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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Party On South Sound: A Tale of Many Festivals

The fabulous first weekend of August brings party time in the South Sound. Typically, the weather is just fine and we’re all into the routine and reward of the summer season this time of year. I was rewarded with a whirlwind local festival tour, covering three of them in two days.

I kicked it off on Friday with a visit to Tacoma’s Proctor Art Fest and Sidewalk Sale, my all time favorite August ritual for the last 20 years. I like to go on the first day and hit the sidewalk sale running, with the goal of being the first customer on the pavement in front of Jasminka boutique. Jovial Jasminka owner, Rondi Boskovich, smiled at me and said, “I had a feeling you’d be here!” Oh yeah! I don’t miss this sale. EVER. Hands down, my favorite women’s clothing and accessory boutique in town featuring natural fiber clothing, fabulous jewelry and eclectic accessories, the Sidewalk Sale is the big score for my summer shopping. I walked away with goodies for me (of course!), goodies to store away for gifts later on, and little treats for my daughter. Bliss!

Bliss continued on Saturday, as I popped across the bridge to one of my fave rave new discoveries, the Key Peninsula to the “Beyond Our Borders” world art and music festival hosted by the Two Waters Art Alliance and the Longbranch Improvement Club. With the kids and my mom (who lives nearby) in tow, I eagerly arrived looking for my dear friend, fellow blogger, and Key Pen resident Lorraine who also planned to attend. As we waited, we were treated to a spirited festival full of fine art and friendly artists, cool music, awesome food, and great company. We munched on some delicious and outrageously affordable worldly wraps made by a local deli. Mom tried the Hawaiian and I went with the Greek. Yummy! We noshed on delicious cookies, admired the truly amazing artwork by the gifted artists, purchased some great goods from a fair trade booth (at such reasonable prices, I scored candle holders and sculpture from Pakistan and soapstone carvings from Kenya). We enjoyed the sounds of a Celtic band with its brooding Scottish ballads and lively Irish jigs.

And speaking of lively, the joint started to jump with the arrival of my friend, Ms. Lorraine Hart! Dressed to the nines and ready to dance (along with her delight of a friend, Gigi), post hugs and conversation, we headed inside for the tribal beats of a band of drummers.

And then the fun really happened.

Folks, if you ever want to see the most spirited dancer on the face of the earth, you need to see Lorraine in action. She and Gigi took the floor, along with me and my nine-year-old son Justin. It was so much fun. But the real fun came with my son.

You see, Justin is completely unpredictable. He was feeling very antsy and bored, until the drums started. As we were groovin’ to the beats, he whispered to me that he would like to do his own “moves” and would feel better if he removed his T-shirt. So, I told him that was fine (it was warm in there), thinking he wouldn’t actually do ANYTHING. I was dead wrong.

Justin whipped off his shirt, kicked off his flip flops and launched into this wild, enthusiastic dance, whipping his T-shirt ‘round and ‘round his head. He took the floor solo and got really INTO the music. Festival goers stopped what they were doing, mouths agape and smiling wildly, snapped pictures, and I learned later that someone actually videotaped the “performance.” I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. After the song ended, Justin donned his shirt and said, “Okay, that was great. I am ready to go now.”

So, after our little band of merry made our marks on Beyond Our Borders and bid fond farewells to Lorraine, Justin ended up staying overnight with my folks, and my daughter Erin and I headed back into our neighborhood of University Place to catch the end of our city’s yearly celebration. In the new festival location of beautiful Cirque Park (in walking distance from my home) we walked over in the sunshine, Mt. Rainier gleaming in the background, and walked in a sea of U.P. residents. My daughter high-tailed it over to the literal ocean of gigantic inflatable slide rides, climbing toys, rock walls, and obstacle courses to play. A sign of a good kid’s area is when you can’t get your kid out of there and that was indeed my story. Fun music played from a live band, the aroma of fair food and BBQ filled the park, and booths upon booths were set up throughout with arts, crafts, politics, local businesses, and city officials greeting the public. It was fun to see such a great turnout and cooperative summery weather.

And that ends my journey. Whether you take in Sea Fair in Seattle, enjoy your festivals in other Washington locales like some of the recent posts reflect, or stay close to home for the local festival offerings, party on South Sound! Summer will be over in a blink, savor it with everything you’ve got!


Stephanie Frieze said...

Thank you, thank you, Kim for the tour of what I'm missing in the South Sound as I sit with fingers crossed that the contractor shows up to work here in Ilwaco. I was so sorry to miss Lady Lorraine's fun and happy to read your account of it.

Do you know, once at the University Place celebration I saw Peter Noone and some younger Hermits?

Well, there's still time to make it to the Long Beach Peninsula for the Kite Festival and the Classic Car Show.

Lorraine Hart said...

We missed you in the mix Stephanie!

It was lots of fun...even if we couldn't move on Sunday!

Kim, I don't think I could keep up with your schedule! festival in a day is enough for me!

Kim Thompson said...

Summer in the Grit City demands burning the candle at both ends--I will take advantage of all the great offerings in the summertime that I can muster.

I do have to commend my kids--they do keep pace nicely and have really developed a love of where we live and all the adventures that we do.