The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire, RBG Week, and More Unusual Events
Our arts critics have already recommended 41 great things to do this week and our music critics have picked the 30 best music shows, but there are still tons more events happening. To prevent some of the quirkier and more extraordinary ones from slipping through the cracks, we’ve compiled them here—from RBG Week to a birthday party for Smokey Bear, and from a Hello Kitty Cafe Truck appearance to a Duran Duran Appreciation Day Celebration. For even more options this week, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.
Found something you like and don’t want to forget about it later? Click “Save Event” on any of the linked events below to add it to your own private list.
- From Hiroshima to Hope
Honor the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by releasing a lantern onto Green Lake in their memory on the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombings. There will also be talks from author, peace activist, and journalist David Swanson and Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Azura Tyabji.
- National Night Out
This annual event aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and civilians of Seattle with a night of block parties, cookouts, and other neighborhood gatherings. FOOD & DRINK
- Grill & Chill with Taylor Shellfish & Holy Mountain Brewing
Munch on NOLA-style grilled oysters from Taylor Shellfish along with grilled Essential Baking baguettes and the Pine Box’s new cocktail on tap, made with in-house hop-infused lillet blanc, dry vermouth, grapefruit, and tonic water. MUSIC
- Jazz in the Beer Garden
Grab a beer and grilled cheese from the Cheese Wizards Food Truck and enjoy live music from Music Center of the Northwest’s Jazz Combo students. PERFORMANCE
- No Blueprint Podcast
This podcast focuses on POC and LGBTQ creators “who do not have access to space downtown.” Join them for a live show with the important local Native artist and filmmaker Tracy Rector.
- Sad Kid Circus
Butt Club and Smokey Morgue Productions will put on a pop-punk dance party/drag show/circus for all the sad kids. You can get your fortune read by Psyche Splitz, take pictures in your freaky costume in a photo booth, and enjoy performances by Anya Knees, Luna Thorn, Tout d’Lou, Eve Gunn, and others. READINGS & TALKS
- Andrea Dunlop: We Came Here to Forget
Andrea Dunlop tells the story of an Olympic skier who escapes her life for a new one in Buenos Aires in her novel We Came Here to Forget. Hear her read.
- Kira Jane Buxton: Hollow Kingdom
S.T. isn’t like all the other crows in Seattle. Rather than scavenge for mice and dive-bomb peoples’ heads, he prefers to hang out with his human owner, Big Jim, and feast on fine foods like Cheetos. But as the human species becomes more and more endangered, a slovenly bird obsessed with television may be S.T.’s (and humankind’s) only hope. Local author Kira Jane Buxton will read from her apocalyptic novel Hollow Kingdom.
- Que Viva Frida: Frida Kahlo Inspired Art Exhibition
Twenty artists pay tribute to the great Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo with portraits and more.
FOOD & DRINK
- RBG Week
Seattle’s own Brovo Spirits will host a weeklong party spilling over with signature cocktails in honor of Supreme Court Justice (and fashion icon) Ruth Bader Ginsburg. One dollar from every bottle of Amaro 4 sold will benefit the ACLU. PERFORMANCE
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Follow Charlie Bucket through the delicious but treacherous Chocolate Factory in this musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, featuring songs from the 1971 movie with Gene Wilder.
FOOD & DRINK
- Ales for Whales
Test your command of oceanic knowledge with marine-themed trivia while swilling beer and entering raffles. One dollar of every pint sold will go towards building Washington’s first dedicated marine animal hospital.
- Doughnites: Last Call for Ice Cream Doagies!
The humble hoagie gets transformed into a frozen dessert treat with the invention of the “doagie,” Side Hustle Coffee & Doughnut’s ice cream-filled brioche doughnut bar creation. This is your last chance to try it this summer before it’s gone. MUSIC
- What The World Needs Now: The Burt Bacharach Songbook
Flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny and his band pay tribute to the music of pop composer Burt Bacharach, who, together with Hal David, wrote classics like “Close to You,” “What the World Needs Now,” and “Alfie.” READINGS & TALKS
- Dave McBee: Jacked
Picture this: a lonesome 16-year-old working the graveyard shift at a Jack-in-the-Box on Capitol Hill in the 1970s. Such was the teenage life of Dave McBee, who recounts what we can only imagine are some weird middle-of-the-night scenes in his memoir Jacked.
- Majd Mashharawi with Rania Qawasma
Palestinian entrepreneur Majd Mashhawari will visit Seattle to talk about her organization GreenCake, a startup that manufactures bricks from recycled materials and has played a part in developing an “off-the-grid” solar power kit called SunBox. She’ll be joined in conversation by Seattle architect Rania Qawasma, founder of Architecture for Refugees USA and a member of Architects Without Borders.
This play by Duncan Macmillan addresses a very topical crisis: With global warming potentially threatening civilization, should you have a baby? Really Really Theatre Group’s production will star Erika Fontana and Arjun Pande as a couple contemplating parenthood, and Henry Nettleton will direct.
Columbia City Gallery members Tina Albro, Annie Lewis, Joan Mamelok, and Jueun Shin experiment with different types of printmaking, including 3D pieces.
- Dammed to Extinction Film Screening – Seattle Patagonia
See a film about orca scientists, local citizens, tribal members, and others who are working on restoring the salmon populations the Puget Sound’s resident endangered whales need to survive. There will be food, drinks, and a post-film discussion.
- International Cat Day Celebration Featuring ‘Kedi’
Celebrate National Cat Day with a screening of Ceyda Torun’s Kedi, a documentary about the multitude of cats that roam the streets of Istanbul. Stranger contributor Kathy Fennessy writes: “Enchanting! Kedi works triple time as a nature documentary, a travelogue, and a meditation on the human-animal bond.”MUSIC
- In The Raw #8 – Noise Rock DJs
Min Yee and Brian MacDonald will add some sludge to your summer with a night of noise-rock by the likes of Killdozer, Birthday Party, and Chrome Cranks. PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE
- Modern Love: Seattle’s Dating Game Show
In classic game-show fashion, six contestants will reveal their dating profiles and submit to a hot-seat Q&A. After that, you, the audience, get to play matchmaker by pairing up the contestants you think are best suited for each other. Once everyone’s paired up, the couples will compete for a free date on the town. READINGS & TALKS
- Mayumi Tsutakawa: Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists
Mayumi Tsutakawa, an editor who won the American Book Award for The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women’s Anthology, will talk about five “women warriors” in arts and journalism who were trailblazers of their time—from jazz musician Ruby Bishop to leftist journalist Anna Louise Strong. VISUAL ART
- Seattle Design Festival 2019 Sneak Peek
Get an early look at this year’s festival during its public unveiling and hype yourself up for what’s to come.
- Louis Katz with Erin Ingle
Louis Katz has appeared on Jimmy Fallon, HBO’s Down & Dirty with Jim Norton, and Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening. He’ll bring his combination of “highbrow and lowbrow” to the stage with support from Erin Ingle.FESTIVALS
- Morton Loggers Jubilee
Morton, Washington, celebrates its logging history at this annual ceremonious jubilee (or, as they call it, the “Granddaddy of all logging shows”), starting with the crowning of the Loggers’ Jubilee Queen and wrapping up with the selection of the Jubilee Bull of the Woods. PERFORMANCE
- Kiki’s Delivery Service
In this adaptation of Jessica Sian’s adaptation of the Miyazaki classic, a teen witch flies away on her broom to start her own small business.
Sound Theatre Company will stage this production of Kaite O’Reilly’s play Peeling, which the organizers describe as “an overproduced, postmodern production of Euripides’ The Trojan Women.”
- Comedy on Broadway Presents Tambre Massman
Up-and-comer Tambre Massman will headline at this comedy show, joined by locals Jenna Vesper and Heather Thomson. GEEK & GAMING
Pokémon die-hards, this one’s for you. Head to South Park to play at table stations, enter raffles, spot Pikachu, make crafts, and more. MUSIC
- The Best ’80s Party Ever! (So Far)
High-energy ’80s tribute band Nite Wave will bring you renditions of your favorite big-hair hits by Duran Duran, the Cure, Prince, Depeche Mode, and the like.
- Bootie Seattle: Disney Mashed
Your favorite childhood tunes from Disney’s House of Mouse will be remixed and mashed up into freaky dance tracks, courtesy of resident Bootie DJs Freddy, King of Pants, and Skiddle. Wear your best Disney costume to fit in with special guest performers Adé and Strawberry Shartcake.
- Brass Monkeys, Tip To Base
Beastie Boys tribute Brass Monkeys may reignite your tween crush on Ad-Rock. Or not! Either way, you can expect nothing but hits by the NYC hip-hop/punk crew at this reunion show.
- Flynt Flossy & Turquoise Jeep, #All4Doras, DJ Indica Jones
EMB (“existing musical beings”) artists Flynt Flossy (you know his song “Lemme Smang It”) and Turquoise Jeep will play their unique brand of electronica with support from Seattle boy band #All4Doras and DJ Indica Jones.
Aficionados of unlikely sonic hybrids, rejoice! Gangstagrass (meh to the telegraphing name, respect to the exemplary title of their 2012 album, Rappalachia) fuse bluegrass with hiphop, and the resultant novelty effect surprisingly doesn’t wear out its welcome. Conceived by the producer Rench in 2006, Gangstagrass have struck a nerve with their urgent, social-justice-slanted verses, rambling banjos and fiddles, and chunky funk beats, luring major figures like Kool Keith, Smif-N-Wessun, and Dead Prez to lend verses to their music. At a time when the White House nefariously sows racial divisiveness, groups like Gangstagrass rebuke such regressive ideologies and bolster the prospect of social unity. DAVE SEGAL
- International Tiki Weekend Kick Off
Transport yourself to a tropical location by dancing to live music by the Ukadelics and the Tikigraphs, plus more from DJ Vodka Twist, while you sip rum drinks.
- It’s Britney B*TCH
Enter a Britney Spears costume contest, enjoy drag performances dedicated to the pop queen and her contemporaries, and end the night with a dance party.
- Jerry Garcia Celebration Concert with DEAL
Dead Heads can revel in ’60s psych at this tribute to Jerry Garcia.
- Judas Rising NW Chapter
British heavy metal band Judas Priest won’t be here in person, but their spirit will emanate throughout the Tulalip Resort Casino at this tribute show with Judas Rising. PERFORMANCE
- Chesty LaRue’s Self-Indulgent 10-Year Burlesque Anniversary Extravaganza Show
Artsy burlesque artist Chesty Larue will throw herself a big ol’ sexy party onstage.
- Shakira Vs. J-Lo
Local queens Strawberry Shartcake and Londyn Bradshaw will host a drag duel featuring hits from your two favorite Latina pop icons, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Atasha Manila, Butylene O’Kipple, Angela Visalia, and Dolce Vita will provide additional performances.
- The Titillation Sinsations presents Bug-lesque 2!
Sexy routines based on insect mating habits? Babes dressed up like mating butterflies? Find out what the heck this is and witness the Titillation Sensations’ latest creation. READINGS & TALKS
- Garth Stein: The Art of Racing in the Rain
The author of the bestselling The Art of Racing in the Rain will hang out at the Queen Anne Book Company to celebrate the release of the movie version of his novel. Get a signed copy of the book. VISUAL ART
- Martin Jarmick: The Final Image
Seattle artist Martin Jarmick’s virtual reality installation combines spherical images with interactive spaces, inviting visitors to move debris out of the way and wander through passages that lead to “narrative vignettes” about memory loss.
- Caribbean Cool Fest
New York-based ska/reggae band Pilfers (they call their sound “raggacore”) will provide the music at this Caribbean-themed bash.
FOOD & DRINK
- Theo S’mores Days
Theo Chocolate’s homemade s’mores put the “glam” in glamping. Gobble a freshly toasted campfire treat and stick around for games, music, a s’more-themed photo booth, and free samples of other confections. PERFORMANCE
- The 19th Annual Festival of New Musicals
Be the first to hear staged, sung readings of five new musicals currently being workshopped, directed and acted by local and guest theater artists. This year, the productions will be XY, a romance centered on an intersex man; Cold Turkey, in which a town tries to wean itself from cigarettes and win a huge sum of money; Eastbound, about twin Chinese brothers separated at birth; Modern, set among Amish teens during their rumspringa; and Cowboy Bob, about a woman with a decade-long bank-robbing streak.
- The Antipodes
Short Order Theater Company presents Annie Baker’s The Antipodes, which the Village Voice called a “paradoxical, puzzling, compellingly hypnotic work.” It’s about people telling stories about telling stories.
- Shake Off the Shame!
Lil’ Punkins and Starlet Leather present a two-night burlesque show celebrating self-love, body positivity, and “guilty pleasures and impermissible desires.”
No Saturday performance
- Two Big Black Bags
Julieta Vitullo’s new magical realist drama, about an Argentinian veteran of the Malvinas/Falklands War who finds two bags full of millions of dollars in his Seattle living room one morning, will be staged by eSe Teatro, ACTLab, and Parley.
- Boom Bap
Local free-styling lyricists will perform feats of “hip-hop acrobatics” and improv comedy fueled by audience suggestions. COMMUNITY
- Smokey Bear 75th Birthday
If it weren’t for Smokey Bear, how would you know that only you can prevent forest fires? As wildfire season and Smokey’s birthday approaches, celebrate the furry symbol of forest protection by picking up limited-edition Smokey patches, bandanas, and koozies. Plus, snag free s’mores from Hot Cakes and free coffee while you browse for forest-themed prints. Proceeds will benefit the National Forest Foundation.
- Wild Asia: Asian Wildlife Conservation Day
Learn how the Woodland Park Zoo is working to save endangered wildlife in Asia and provide “life sustaining commerce” to indigenous families. The day will be filled with keeper talks about environmental threats, crafts, family activities, and more. FESTIVALS
- 1000 Lights Water Lantern Festival
Write a message or draw on an LED lantern, then watch it drift across the lake with others’ at sunset. Show up early for food, music, and family-friendly entertainment.
- In the Spirit
This two-month-long juried exhibition of Native art (featuring artists from the Northwest and beyond) concludes today with a cultural festival at various Tacoma art institutions, featuring a Native art market (Washington State History Museum and Tacoma Art Museum), a Native designer fashion show and drumming circle (Tacoma Art Museum), a live communal jazz, funk, and spoken-word performance from Khu.éex’ (Washington State History Museum), and more.FOOD & DRINK
- Asian Cajun Vegan Food Truck Grand Opening
Partake in the peculiar fusion of plant-based, Cajun, and Asian fare, with dishes like vegan “wings” and “shrimp” with fried rice or jambalaya, at the launch of this new food truck.
- Hello Kitty Cafe Truck West – Seattle Appearance
Sugar fiends and Sanrio freaks can pick up some sweet treats and other goodies from the Hello Kitty cafe truck, which will visit the mall for one day only. MUSIC
- Camp Emerald Showcase
Celebrate the talents of the queer and trans youth from this summer’s music and empowerment summer camp created by the Queer & Trans Youth Music Project.
- Duran Duran Appreciation Day Celebration
Duranies (that’s die-hard Duran Duran fans, for the uninitiated) can bounce around to ’80s bangers with tribute band Tiger Tiger. Afterwards, head to a street-side display for more Duran Duran appreciation.
- Heat! Underwear Party
DJs Alfonso Tan and BenTraxx will lay down some sexy tracks for you to dance to in the company of hot go-go boys.
- HYPHY – Bay Area Hip Hop Dance Party
Oh boy—Neumos is doing a hyphy night? “Tell Me When to Go,” sort of the mainstream-hit-that-was-the-death-knell of what is commonly thought of as the hyphy movement, did come out over a decade ago. It used to be 20 years before the generational nostalgia cash-in started, but seeing as we passed the event horizon of this black-hole-to-hell-itself some time ago, everything is strictly get-it-while-you-can. Now, I tend to think of hyphy less as a particular slice of time and set of songs than an evolving dimension of the Bay Area rap scene, one known for fierce innovation and trendsetting originality. Something tells me that this is going to be more of a Bay Area rap night rather than an exclusively stunna-shaded, cereal-mascot-tee’d-up hyphy night. Which is great, because the Yay has created one of the world’s all-time greatest musical subcultures, from Short to HBK. (Play some fucking Turf Talk!) Just, please, no G-Eazy. Have some fuckin’ respect. LARRY MIZELL JR.
- Neon Vice Fundraiser
A crew of Burning Man attendees (Bernie Bros? No, wait…) are assembling a “60-foot Neon Countach Lamborghini synth-wave and karaoke art car” and will celebrate the completion of their project with an ’80s-themed dance party, VR experiences, themed drink specials, karaoke, and a display of art cars. You’re encouraged to dress to the theme.PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE
- Bollywood Neon Summer Party- and WK’s 6th Anniversary!
The Bollywood party people of Wicked Karma will throw a glow-tastic summer shindig with DJs Gabbar and Rkay.
- Fatcat Snapchat Party
DJ WaCko will keep things moving at this dance party, where you can win a pair of “snapchat glasses.” PERFORMANCE
- Trailer Park Drag Strip
Bacon Strip will break out their trailer park looks. Don’t forget to tip!
- Worlds’ End, The Tease at the End of the Strip
Burlesque performers will take the stories told by prolific author, filmmaker, and comic artist Neil Gaiman and boil them down into one sexy-nerdy show. SPORTS & RECREATION
- Jockstraps & Glitter
Seattle’s queerest, least clothed, and most fun sports teams, Quake Rugby and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, will go head to head in this annual kickball match.
- Mutt Strut 2019
Bring Fido to run along the river in the Mutt Strut, shop from dog-friendly vendors, see demonstrations, and more at this 18th annual event.
- Seattle Polo Party
When the sports and social worlds collide, you get a polo party. Come dressed to impress in full “garden party attire” and watch riders hit balls with mallets atop their trusty steeds. VISUAL ART
- Seattle Grunge Retrospective: Nostalgia is for Losers
Check out Karen Mason Blair’s photos of iconic grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains; browse DJ Marco Collins’s ’90s memorabilia collection; and listen to archival interviews of Chris Cornell, Courtney Love, et al. by Bill Reid. Special musical guest Ayron Jones will provide live music.
- 2019 Festival of the River and Pow Wow
This annual pow wow will celebrate its 30th anniversary with two days of live music, circus arts with the New Old Time Chautauqua, a 5K fun run, and a traditional alder salmon bake.
- Seattle Arab Festival
The Arab Center of Washington presents its annual celebration of Arab culture. Music, dance, and food (including an Arabic coffee shop) will all be featured, along with a traditional bazaar, children’s activities, and cultural information booths providing a larger picture of the 22 Arab countries.
- Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire
For the second weekend of this annual faire, dress up in your flowiest garments and take a journey through mystical realms alongside fairies, goblins, dragons, and other fantastical creatures. Fairy artist Amy Brown will be signing autographs and there will also be food and a marketplace. PERFORMANCE
- In Our Wake: A Site Specific Dance
Led by choreographer Melissa Riker, Seattle’s Kinesis Project Dance Theatre will perform a dance about “time, memory, perspective, and connection” on Pier 58.
- Spring/Summer Comedy Series
Munch on a vegan hot dog from Cycle Dogs (or save some money and bring your own food) as you laugh along to local comedy.COMMUNITY
- Ethnic Heritage Council Fifth Annual Ethnic Potluck Picnic
Win prizes for your best ethnic potluck dish, check out educational displays, dance to live world folk music by the Lonely Coast, and play games. FESTIVALS
- Othello Park International Festival
Did you know that Rainier Valley is home to speakers of over 59 different languages? This annual festival celebrates the neighborhood’s diversity with a day of multi-cultural dance performances, food vendors, live music, and art in Othello Park. FOOD & DRINK
- Kind of a Pig Deal
This porcine-centric parking lot bash features two whole pigs, bratwurst from The Swinery, refreshments from Greenwood Cider Company and Métier Brewing Company, and live tunes from Seattle singer and songwriter Christy McWilson and her band.
- Sol Connection: Optimism’s Summer Shindig
Optimism will offer up food trucks, soft serve, live music, and pours of a special new beer to benefit Planned Parenthood. MUSIC
- Billy Lykken: A Faggy Resistance!
Billy Lykken will put a queer spin on protest and freedom songs by artists like Nina Simone, Bette Midler, and Sam Cooke.
- Chillography 12 – A Free All Ages Day Party in the Park
For those who appreciate daytime dance parties and the “mellower side of electronic music,” this waterfront festival offers live DJs from Seattle and beyond. PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE
- LEO Party 2019
It’s Leo season, which calls for an evening of finery and fiery performances. Joining you on the dance floor will be local queens Amora Black, Atasha Manila, Kylie Archer, Mila Sky, Isaac Scott, Ladie Chablis, Derrick Barry from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and many others. Plus go-go dancers! The first 25 guests will receive a free bottle of champagne. PERFORMANCE
- Albatross Cabaret Fundraiser 2019
Help ensure Albatross Theatre Lab’s 2019/2020 Play Reading Series—specifically, their production of MJ Kaufman’s Sagittarius Ponderosa—at this annual cabaret fundraiser.
- Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club
Seattle’s Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club will present two Chinese stories drawn from legends, folk tales, and historical events in Chinese Opera: Women in Times of War.
- The Scratch: Seattle Workshop Series
Join more than 100 theater artists for the beginning of a week of networking and workshopping 12 new plays and musicals, including 10-minute shorts by five young writers, two developmental labs, and five staged readings by professionals. SPORTS & RECREATION
- Dog Days of Summer 5K
Run a scenic (and flat) course with your dog, then enjoy a puppy parade, a dog costume contest, a dog-and-owner look-alike contest, and more activities revolving around your adored pet.