Olympia’s Fall Arts Walk will be back in early October

Arts Walk, Olympia’s twice-yearly celebration of creativity and community, is coming back.

On Oct. 1 and 2, the streets at Fifth and Washington will once again be closed to make space for pop-up performances, people watching and other festivities. In other words, the festival will be like the kinds the city held before the pandemic began.

“We’re coming back into community,” said Angel Nava of the city’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Department. “We’re slowly re-emerging together, which is awesome.”

There’s a difference, though: This event is a hybrid, with both the traditional weekend festivities and the month-long focus on arts that the city offered as a pandemic alternative in October 2020 and April 2021.

“Folks responded really well to the month-long option, so we’re testing an event with elements of both,” Nava told The Olympian.

Nava doesn’t know yet exactly what this event will look like, though both indoor and outdoor performances are currently allowed.

Artists and businesses are already registering — and there are already plans for at least one of the interesting and surprising events that make Arts Walk what it is: heavy metal knitting, happening Oct. 2 in the backyard of Our Local Yarn Shop, 1912 State Ave. NE.

“Heavy metal knitting is actually a thing,” said Laurie Brown, who owns OLYS. (Check out the world championship.)

“The plan is to have a local heavy metal band play while the performers either knit or crochet,” Brown told The Olympian. Making progress on a piece during the show is required, as is keeping things family friendly.

“It is our hope that this will be fun and entertaining and will remind young people that knitting and crocheting can be almost anything you want it to be,” she said.

Arts Walk events, too, can be almost anything: live music of all kinds, theater, juggling, fire eating, hands-on crafts and, of course, visual art shows by professionals and kindergarteners alike.

Arts Walk/Arts Month

  • What: Olympia will celebrate a focused Arts Walk weekend for the first time since October 2019, plus the city also will offer a full month spotlighting the city’s arts. Like the pandemic version of Arts Month, October’s festivities will include locations all over Olympia, though the event will likely shift back to a downtown focus in 2022.
  • When: Oct. 1-31, with a focus of festivities on Oct. 1 and 2
  • Where: Anywhere in Olympia, with a focus on downtown Oct. 1 and 2
  • More information: https://www.artswalkoly.com/
  • Want to participate? Registration for artists and hosting businesses is open until Aug. 27. Those registering are welcome to pay what they can starting at $5.

Heavy metal knitting

  • What: Knitters and crocheters are invited to create while they rock out to live heavy metal in this competition.
  • When: 1-3 p.m. Oct. 2
  • Where: Outside Our Local Yarn Shop (OLYS), 1912 State Ave. NE, Olympia.
  • More information: 360-915-6943, [email protected]

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