27th annual ‘Tết Festival’ in Seattle draws thousands

It was the first in-person edition of the event since 2020.

SEATTLE — Seattle is ringing in the new year with the beat of its own drum. You may think it’s late to the party, but this celebration is actually starting the festivities early to kick off “Tết,” the Vietnamese New Year, which is just a week away on Sunday, Jan. 22.

“Tết is a very important holiday for the Vietnamese culture, just for time to reset for the new year get things out of the way and start fresh so we really like to go all big and all out, come together with our families and celebrate the good times together that we have,” said Michelle Tran, the associate director for Tết In Seattle, the non-profit organization that put on the 27th annual “Tết Festival” at Seattle Center over the weekend.

This is the first fully in-person festival they’ve had since 2020 and organizers say it’s the biggest one yet, with more than 20,000 visitors attending the two-day event.

“It feels great, everyone’s having a great time we’re having music, lion dance, local performers, just touching on the Vietnamese traditions and culture and just showing for all the Seattle community can enjoy,” said Tran.

The festival is showcasing 20 performers and 28 vendors. One of those vendors is Cloud and Cream Cakery.

“It’s my first time, being in this event, I’m just so surprised at how many people there are,” said Rum Guan the manager of the small business. Guan said she’s honored to be a part of the festival and hopes people will continue to support and embrace Asian cultures and businesses not only during the new year, but year-round.

“There’s Christmas, Thanksgiving all those American festivals but of course it’s important to know other cultures we can see a lot of local people here, it’s good to introduce them to new culture, new food, new events,” said Guan.