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Summer is, or should be, deliciously simple. It requires three key things: loved ones, sunshine and fun – okay, five if you include popsicles and plenty of sunscreen. When looking for something to do or planning your next get-together, check out all that the Port of Olympia has to offer. From music festivals to airshows, wooden boats to pride flags, there’s a party for everyone all year round.

Need to host your victorious team’s award ceremony or grandparents’ golden anniversary? They’ve got rental options too. Big or small, indoors and out, with amenities galore, you’re sure to find a spot.

The Port is Olympia’s gateway for community members and visitors with access to cultural attractions and some of Thurston County’s finest destinations. Guests know that in our town, it’s the water but for making memories and enjoying all we’ve got to offer, it’s the waterfront that holds the magic.

people in camp chairs sitting at the Port of Olympia's waterfront listing to music
From Music in the Park to Capital City Pride, Olympia Harbor Days to Oly on Ice, the Port fills your calendar with fun all year round. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia

The Port of Olympia Hosts Vibrant, Inclusive Ways to Connect and Celebrate Thurston County

With their expansive geographic footprint and business holdings, the Port of Olympia loves being a community gathering space. Taber Lee, Port of Olympia’s communications and marketing senior manager for outreach, logistics, planning, marketing and advertising, says their team is committed to enriching the lives of our community by providing a diverse array of events and activities throughout the year. “Our goal is to create vibrant and inclusive spaces where residents of all ages can come together to connect, celebrate and experience the unique culture and spirit of our region while connecting and providing the community access to the desirable waterfront that Olympia is known for,” he adds.

These events do more than entertain, says Lee, they are catalysts for economic growth when visitors stay at hotels, eat in local restaurants, shop the downtown corridor and explore Thurston County’s many parks, trails and greenspaces.

“By showcasing our region’s unique culture, heritage, and attractions,” says Lee, “our events draw visitors from far and wide, enticing them to explore and return for more. They’re not just gatherings; they’re moments of community connection, where residents come together to socialize, celebrate and forge deeper bonds. Through diverse experiences and traditions, we enrich both residents and visitors, fostering understanding and appreciation.”

vintage aircraft lined up at the Olympia Regional Airport at the Port of Olympia
Away from downtown but still a fan favorite, don’t forget the Olympic Air Show and Olympic Flight Museum at the Port’s nearby Olympia Regional Airport. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia

Fill Your Calendar All Year Long Thanks to the Port of Olympia

Port sponsored and hosted events take place in every season. These include:

But don’t forget other amazing observation spots like the Billy Frank Jr Trail with picturesque views of the Cascades, Puget Sound and waterfront, or Port Plaza, East Bay Plaza and the Peninsula walk. The Port also welcomes guests to the Olympic Flight Museum at Olympia Regional Airport, WET Science Center and Airport Golf & Batting Center.

a person on stilts outside a red-and-white circus tent
New to the Port’s annual line-up of entertainers is the Shoestring Circus who’ll bring the big top to downtown Olympia from June 28 through July 7, 2024. Photo courtesy: Port of Olympia

Port of Olympia can Host Your Next Big Event

If you’re part of a group, organization or team that needs a place to party, the Port of Olympia’s got you covered. Looking for a spot to throw the ultimate birthday party, al fresco wedding or employee appreciation picnic? Just reach out to Jessie Bensley, their property manager and lease administrator.

Bensley says that the Port of Olympia’s team is fabulous and does everything possible within their control to help all events be successful on the back end. “Our location along the waterfront is a hard view to beat and the place many want to be!” she adds. “We’re also located near several other businesses and residents that often support our events.”

To learn more about hosting an event with the Port of Olympia, you can email JessieB@PortOlympia.com or call 360.528.8071 and she’ll help with all the details. But just remember, book well in advance because all events on Port Of Olympia property take some coordination amongst staff and neighboring tenants.  “Our peninsula property is going to be a hoppin’ place this summer,” Bensley laughs. “But I couldn’t be prouder and happier to play a role in helping several events happen successfully in this community I get to call home.”

Taber Lee agrees. “Your Port of Olympia is a happening place, and we invite all the Thurston County community to engage with us to explore our dynamic places, spaces, business lines and delve into our commitment to environmental stewardship,” he shares. “Together, we have the opportunity to chart the course for our region’s future through thoughtful strategic planning and continued dedication to supporting our communities. It’s your port, our privilege.” And happening places are what summer’s all about. For more information, visit the Port of Olympia’s website.

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