Music in the Park kicks off the outdoor summer entertainment in downtown Olympia. Every Wednesday from July 7th through August 25th, a wide variety of talented bands will perform at Sylvester State Park and Port of Olympia’s Port Plaza. The performance is only from 6 p.m.-7 p.m., and is a summer tradition, so arrive early to get the best view.
Parking can be an issue, so organizers suggest that you take advantage of alternative transportation. Take a taxi or bus, ride your bike or walk. The event is completely free, but no seating is provided. Grab your lawn chair or picnic blanket. The grassy park is a perfect place to recline.
Understanding that it is Washington, the show goes on – rain or shine. In the event of a downpour, the concert will be temporarily relocated to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Call 360-357-8928 for up-to-date information.
Don’t worry about finding your way around, many summer activities take place in downtown Olympia. Capital Lakefair takes place on the banks of Capital Lake, about four blocks from Sylvester State Park. July 14th-18th marks the 53rd year for Lakefair. Lakefair began in 1957 as a way to combat the heat and summer boredom. Civic minded Olympians set up a small carnival including a diving show, hydroplane race and fireworks. Non-profit organizations manned concession stands.
Lakefair opens at noon on Wednesday and concludes with a spectacular fireworks display at 10 p.m. Sunday night. Activities include a boat show, car show, arts and crafts booths, a volleyball tournament and 3K and 8K runs. Kids’ Day is a huge hit, however details for this year’s Kids’ Day are not available at this time. Thursday is Wristband Day. Participants can purchase a $25 wristband which gives them unlimited access to rides, $1 off Funtastic Carnival Food and six game tickets. Questions can be directed to the Lakefair Office at 360-943-7344.
Olympia’s younger neighbor, Lacey, WA, has her own musical entertainment in the summer. June 23rd through August 14th, local businessmen and others gather at Huntamer Park at noon for a concert during the lunch hour. Concerts are held from noon to 1 p.m. and also at 7 p.m. on Saturday nights before an outdoor movie. Lacey in Tune features many local groups and regional artists.
Lacey in Tune is a free event. Huntamer Park is located at 618 Woodland Square Loop SE, in Lacey. For additional information, call 360-491-0857.
Labor Day marks the fading of summer. However, South Puget Sound is not quite done with the outdoor festivities. Olympia Harbor Days is held annually on Labor Day weekend at Percival Landing downtown. The celebration began in 1973 as a gathering of tugboats and a small showing of local artists. Today it is one of the area’s most loved festivals, boasting almost 30 tugboats and more than 120 arts and crafts booths.
The location on Puget Sound make the activities at Harbor Days unique. Tugboat races are the highlight of the weekend. This special event starts at noon on Sunday, with the awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Live music begins everyday at 1 p.m. Don’t miss the opportunity to tour a tugboat on Saturday.
Historic Harbor Days in a free event. Percival Landing is located at 222 Columbia Street NW, Olympia, WA. Organizers suggest the bus or other alternative means of transportation, as parking is limited.
There are literally dozens of festivals across the northwest in the summer months. Oregon, British Columbia and Washington make the most of the beautiful summer months with the Apple Blossom Festival, the Autumn Leaf Festival, the Daffodil, Strawberry and Lilac Festivals, Salmon Days and more. There is something for everyone.