What’s happening this week around Thurston County

Steve Bloom/sbloom@theolympian

Sunday, Nov. 27

LoveOly WinterFest: The Olympia Downtown Alliance is powering this free street festival set for noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The epicenter will be Fifth and Washington, where there will be live music from local high schools and the Olympia Symphony, activities for kids and families, a twilight tree lighting, horse-drawn carriage rides, “snow” falling outside the Washington Center, and a hot chocolate station. There also will be Nutcracker-themed Selfie Scenes. And kids can visit Santa at 222 Market, located at 222 Capitol Way N. The Sunday festivities kick off a month of holiday fun the ODA is calling Downtown for the Holidays. It will include a Shop & Dine Promotion that will run Nov. 25 to Dec. 24. Download the passport at downtownolympia.org or pick one up at any participating shop or restaurant.

Monday, Nov. 28

Olympia Family Theater open house for all ages space: Olympia Family Theater is currently running a campaign to help it open the doors on a new all-ages space, the Olympia Youth Art Alliance, next door to the theater at 614 Fourth Ave. E. in downtown Olympia. It will serve as the permanent home for String & Shadow Puppet Theater and Capitol City Pride as well as an all-ages interdisciplinary venue. The theater is trying to raise $10,000 as a matching donation to use for flooring, soundproofing, and other renovations. See the space at the open house from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28; tours will be offered as well as details on the project.

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Thurston County Canvassing Board: The Thurston County Canvassing Board will meet at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to certify the results of the Nov. 8 general election. They will meet at the Ballot Processing Center, 2905 29th Ave. SW, Suite F, Tumwater. Masks are required at the facility.

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Thurston County/Olympia Public Hearing on joint plan for Urban Growth Area: The Thurston County and City of Olympia Planning Commissions will hold a joint public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, to receive public testimony on a proposal to update the development plan for the city’s Urban Growth Area. The Olympia Joint Plan was last updated in 2003. This update will include new goals and policy language and minor corrections to the future land use and zoning maps. Additionally, a citizen-requested zoning amendment is considered part of this update or code amendment to TCC 23.05 in lieu of a zone change. Those wishing to testify can provide comments in person at Building 1, Room 280 of the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, or virtually via video conference. Sign up for virtual attendance on the Planning Commission webpage. Submit written comments to Leah Davis, Associate Planner, at Leah.Davis@co.thurston.wa.us no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, or mail or hand deliver comments to: Thurston County Community Planning and Economic Development, Attn: Leah Davis, Associate Planner, Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia WA, 98502. View the proposed joint plan draft online.

6th Annual Howliday Pet Food Drive: This holiday season, you can help pets and neighbors through this pet food drive. Donate unopened bags or cans of dog, puppy, cat and kitten food and treats between Nov. 30 and Dec. 30, and it will be given to the Thurston County Food Bank, Tenino Food Bank Plus, and Feline Friends of Olympia. Those in need of pet food can contact Thurston County Food Bank at 360-352-8597 or visit the Tenino Food Bank. Drop off donations at 204 Pinehurst Dr SW, Suite 102, Tumwater.

Thursday, Dec. 1

Holiday Light Parades in Olympia: Winter Holiday Light Parades are back for the third year. The Olympia Police Department (OPD) will partner with other City departments to provide a series of parades featuring city vehicles and holiday lights. Three parade routes are planned: the southeastern part of the city the evening of Dec. 1, West Olympia on Dec. 7, and the northeastern section and the South Capitol Neighborhood on Dec. 13. Each parade will begin at 6 p.m.; the one in West Olympia will last for about 90 minutes while the other two will conclude after about an hour. Visit the City’s Facebook page for event details and links to route maps. Follow OPD on Instagram for photos and highlights from each parade.

GRuBzaar: Get your GRuB goodies for the winter between 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the GRuB Farmhouse, 2016 Elliott Ave NW, Olympia. Enjoy some hot cider, cookies, and rosehip jam while doing some holiday shopping to support GRuB’s work. There will be books and cards, stickers, journals, and 2023 calendars as well as salves, lip balms, infused honeys, and teas from the GRuB farm! The Youth Program also will sell pumpkin bread and other baked goods made from farm veggies and fruits they grew, and the Healing Through Hives program will have honey available in three sizes of jars. Credit/debit, check, and cash welcome. Shoppers are asked to wear masks.

Friday, Dec. 2

The Olympia Center Ceramics Open House & Holiday Sale! Come check out the ceramics studio at The Olympia Center and learn about class opportunities from instructors. Purchase pottery made by students and instructors for holiday gifts. The sale will happen from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the center, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia., and there will be new items on sale each day.

Saturday, Dec. 3

45th annual Olympia Toy Run: The Olympia Toy Run brings motorcyclists together to provide children gifts at Christmas. All the toys and money donated are given to The Salvation Army for distribution to needy kids through its Toy n’ Joy Program. Riders will start assembling in the former Sears parking lot at South Sound Center in Lacey at 10 a.m. Admission is $10 per rider, $15 per couple or a new unwrapped toy. Riders will ride to the state Capitol starting at 1 p.m.

19th Annual Tumwater Christmas Tree Lighting Festival: This annual event will run from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. at Tumwater City Hall and fire headquarters. It includes holiday crafts, performances by local and school choirs, on-site food trucks, and the lighting of the tree. Kids also can take pictures with Santa between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. Event parking is available in the adjacent Attorney General’s Office parking lot, 7141 Cleanwater Drive SW. No parking at the fire station; disabled parking at City Hall. Call 360-754-4160 for more information.

Providence Christmas in the Forest public viewing: Providence Southwest Washington Foundation’s annual display of Christmas trees opens its doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW, Olympia. Admission is $5 per person, and children 12 and younger get in free. In addition to viewing the trees, kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and on Saturday crafts and activities will be provided by the Hands On Children’s Museum.

Myths of the Pacific Northwest: Is Bigfoot out there roaming the forests? Is Caddy the sea serpent lurking in Puget Sound? Come learn about local legends like the Pacific Tree Octopus, Sasquatch, and more! From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. you can create crafts and design your own Puget Sound-inspired legend at the WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia.

SPSCC Brunch With a Purpose: South Puget Sound Community College supporters John Doan and David Marks are partnering with Nicole’s Bar and SPSCC to host a fundraising brunch, plus a raffle and a silent auction, to benefit the SPSCC LGBTQ+ Student Success Fund. Tickets are $30. The event runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Nicole’s Bar, 109 Legion Way SW, Olympia.

St. John’s Episcopal Church organ concert: The second concert in the church’s 2022-2023 organ series celebrating the completion of the Schlicker organ will feature Seattle-based concert organist Susanna Valleau. Her performance will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the church at 19th Avenue and Capitol Way, Olympia. Valleau’s program includes works by well-known composers such as Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Camille Saint-Saëns, as well as composers gaining recognition including Joséphine Boulay and Florence Beatrice Price. A reception will follow. Suggested donation is $20 and all proceeds benefit the music program at St. John’s. For information, go to www.stjohnsoly.org or call 360-352-8527.

Masterworks Carols and Bells concert with handbells: Masterworks Choral Ensemble and the Celebration Handbell Ensemble join forces to recreate two musical traditions, the singing of Christmas carols and the ringing of handbells. The concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, will feature traditional favorites as well as new songs. Tickets are $24 for adults, $20 for seniors, students and military, and $12 for youth.

Would you like to have your event included in our weekly What’s Happening listing? Email the details to news@theolympian.com at least 10 days before the event.