Today: In the swim
Synchronized swimming combines sport with art. See the Olympia Downtown YMCA’s synchronized swimmers perform their competitive routines in the club’s 20th anniversary end-of-season water show at 6 p.m. at the downtown YMCA, 510 Franklin St. S.E., Olympia. Some of the younger swimmers are headed for a national competition this month. The show is free. Call 360-357-6609.
Today: No laughing matter
Actor and funny man Steve Martin is coming to Little Creek Casino tonight but it won’t be to do stand-up comedy. Instead, he’ll play the banjo with The Steep Canyon Rangers. Martin’s CD “The Crow” won a Grammy for best bluegrass album. A critic for the New York Times called the album “a charming and accomplished effort.” The show starts at 8 p.m. at the casino, 91 State Route 108, Shelton. Tickets are $50-$70. Call 360-427-7711 or go to www.little-creek.com.
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Saturday: What's cooking
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum will serve up a tasty bite of history at What’s Cooking at Fort Nisqually. The event offers a chance to explore the fort, talk to costumed re-enactors, and see tableware and other artifacts of 19th-century life. Author Vanessa Winn will be on hand to talk about her historical fiction book “The Chief Factor’s Daughter.” The event runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the fort at Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. Admission is $6, $5 students/seniors/military, $4 ages 13-17, $3 ages 4-12. Call 253-591-5339 or go to www.fortnisqually.org.
Saturday: Behind the times, proud of it
Ragtime- and jugband-influenced neo-hobos Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three are coming to town. Pokey and company have chops: They’ll be playing at the Newport Folk Festival this summer, too. The event poster calls the St. Louis-based band’s songs “New Depression,” but lest that scare you off, it also says the band has a need to get people dancing again. Also on the bill: Frank Fairfield, who is said to sound as though he’s singing out of an old 78-rpm record player. The all-ages show begins at 8:30 p.m. at The Loft on Cherry, 525 Cherry St., Olympia. Tickets are $10. Go to www.hearthmusic.com/concerts.html.
Saturday: Free your imagination
The Imagination Celebration is a day of performances, reading and creative exploration. The new event – a cooperative effort among the South Sound Reading Foundation, Capital Playhouse’s Page to Stage program, and the Timberland Regional Libraries – includes a puppet show, a magician, a parade, arts and crafts, visits with six writers of children’s books (including Olympia’s Nikki McClure) and a chance for kids to read stories to dogs, plus much more. The events happen from 1-5 p.m. Saturday in and around the Olympia Timberland Library, 313 Eighth Ave. S.E. Ninth Street will be closed to traffic between Franklin and Adams to make space for the outdoor festivities. It’s free. Call 360-412-4499 or go to www.trl.org.
Thursday: Jazzed up
There’s no need to head for Dixie to get a heaping helping of Dixieland jazz. Thursday is the start of South Sound’s annual America’s Festival of Dixieland Jazz. The four-day event, which attracts musicians from across the country, is held on the campus at Saint Martin’s University, 5300 Pacific Ave. S.E., Lacey. Tickets are $80 for the full event, $15 for students (ages 14-22) with ID. Individual tickets are available, too. Call 360-943-9123 or go to www.olyjazz.com.
Thursday - Sunday: 'Suite' success
Planning to pay a visit to the Plaza Hotel via Olympia Little Theatre’s “Plaza Suite”? There’s more time to check out the trio of Neil Simon comedies – all dolled up with ’60s costumes and set – because the show’s run has been extended. Performances are at 7:55 p.m. today and Saturday and June 24-26, and 1:55 p.m. Sunday and June 27 at the theater, 1925 Miller Ave. N.E., Olympia. Tickets are $10 for Thursdays, $12 for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Call 360-786-9484 or go to www.olympialittletheater.org.