LaVon Hardison

Books by the Bay: A Party at Port Plaza

by Ned Hayes for OLY ARTS

“Books by the Bay,” an annual music-and-literary party, will fill the Port Plaza on July 28. The event, which expands every year, is a fundraiser for the activities of the 16-year-old South Sound Reading Foundation. Three years ago, the Reading Foundation moved Books by the Bay to the plaza. Along with silent auctions and book signings, the event now includes buffet-style food service, an open bar, appearances by notable Northwest writers and a live band that entertains hundreds of attendees.

Food will be provided by Ramblin Jack’s. Author appearances and readings include Jim Lynch, famous for his Northwest-themed novels including The Highest Tide and last year’s Before the Wind, and Peter Stark, nonfiction author of The Last Empty Places.

Offering this year’s music are South Sound musical luminaries Vince Brown and LaVon Hardison performing under the name “Red & Ruby.” Hardison won the prestigious Seattle-Kobe Sister City Jazz Vocalist Audition at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle in 2016 and appears regularly on national stages.

“Authors, live music, appetizers and literacy games are all on the agenda,” says Jennifer Williamson Forster, the foundation’s executive director. “Guests are asked to bring a children’s book along with the ticket fee to help fund our foundation. We will also have a silent auction that is literacy-themed. It’s going to be a great night.” Please note that this event is reserved for guests aged 21 and older.

After-Action: Check out a complete Books by the Bay photo album 

(Thanks to photographer John O’Leary for sharing his wonderful photos with OLY ARTS!)

What: Books by the Bay

Where: Port Plaza Park,
701 Columbia St. NW, Olympia

When: 7 p.m. Friday, July 28

How much: $60

Learn more: 360-412-4499 | South Sound Reading Foundation




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