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From barbecue festivals and county fairs to conventions and processions, Thurston County is full of colorful annual events that are not to be missed! If you’re looking for family-friendly events, date night ideas or business networking opportunities, this is the list for you. Mark your calendar with this list of annual events in Olympia and throughout Thurston County.

heritage bank Logo

March

The Trail Running Film Festival 2024

March 15, 6 p.m.
Olympia Film Society
206 5th Ave SE, Olympia

The Trail Running Film Festival is a global tour that was born in Washington State as a project of the Outdoor Arts & Recreation nonprofit. The film festival supports independent filmmakers and showcases the trail-running community by highlighting films from across the globe. The films capture incredible trail running stories that will leave you inspired and more connected to nature.

April

Spring Arts Walk

April 26, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
April 27, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Downtown Olympia

For over two decades, the Olympia Arts Walk events have been showcasing local artists in downtown Olympia. In 2024, the Spring Arts Walk is happening at the end of April. Visit local businesses that have created pop-up creative spaces filled with local art just for the Arts Walk. Enjoy street performers and more as you walk from place to place, exploring art and supporting artists.

Procession of the Species

April 26 -27, weather permitting
Olympia

The beloved Procession of the Species is an annual event that has been on hiatus but is making a return in 2024. The annual parade celebrates our earth with incredible artistic expressions of creatures large and small. The Luminary Procession will happen Friday, April 26 with the parade on Saturday, April 27.  Join the Procession of the Species Facebook group to get involved. Visit the Procession of the Species website for more information as it develops.

The Procession of the Species happens every April around Earth Day.

May

South Sound Business and Career Expo

May 9, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Capitol Event Center
6005 Tyee Drive SW, Tumwater

Looking to up your business game in 2024? Head to the South Sound Business and Career Expo. Reserve a booth for your company, or come as an attendee and network. Whether you’re looking for a new career or to take your business to the next level, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Capital City Marathon

May 18-19, 2024
Sylvester Park
615 Washington Street SE, Olympia

The Capital City Marathon happens every May for a weekend of running through the heart of Olympia. As a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, it’s the place to be for serious and recreational runners alike. Saturday, May 18, 2024, is the kids’ fun run at 4 p.m. The adult runs take place on Sunday, May 19, 2024, with the marathon starting at 7 a.m., half marathon at 7:45 a.m. and the five-mile run at 8 a.m.

Lacey Spring Fun Fair

May 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
May 19, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Lacey Spring Fun Fair is two days of family-friendly activities with free admission! Play carnival games, go on rides, explore the kids’ world and of course, eat your fill of fair food! There are also vendor booths where you can find all kinds of treasures.

people going down a giant pink super slide
From super slides to rides, there are tons of free activities the whole family will love at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey

July

South Sound BBQ Festival

July 13
Huntamer Park
618 Woodland Square Loop SE, Lacey

Do you love barbecue? Be sure to put the South Sound BBQ Festival on your calendar. Along with some of the tastiest barbecue you have ever tried, there is live music, kid’s activities, a beer and wine garden, vendors and more. Don’t forget to enter the chicken wing eating contest!

Capital Lakefair

July 17-21
Olympia

Capital Lakefair is a family-friendly event that includes a parade and Lakefair court, carnival, fireworks, car show, live entertainment, food and more. Join in the fun as a vendor or participant, or just go and have a good time with your family and friends.

Thurston County Fair

July 24-28
Thurston County Fairgrounds
3000 Pacific Avenue SE, Olympia

Check out 4-H projects, learn more about organic gardening, enter your best blooms for a chance at a ribbon, watch live performances and eat Fisher Scones. These are just a few of the things your family can do at the 2024 Thurston County Fair. Don’t miss it!

angled shot of a ferris wheel with the sun behind it
The Thurston County Fair is happening is full of fun and games for the whole family. Photo courtesy: Thurston County Fair

August

Tumwater Artesian Brewfest

August 17
Tumwater Valley Golf Course
4611 Tumwater Valley Drive SE, Tumwater

The Tumwater Artesian Brewfest is on the third Saturday in August each year. Choose between more than 100 beverages to sample, while snacking on delicious food and enjoying games and entertainment. If you are looking for a 21-and-over event for a night out with friends or your significant other, this is a fun one.

South Sound Block Party

August 23-24
Port of Olympia’s Northpoint
1210 Marine Drive NE, Olympia

The South Sound Block Party fills Olympia with music for two days of incredible music. Join their mailing list to get the details for 2024.

Olympia Harbor Days Festival

August 30 – September 1
Olympia

Every Labor Day weekend the Olympia Harbor Days Festival celebrates the Port that made our city. See and tour vintage tugboats, watch tugboat races, take a sailing aboard a vessel – including tall ships – and more. Learn about tribal history and our waterfront with Port of Olympia tours. There are over 300 things to see and do at this event, so plan to explore for a couple of days!

Reliance 0511 cKarlaFowler 2011
Tug RELIANCE ahead of Tug Cayou at Olympia Harbor Days 2011. Photo courtesy: Karla Fowler

September

Tumwater Falls Festival

September 28
Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls
110 Deschutes Way SW, Tumwater

The Tumwater Falls Festival celebrates the water that has shaped our area for generations. Happening on the last Saturday of September was year, there are kid’s workshops and activities, live music, educational talks, local food and art vendors and more.

a band dressed as skeletons plays in the street in Bucoda, Wash. as part of BOO-CODA
Head to Bucoda, Wash. all of October for their BOO-CODA SPOOK-TACTULAR celebration that includes music, trick-or-treating, dance parties, casket races and a whole lot more. Photo courtesy: Thurston Economic Development Council

October

Fall Arts Walk

October 4, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
October 5, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Downtown Olympia

The Fall Arts Walk is the sister event to the Spring Arts Walk. Explore unique art pieces by local artists who work with a range of mediums. Stroll through downtown Olympia, enjoying the street performers and supporting local talent.

BOO-CODA SPOOK-TACULAR

October
Bucoda

For the entire month of October, Bucoda becomes BOO-CODA! From flash Thriller dances to coffin races and haunted houses to trick-or-treating, this annual event in Thurston County is a don’t miss.

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