Thurston County Department Directors panel discussion: The directors of the county’s seven departments will participate in an hourlong, public panel discussion where they will respond to citizen questions, explore the services their departments provide, and discuss the ways they work together. Residents are encouraged to come early and talk with the directors during a 30-minute meet-and-greet prior to the panel discussion when they can submit questions for the directors to answer during the panel discussion. The event runs 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, Room 152, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia. Information: https://bit.ly/2nFCehi.
Hydroponics workshop: WSU Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteer programs of Thurston County invite you to attend Hydroponics 101 at 6 p.m. at the WSU Extension office, 3054 Carpenter Road SE. Learn about state-of-the-art techniques for producing food in a soil-less, nutrient-rich medium. Free. No pre-registration necessary. Information: http://thurston.wsu.edu or 360-867-2163.
Olympia Mountaineers Adventure Speaker Series: All are invited to join the Mountaineers at the Friends Meeting House, 3201 Boston Harbor Road NE, when world-class alpinist Steve Swenson shares stories and images from his book, “Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict,” which details his nearly four decades of climbing in The Karakoram Range that spans Pakistan, India and China. Door opens at 5:30 p.m., potluck dinner starts promptly at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share, plate and flatware. Branch announcements are at 6:45 p.m. and speaker starts promptly at 7 p.m.
Author Visit with Paul Ortiz: Ortiz, a history professor at the University of Florida, will read from and sign copies of his book, "An African American and Latinx History of the United States," from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. at the Olympia Timberland Library, 313 Eighth Ave. SE. For adults. Free. Information: 360-352-0595 or TRL.org.
Olympia World Affairs Council: Thomas White, who directs USAID's democracy and governance assistance to Ukraine, based in Kyiv, will talk about how democracy development works and why it’s of great importance today, with a focus on Ukraine. The program runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Lacey Timberland Library, 500 College St. SE, Lacey. Free and open to the public.
Mark Lanegan in concert: Best known as the distinctive vocalist for the Ellensburg-born Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age, Lanegan will perform at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia. Screaming Trees’ drummer Mark Pickerel will join him as special guest. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission, $20 for Olympia Film Society members, available at olympiafilmsociety.org.
Nicaragua-Olympia Solidarity Celebration and Potluck: Join the Thurston Santo Tomás Sister County Association for a potluck dinner in honor of the four visiting delegates from Santo Tomás, Nicaragua, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Abigail Stuart House, 1002 Washington St. SW, Olympia. Bring your family and friends and a dish to share as the group celebrates almost 30 years of sisterhood with Santo Tomás. There will be Nicaraguan poetry and song and dancing for all, plus a no-host bar. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday and Saturday
St. Placid Priory art show and sale: "Images of Peace in Our World" features people, places and situations that reveal the peace the world holds now in hope of inspiring those who view them. A variety of media and local artists are included. A gala is planned for 7-9:30 p.m. Friday and admission is $15. The art show runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and admission is free. Proceeds will be shared with Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center in Seattle. The Priory is at 500 College St. NE, Lacey. Information: 360-438-2595.
Tenino Farmers Market opens for the season: The market, in the city’s downtown historic district on Olympia Street, will kick off its 14th season from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a Mother’s Day Market. The market season runs every Saturday through Sept. 29. Information: www.teninofarmersmarket.org
Sister County spring plant sale: The Thurston Santo Tomás Sister County Association will sell locally grown vegetable starts, tomato plants, strawberries and raspberry canes, native and non-native perennials, ground covers and more at this fundraiser. All proceeds benefit college scholarships for students in the sister town of Santo Tomás, Nicaragua and are tax deductible. The sale runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 117 Thomas St. NW (between Harrison and Fourth).
Workshop for gardeners new to the Northwest: The WSU Master Gardener and Master Recycler Composter volunteer programs of Thurston County are offering a free workshop designed for those new to gardening in the Pacific Northwest (or new to gardening entirely). It will run from 10 a.m. to noon at Multipurpose Room B in The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. No pre-registration needed. Information: http://thurston.wsu.edu or 360-867-2163.
Bird Walk with Black Hills Audubon: Join the Nisqually Land Trust for a morning bird walk with Black Hills Audubon guides Sam Merrill and Bonnie Wood. The group will look and listen for a variety of birds while exploring the Land Trust's Powell Creek Protected area, a 460-acre block of conservation lands along the Nisqually River near Yelm. The 1.5-mile hike will run 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., and is rated easy to moderate. Space is limited to 20 people. To register, contact the Land Trust at email@example.com, 360-489-3400.
Want to get a local event listed in What’s Happening? Submit items 10 days or more in advance, written in the format you see above, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures are appreciated.