LoveOly SummerFest 2024

By John Longenbaugh

This is on page 8-9 of OLY ARTS Summer 2024 print edition.

Ah, summer. The time of year when what you want isn’t just one good thing, but a bunch of them sort of bumping into each other in an exciting fashion. Take the words “Love,” “Oly,” “Summer” and “Festival”— four fine nouns, each excellent value individually. Now just imagine them all together — or even better as “LoveOly SummerFest 2024,” with them all smooshed together in a sort of vocabularical foursome, for a three-day event in downtown Olympia on June 21-23.

It’s an apt title, as there’s a LOT of frolicsome exuberance featured at the Festival, one of those grand “throw all the fun at the downtown streets and see what sticks” sort of events. There are family friendly activities like the much-beloved Pet Parade and live performances from Oly Family Theatre. There’s an impressive line-up for the music stage featuring two days of more than a dozen local and regional bands and musicians, including Olson Bros, the Fern Spores, Ethan Tucker, Amelia Day and Brittany Danielle. There’s even a Sunday mimosa brunch with drag divas. Throw in some food trucks, buskers, independent vendors and a Biergarten, and that’s a great introduction to summer — practically a Lovolysummfest!

Photo for Olson Bros – Love Oly.

The Festival, headquartered at 5th and Washington, begins on Friday the 21st at 3 p.m. with streets being given over to family activities including face painting, caricature artists, and a Makers Market. Live music takes the stage soon after, featuring a roster of artists from Olympia, the Pacific Northwest and beyond, including Stephanie Anne Johnson, Uncle Daddy and the King Tides, Bhi Bhiman and The Lowest Pair. The Biergarten and food vendors will be open for business Friday evening with live music continuing to 9.

Saturday morning begins with the annual Pet Parade, a chance to see just about the cutest collection of little animals you can imagine — along with some of their pets! The Parade begins at 10:30 at Legion Way SE and Washington and continues along Capitol Way through Sylvester Park and to Capitol Way and 4th. After the parade are performances from Olympia Family Theatre and from noted juggler/magician The Zaniac (assuming he’s free from the Zasylum). To register, go to:

If your kids find being away from a screen for several hours too disconcerting, there’s a Super Smash Bros video game competition going on in one of the Festival tents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; register for it here: .

Photography by Nate Burgher, courtesy of Experience Olympia & Beyond.

Then through the rest of the day it’s a full line-up on the Music Stage, including Zach Medlin, Small Town Strings, Waves Crashing and Oblé Reed. And if contemporary folk/folk-rock/rock/anything else is less your jam than the classical stuff, there’s also going to be a performance from the Olympia Symphony and Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, giving one of their ever-popular “Conduct Us” performances.

How do you wind down from a weekend like that? How about a drag show and some mimosas? (“Wind down” is open to interpretation.) Yes, Sunday morning at 11 it’s time for the Queens of Diva Drag Brunch, with the Biergarten featuring a Mimosa Bar with classic and special drinks, along with pop-up brunch options from Chicory, Dos Hermanos Mexican Kitchen, The Oyster Boys and participating food trucks.

The Festival’s headquarters will be at 5th and Washington, and the event is FREE! FREE! FREE!

LoveOly SummerFest 2024

June 21-23

Downtown Olympia



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