a blog so you can keep with him

Oly Arts Walk (XXXVIII)


C, N, and A having fun in Downtown Olympia

The seasonal Arts Walk came upon us last night in Olympia! I had a blast running around seeing folks, but I haven’t processed much yet – it was rather busy, exciting, and varied. It never felt like there was time to do something for more than half an hour – you were missing too many other things.


Metalworking makes results

We started by walking up Washington, where the street had already been blocked off. There was already tons going on, and plenty to see. Including an entire block of chalk art.


You could be walking on art too!

From here, our starting group split up. I headed towards the antiques mall, Finder’s Keepers. One of my teachers’ birthday was yesterday, and she was celebrating at her favorite hangout. A yummy slice of chocolate mousse cake (split three ways) and some organic lemonade, we went next door to pick up N from Orca Books, and headed back towards other activities. We had spied that our friend Eleanor Murray was playing at Caffé Vita, so off we went!


Eleanor, mid-song

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay as long as we hoped for her songs – the sound setup took a while, and there were other sights to see. Flaming Mango, for example, made a reappearance as an unregistered street band!


J, R, and P from Flaming Mango, friend S in the background.

An all acoustic affair, this was one of Mango’s more interesting engagements. There’s also a crowd in the background, watching a troupe of fire spinners/eaters. Good times! Flaming Mango was playing outside of Capitol Theatre, where a short film festival was happening during Arts Walk. Unfortunately, I never stepped to catch any of the 4-minute marvels, but I’m sure it went well.

Down 5th I went to see my friend M play at Rainy Day Records.


I never learned the name of the band, but M’s on cello!

A fun little concert (that included a baritone ukelele for the second half), I was able to 100_4897catch a majority of this one. From here though, it was a long stroll back to the bus stop, and back to Evergreen.

Arts Walk was a blast, and I’m surprised at just how much I didn’t take photos of – this was a visual and auditory feast, all around (and the food didn’t smell bad either). One of the band members in M’s group noted: “I feel like I’m at South by Southwest!”, and I’d concur.

Arts Walk seems to have the upper hand though. This comes entirely from Olympia, and is focused on promoting local artisans, musicians, filmmakers, performers, shopkeepers, and foodies. Where SXSW has always felt like a celebration of a mass industry, this is a celebration of Oly at its biggest and proudest – there’s a band every 5 feet here because there are that many bands in Olympia, and they all want to be there. I didn’t pay a cent to be there, and yet I felt like I saw some of the biggest attractions Arts Walk had to offer – tell me the next time you get into any hyped part of SXSW for free. So, in conclusion, local communities rock.


Old-Time folk band/family playing down the road from chalk art, fire spinners, metalworking, clowns, sculptures, and 4 other bands

Filed under: Photos, , ,

2 Responses

  1. Mom says:

    sounds more like Pecan St Festival than SXSW….looks like fun too.

  2. carfossil says:

    larger than Pecan St Fest, but yes, it has a vibe closer to that; it’s very kid friendly as well!

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