Art lovers, shoppers and people watchers flocked to downtown Olympia on Friday night for the opener of Spring Arts Walk.
The two-day celebration of visual and performing arts continues Saturday at more than 100 downtown businesses and other venues.
Here are five things that caught people’s attention Friday night:
1. The family art activities area: Kids crafts, face painting, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and wooden cutouts for photos were a popular draw.
“It’s all about family,” said Kevin Rutherford, who guided his 4-year-old great nephew Jaylen Naccarato through the activities. “We love it.”
2. Artists: It was the first time painter Jannah Kirkland of Olympia has participated in Arts Walk. Although she’d love to sell artwork, the event was more about getting feedback on her abstract pieces, she said.
“I find that most people who go through and look at my art comment and say that it really uplifts them and makes them really smile, and that makes me feel good,” Kirkland added.
3. Street and sidewalk performers: Magicians, musicians, dancers and other performers took to the street early in the evening. Saturday’s lineup will feature shows from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. including Hawaiian music, the CapCity Guitars and Latin dancing.
4. Shops: Arts Walk is all about drawing crowds into local businesses.
The Estate Store, which is a fundraising effort for Senior Services for South Sound, was bustling with shoppers.
“We have history,” said retail manager Theresa Ziniewicz. “We have nicknacks, curiosities, and great pieces of furniture and antiques and just weird stuff that your kids don’t want.”
And even if they don’t buy items during Arts Walk, the idea is to get first time visitors through the door and interest them in returning.
5. Community fundraisers: Several nonprofit and community groups captured the crowds with their fundraising efforts Friday night. Madison Elementary School’s parent teacher organization held a bake sale that was doing brisk business.
“We do lots of different programs through the PTO, there’s art club and science fair,” parent Jane Locke.