Art Splash, a one-day festival at West Central Park, will showcase local musicians and artists — but the real star of the day is the park, a former vacant lot that is in the process of being transformed into Olympia’s first privately owned park.
“It’s just a matter of getting the word out that the park is there,” said Tuck Petertil, who’s on the board of the West Central Park Project, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “We want to let people know that the park is there and that they should support their local park.”
The park, still being developed, offers a convenient gathering space at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Division Street. It’s the home of the West Olympia Farmers Market and hosts special events both park sponsored and not, including weekly summer movies that continue until the end of August.
For Saturday’s second-annual Art Splash, the musical lineup includes Buddha Magoo, Mike Burdorff, Heather Wood, John’s Daughter and Scott Taylor. Among the artists exhibiting will be Cha Davis, Bianca Demars, Bil Fleming, Christopher Gerber, Danny Grindle, Roxy Groves, Patti Scherer-Abear, Steve Suski and Pat Tassoni. There also will be food trucks on hand.
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And there will be an opportunity to learn about the park and make a donation, if you want. The project board is also looking for additional members as well as for volunteers to help at its Sunday work parties.
Board President Alicia Elliott of Olympia came up with the idea of the park and purchased the vacant lot in December 2012.
“It was such an eyesore,” Elliott said. “I was concerned about seeing this vacant lot day after day after day. I thought a little urban park would be great.”
The West Central Park Project is still hard at work on everything from building arbors and creating more rain gardens on the property to talking to the city about annexing the alley behind the park to prevent cars from cutting the corner and driving through part of the park.
But the most central goal right now is to be designated a private neighborhood park. That designation would simplify the process of holding events there. Currently, every event held there requires a conditional use permit.
The designation would also allow a sign at the park. Right now, the main signs that something big is happening at that corner are the event tents staying up all summer.
“We decided it would be much more convenient to leave our tents up May through October,” Elliott said. “It’s worked out very nicely because people have seen the tents and want to do more events in the park.”
What: The second annual event brings live music, an art show and food trucks to West Central Park, Olympia’s first privately owned park.
When: Noon- 5 p.m. Saturday.
Where: West Central Park, 1919 Harrison Ave. W., Olympia
Volunteer: The park is still a work in progress. Those interested in volunteering are welcome to sign up on the website or just show up for Sunday work parties from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
West Olympia Farmers Market: The market is open from 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays through mid-October.
MOVIES AT THE PARK
What: The West Central Park Project screens films through the end of August. Hot tea and popcorn are for sale to benefit the park.
When: Dusk on Mondays. Films will show about 15 minutes earlier each week as the sun sets earlier.
Schedule: “African Queen” at 9:15 p.m. Monday, “The Sandlot” at 9 p.m. Aug. 24 and “Willow” at 8:45 p.m. Aug. 31.