2012 Thurston County Festivals and Major Event Calendar For Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater

2012 Thurston County Festivals and Major Event Calendar For Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater

Thurston County hosts numerous festivals each year.  Mark your calendar for these popular festivals.  Weekend festivals appeal to your neighbors and also attract thousands of tourists to Thurston County each year.  As events near, stay informed on ThurstonTalk.com.  Links below take you to articles written by ThurstonTalk about the event or festival.

April 27 – 28 Spring Arts Walk (Olympia Arts Walk 2012: Popular Event Brings Together Artists, Businesses, And The Community)
April 28 Procession of the Species (Making Of The Procession Of The Species)
April 28 Dragon Boat Festival
May 19 – 20   Lacey Spring Fun Fair
May 20 Capital City Marathon
June 8 – 10 Capital City Pride Festival
June 16 – 17 Olympic Air Show
June 28 – July 1 Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Festival
July 7 South Sound BBQ Festival
July 18 – 22 Capital Lakefair
July 26 – 29 Puget Sound Senior Games
July 28 – 29 Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival
July 29 Canoe Journey
August 24 – 26 Sand in the City
August 31 – September 2 Olympia Harbor Days
October 5 – 6 Fall Arts Walk
mid-November Olympia Film Festival
November 25 Downtown for the Holidays (Olympia) kick-off

Event Details

Arts Walk – April 27 – 28 and October 5 – 6

Held twice a year in downtown Olympia, Arts Walk gives viewers a chance to see diverse art in local businesses.  Enjoy drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, photography, fibers and other visual arts.  Use chalk to design your own art in the streets.  Hands On Children’s Museum paints faces and provides youth with a place to create art.  Arts Walk maps are available throughout downtown and at the Olympia Center.


Procession of the Species – April 28

The Procession of the Species is a joyous parade where community members proceed through the streets of Olympia in masks and costumes.  Procession celebrates Earth Day by fostering a cultural exchange about the natural world.  The Procession is usually comprised of thousands of people  – from preschool students wearing masks to a jazz group beating out world rhythms and all kinds of species created in a wide range of art.


Dragon Boat Festival – April 28

Saint Martin’s University, in cooperation with the Washington Dragon Boat Association, hosts an annual celebration at the Port Plaza.  The expedition draws over 7,000 spectators.  In addition to the spirited dragon boat races, the festival also includes traditional Chinese art demonstrations, classic lion dances, music, and martial arts performances.


Lacey Spring Fun Fair – May 19 – 20

Celebrate the 25th year of the Lacey Spring Fun Fair.  The event provides free Kidsworld activities and entertainment for thousands of visitors.  The festival includes a parade, arts and crafts, commercial vendors and food concessions, horse rides, games, music and dance performances, and live animals.


Capital City Marathon – May 20

The popular Capital City Marathon also includes a half-marathon, five-miler, and kids run.  Races begin at Washington Street in downtown Olympia and the kids run occurs at Heritage Park.  The marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying event.


Capital City Pride Festival – June 8 – 10

Kick off the Pride season at the Capital City Pride Festival.  The annual festival and parade gathers the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied communities to celebrate Pride.  The festival attracts over 15,000 people to Olympia.  The family-friendly weekend concludes with the Annual Pride Parade on Sunday.


Olympic Air Show – June 16 – 17

Held annually on Father’s Day Weekend, the Olympic Air Show showcases the Olympic Flight Museum’s aircraft collection as well as unique and amazing aircraft from military and private collections.  Special exhibits are a highlight.


Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Festival – June 28 – July 1

Attracting over 4500 visitors, the Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Festival is the preeminent jazz weekend in the Pacific Northwest.  Dance lessons, great live bands, and a large dance floor are hallmarks of the four-day event held at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.


South Sound BBQ Festival – July 7

Satisfy your taste buds and cravings by savoring yummy BBQ delights.  Pick your favorite dish by voting in the People’s Choice Award.  Visit Cabela’s on July 7th to sample the South Sound’s best BBQ.


Capital Lakefair – July 18 – 22

For over 50 years, thousands of people gather each year at Capital Lake.  Activities include fireworks, live entertainment, a grand parade, carnival rides and games, a fun run, car show and the crowning of the Lakefair Queen.  Visit local charitable organizations which use the Lakefair food concessions as a fund raising event each year.


Puget Sound Senior Games – July 26 – 29

This year, the Puget Sound Senior Games will host the Washington State Senior Games.  The group’s goal is to make exercise a year-round habit for men and women age 50+.  Athletes can participate in as many events as time and schedule permits.  Most events will be held in Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater throughout the four-day event.


Mushroom Festival – July 28 – 29

Presented by the Hawks Prairie Rotary, the fifth Mushroom Festival will be held at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.  Sample all kinds of mushroom delights and enjoy over 50 vendors.  Learn garden tips from Ciscoe Morris and enjoy live presentations from chefs and educational speakers.


Canoe Journey – July 29

Cedar canoes are the traditional mode of transportation for coastal people of the Pacific Northwest.  More than 100 canoes from as many as 90 tribes will participate in the annual Tribal Canoe Journey.  This year, Squaxin Island will be hosting the journey, beginning on July 29th at the Port Plaza.


Sand in the City – August 24 – 26

What do you get when you mix over 200 competitors, thousands of spectators, great food, live entertainment, over 40 hands-on art and science activities, master sand sculptures, and 240 tons of sand?  It’s Sand in the City – a free community event to benefit the Hands On Children’s Museum.


Olympia Harbor Days – August 31 – September 2

This annual festival is approaching almost 40 years of celebrating tugboats and maritime history.  Vintage, working, and retired tugboats are moored at Olympia’s Percival Landing.  The festival also includes entertainment, food, art, and history.  On Sunday, the tugs head out for the annual Harbor Days Tugboat Races.


Olympia Film Festival – mid-November

The 29th annual film festival showcases decades of filmmaking.  The festival is geared for both the occasional moviegoer and film enthusiasts.  The organizers promote movies never seen before as well as films that people enjoy seeing over and over again.  Most films are shown at the historic Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia.


Downtown for the Holidays – November 25 through December

The Olympia Downtown Association produces a downtown extravaganza each year beginning on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season.  Activities include tree lighting, horse drawn carriage rides, musical performances, and of course shopping!

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