Armory the Balkan Task Force will offer palačinke, a Croatian crepe and baklava. You can also purchase a cup of Croatian kava (Turkish coffee) to go along with these sweets.
The American Slavic Women's Club will be selling povitica, a very popular sweet bread made with yeast-raised dough layered with dense walnut filling. You will be able to purchase slices of povitica or even whole loaves.
Baked In Bosnia will serve the traditional Croatian dish sarma - stuffed cabbage rolls. They will also be selling slices of their delicious apple and bee sting cakes and some new surprises; pita/burek and princes krofna (creme puff).
Support these food vendors and enjoy a “Taste of Croatia”!
CROATS IN SPORT EXHIBIT RETURNS
A lot has happened in the world of Croatian sport since our exhibit first debuted in 2010, so we have decided to add to our collection of museum quality panels, chronicling Croats in sport. We will highlight Croatian Americans locally and nationally and will have a look at Croatia's participation in international competitions, particularly soccer's famed Euro Cup and World Cup.
Are you familiar with Visco Grgich? Grgich was born on the island of Zlarin, Croatia, but grew up in West Seattle's Riverside neighborhood. He attended college at Santa Clara and was a lineman in the All-America Football Conference and the National Football League, where he played seven seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. Grgich was known as a tough and sometimes vicious two-way lineman who loved to intimidate Norm Van Brocklin. Grgich was also known for his rousing pep talks prior to games and was even brought back by Coach Frank Albert to give pep talks after his playing days were through. At the end of his pep talk, Grgich would say "This is the way you've gotta do it!" and would promptly deliver a forearm shiver to the nearest door, wall, or even one of the wooden support posts in Kezar Stadium, which was rumored to be felt throughout Kezar Stadium.
Make your way up the 3rd floor Art Gallery of the Seattle Center Armory tp enjoy this very interesting exhibit.
MAKE CROATIAFEST A STAYCATION
Relax and enjoy the Saturday Night Kickoff Dance and Sing-along and Sunday's CroatiaFest by spending the weekend at one of our partner hotels.
The Mediterranean 1nn, at 425 Queen Anne Ave. N., returns this year to offer CroatiaFest attendees a 15% discount off their best available rate, good from mid-September to mid-October. Please use the code CroatiaFest23 when booking online at www.mediterranean-inn.com or by calling 206-428-4700.
The Maxwell Hotel, at 300 Roy St., is one block north of the Seattle Center. The hotel is offering a 15% discount off their best available rate, and the discount is good from September 26 to October 6, 2023. Book online at https://www.staypineapple.com/the-maxwell-hotel-seattle-wa or by calling 866-866-7977. Use Promotion Code CRF.
Croatian Themed Gift Items
If you're looking for gift items, imported Mediterranean foods, crafts, or Croatian-themed apparel, come to the main floor of the Armory. Our vendors have unique and hard-to-find items as well as Croatian candies, cookies, ajvar, and Dalmatian olive oil. We are excited to welcome back five of our favorite Croatian vendors and will welcome a few new ones this year as well.
Balkan Store: Imported Croatian and Mediterranean food and beverage products
Drusk Trading Company: Olive oil from Croatia
Croatian Fixation: Croatian-themed apparel and gifts
Andy's Fine Woods: Bowls, platters, and gifts made from exotic woods
Croatia Gifts: Handcrafted ceramics and gift items
CroatiaFest Souvenir Booth: One-of-a-kind CroatiaFest souvenir apparel
Candles by Tina: Candles and gifts
J.P. Designs: Croatian themed items - cutting boards, boxes, and trivets
SABS: Cookies, cookbooks, and gifts
The merchants are located on the main floor of the Armory. Come visit -- you will be pleased with the variety of offerings. You are certain to find something with that special Croatian touch to take home and enjoy or give as a unique gift.
CroatiaFest October 1, 2023
Consulate General of Croatia from Los Angeles, California will be available for Consular Days Sunday October 1st from 12:00 – 4:00 pm on the 3rd floor of the Seattle Center Armory for passport renewal, citizenship applications and notary services. Please make sure to bring copies of all required documents. We will not be able to accept incomplete applications.
Citizenship applications require two packets with all required documents: one original set and one complete copy for each individual applying. Copies cannot be made on site.
By appointment only!
The office will start taking appointments September 1st. Please call or e-mail the Consulate at 310- 477 -1009 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments are available on a first come first served basis. Please note we only accept personal checks or money orders payable to the Croatian Consulate.
KICK OFF DANCE AND SING-ALONG
Your Croatiafest planning committee is proud to announce that our 19th annual festival is growing to be bigger and better than ever! Our team often mentions at our monthly meetings that we are “bursting at the seams”. We will feature content that is familiar from past festivals and will introduce new additions to keep our event fresh and interesting.
SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE AND SING-ALONG IS BACK
After a long 4 years and by high demand, the CroatiaFest Kick Off Dance and Sing Along will return on Saturday, September 30th, featuring the music group Trubaduri of Pittsburgh. With their expansive repertoire, the highly talented Trubs will entertain you by performing your favorite popular and old time Croatian songs and kolos for your dancing pleasure. Our own Sinovi of Seattle will share the stage and will lead you all in the very delightful sing-along.
We are pleased to announce the Kick Off Dance will be held in West Seattle at Our Lady Of Guadalupe Parish Life Center 7000 – 35th Ave SW. The venue is easily accessible from I-5 and Hwy 99 and has ample off street free parking in the adjacent lot. Admission is only $15.00. Doors open at 7:00pm. A traditional Croatian ala-carte menu, catered by Seattle Jr. Tamburitzans parents, will be available for purchase as well as a wine and beer no host bar.
Mark your calendars! Bring your friends and family! Have fun dancing and singing to Trubaduri and Sinovi! Enjoy delicious food and drink at the beautiful new venue!
The mission of CroatiaFest is to promote and preserve Croatian culture and to educate future generations of Croatian Americans and the general public with the richness and beauty of Croatian Culture and Croatian American contributions to the building of the United States of America. CroatiaFest is a federally approved non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
CroatiaFest is part of the Seattle Center’s Festal Series of ethnic festivals. Although the theme of the festival is specific to the country of Croatia, her people and history, the festival is ethnically diverse with performers and attendees of many nationalities and age groups. The festival is presented annually in October and is organized by a committee of volunteers with additional groups of community representatives and volunteer workers.