It's festival season in the Olympia region and it’s all about the fresh fare and culinary talent. Foodies rejoice!
From the two brew fests that celebrate the region’s history of brewing excellence to the quirky happenings at the Thurston County Fairgrounds, visitors will be sure to leave satisfied.
Bring an appetite and mark your calendar—here’s a roundup of summer happenings that showcase the delicious offerings in the area:
South Sound Barbeque Festival, July 13
Welcome to the mouthwatering world of barbeque! The festivities include a professional cook-off sanctioned by the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association, plus an assortment of vendors from the South Sound area. Come for the bbq, stay for the giveaways, live entertainment, chicken wing eating contest and kids zone.
Northwest Pirate Festival July 13-14
Join two infamous Pirate crews as they seek to win your favor & support with music & shanties, entertaining battles, cannons, shenanigans and more! Food is aplenty at The Galley, you can drink rum & grog at The Crow’s Nest Inn and buy all sorts of baubles & trinkets at The Market for every sea-fairer in every price range. Young and old – all are invited to join in on the festivities of Black Sand Bay & the NW Pirate Festival so come dressed in your BEST pirate attire!
Capital Lakefair, July 17-21
Capital Lakefair began as a community celebration in 1957 and continues today as the area’s major community festival. The five-day celebration includes offerings for all ages and interests including rides and games on the shores of Capitol Lake! Only non-profit organizations are allowed to be food vendors so all of the proceeds from food purchases will go to a good cause! Find all kinds of food, from lemonade and pizza to classic fair funnel cakes and everything in between! There is a parade on the fourth day and a large fireworks display that draws crowds to the lawns of the Washington State Capitol as well as rooftops of downtown buildings.
Thurston County Fair, July 31 - August 4
Five full days of fair fun in Thurston County. Visit the animals, taste delicious food and watch live acts—the kids won’t want to miss the carnival rides. Expect classic fair favorites, from corndogs to funnel cakes and cool drinks to beat the heat!
Olympia Brew Fest, Saturday, August 3
The Olympia Brew Fest, taking place on the waterfront at the Port Plaza, celebrates Olympia's rich brewing heritage with more than 30 hand-picked, northwest breweries for sampling!
Tumwater Artesian Brewfest, August 17
Celebrate the roots of Washington’s brewing industry and sample more than 40 craft beers—including the original Olympia Beer on tap—as well as local wine and artisan cider at this large-scale backyard party. Enjoy lawn games, live music and food vendors in the shadow of the original Olympia Brewery building near Tumwater Falls at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course Driving Range. Tickets are $20 and include five tastings and a mug. Military and designated driver discounts are available.
3rd Annual EARTH UFO Fest August 30 - September 1
New to the Thurston County Fairgrounds, festivities two stages of bands/concerts, world-known speakers, art displays, Kids Zone/UFO Bouncy House, hot air balloon rides, light show and an alien flea market! Food trucks will be there and, new to the festival are two beer gardens to sip and survey all of the extraterrestrial activity!
Brats, Brews, and Bands, September 7
The ultimate trifecta takes place at the swanky space at Ricardo’s restaurant near Huntamer Park in Lacey. Enjoy fresh brats courtesy of Chef Ricardo paired with all the fixings and sides—from house-made kraut and grilled onions to freshly made pretzels and baked beans. A full line-up of bands provide entertainment and a wide variety of craft brews will be served. Come for a quick brat and brew or enjoy the full event that runs from 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Fill your belly, whet your whistle and stay a while! Olympia’s range of lodging offers something for every traveler. Find details on where to drink, dine and stay at experienceolympia.com or connect on Facebook (@ExperienceOlympiaandBeyond), Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).