Columns & Blogs

9 things to do in South Sound this weekend, Aug. 1-3


Let (yourself) go

Bring your family to enjoy the “Frozen” celebration with Olaf at Barnes and Noble, 1530 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia. The kids will get to meet the “Frozen” Snow Queen and Snow Princess, enjoy an enchanting storytime, and participate in a sing-along, games and crafts from 6-10 p.m. Friday. It is free but reservations are required. Call 360-534-0388 to reserve your place.

Friday through Sunday

Much more than fair

The Thurston County Fair is under way, sporting an update that marries its old-fashioned fair traditions with edgy local music, a contest for tattoo artists, and wine, beer and cider tastings. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. through Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday at the Thurston County Fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Road SE, Lacey. Admission is $7 general admission, $6 for ages 60 and older, $5 for ages 6-14, free for children 5 and younger. Friday is Military Appreciation Day, so admission is $2 for active and retired military with ID. Parking at the fair is $5, but you can park for free at Woodland Elementary School, 4630 Carpenter Road SE, or the North Thurston Bus Barn, 6620 Carpenter Road SE, and ride a free shuttle. Also, remember no one with open-toed shoes or sandals are allowed on the rides. And for the grownups at the fair, don’t forget the Savor South Sound Beer, Wine, and Cider Tasting event Friday and Saturday at the fairgrounds. The two-day event will feature more than a dozen local beer, wine and hard cider producers. Local shellfish dishes prepared by the Nisqually Indian Tribe and farm-to-table tastings by Friends of the Market will be available as well. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 in addition to fair entry. This is a 21-and-older-only event. For more information about Savor South Sound, call 360-786-5747. For more information about the fair, call 360-786-5453 or go to

Fridays in August

Movies al fresco

Two outdoor movie series offer a wide range of films to see from the comfort of your lawn chair. Movies at the Mansion offers classic movie at Fridays in August, with cinema history talks at 8:45 and features starting at 9 p.m. outside the State Capital Museum, 211 21st Ave. SW, Olympia. Admission is free, but a $2 donation is suggested. Bring blankets, chairs and snacks if desired. There’ll be free coffee, and popcorn and candy for sale. In case of rain, movies will be shown at the Coach House. The series focused on Washington and its history opens Friday with “It Happened at the World’s Fair” (1963), in which two pilots (one played by Elvis Presley) lose their plane and hitchhike to the fair in Seattle to try to earn money to get it back. Other offerings are “High Society” (Aug. 8); “The Egg and I” (Aug. 15); “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (Aug. 22); and “Paths of Glory” (Aug. 29). For more information, call 360-753-2580 or go to

Meanwhile, Tumwater’s Screen on the Green shows family flicks on an inflatable screen at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course, 4611 Tumwater Valley Drive. The site opens at 7:30 p.m. the first four Fridays in August, with the free screenings beginning at dusk. Bring snacks, blankets and low-back chairs. There’ll be snacks for sale, and the River’s Edge Restaurant will be open to serve dinner before the film. The series opens Friday with “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” about a man (Ben Stiller) who escapes everyday life with elaborate fantasies filled with heroism and romance. Other offerings are “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” (Aug. 8), “Star Trek Into Darkness” (Aug. 15), and “Frozen: The Sing-Along” (Aug. 22), with an accompanying root beer float bar. For more information, call 360-754-4160 or go to


Cut a rug

It’s all about dancing at the annual Olympia Dance Convergence this weekend. Live music from an 18-piece dance band and some of the top DJs in the Northwest will fuel four days of dancing. The Lakewood Community Jazz Band plays Friday night, there will be four dance workshops in a diversity of styles from top instructors starting at noon Saturday, and the ‘infamous fountain dance” at 6 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Park. Locations vary each day, as do prices. For a complete schedule and details, go online to

Friday–Aug. 10

Traveling bard

The Animal Fire Theatre production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is in its second week and is at two new locations. The romantic comedy considered by many to be William Shakespeare’s first play will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday at the Tumwater Farmers Market, Israel Road Southwest and Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Griswold Building, Fourth Avenue, Olympia. All performances are free; bring a blanket or lawn chair.


Climb a tree

Bring the kids out for the annual Kids Canopy Climb where they can safely explore the treetop environment. The young climbers ages 6 to 12 will be guided by certified arborists and city technical staff where they will learn about the forest ecosystem. It’s happening at Priest Point Park, 2600 East Bay Drive NE, Olympia, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Additional on-ground activities will also be provided. Cost is $32; call 360-753-8380 to register.


Hail the ale

Beer lovers should head out to the annual Olympia Brewfest featuring more than 30 breweries with 65 different beers and three cider makers on Saturday afternoon. Enjoy music from three bands, games and food vendors while you sample local craft beers. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and includes six tastes and a commemorative stein. Designated drivers get in for $5. The event is open only to those 21 and older from 1-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Port of Olympia Plaza, 704 Columbia St. NW. For more information, call 360-357-3362 or go to


You can find this Cooper

Shining the spotlight on up-and-coming local musicians, the DB Cooper Music Festival will take over the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds, I-5 Exit 81, Centralia, on Saturday. The 21-and-older-only music event will feature Curtis Salgado, Maria Muldaur, Vicci Martinez, Ethan Tucker, Alice Stuart and Bump Kitchen. Bring blankets and low-back chairs for the open-air concerts. Tickets are $25-$40 and are available online at Doors open at 11 a.m. Saturday.