by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS
Looking for something to do this weekend — or any other weekend, for that matter? There’s a veritable festival happening year round at The Olympia Farmers Market, said Mary DiMatteo, the market’s community-outreach manager. “We have live music, food, ice cream, seven distinct restaurants and over 100 vendors from the local area all under one roof. If that’s not a festival, I don’t know what is.”
The music happens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day the market is open — Thursdays through Sundays through October, Saturdays and Sundays in November and December and Saturdays in January through March — and features many well-known, local bands. Coming up are Pinniped June 18, Joey Capoccia of The Pine Hearts June 23 and Climate Change June 24.
Before and after the scheduled musicians, buskers are welcome to perform at both ends of the market, where they stand on blue musical notes. “It’s a cool program,” DiMatteo said. “It’s a great opportunity for smaller groups or people who play solo, classical instruments to be able to musically engage the community.” Groups of three and fewer are welcome, as are youth performers.
Special events coming up at the market include the Berry Harvest Celebration, scheduled for June 17 and 18 if the berries are ripe and ready. In honor of the beginning of the season, the market serves strawberry shortcake, and all proceeds benefit the Holiday Market Food Drive, which provides fresh food to families in need. On Market Kids’ Day, July 22, the market will offer free activities on such topics as conservation and nutrition.
An annual highlight on the market’s calendar is Taste of the Market, a fundraising feast held by Friends of Olympia Farmers Market. Set for August 15, the Taste showcases food and beverages from local bakeries, breweries, coffee roasters, restaurants and wineries.
What: Taste of the Market
Where: The Olympia Farmers Market,
700 Capitol Way N, Olympia
When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15
How much: $60
Get tickets: 360-352-9096 | Taste of the Market