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Love Our Local Fest

Because community matters - even during the winter

EREV RAV KLEZMER ORCHESTRA: The band will add a little funk to your LOL experience.

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Last summer, the Love Our Local Fest (LOL) in Olympia's Eastside neighborhood drew 1,500 people. Live music, face painting, street painting, kid's activities, food and artisan vendors helped make the 2nd annual festival a success.

"It was pretty much an awesome frickin' day," says Daniel Landin, co-curator. "We had 400 or 500 on the first year, so it made a big jump in one year."

While it was encouraging to have such a large turnout, the free event was hard on the organizers' wallets.

Love Our Local Fest - Winter Edition to the rescue. The indoor street fair is designed to offset costs for next summer's LOL with a live and silent auction.

And, of course, it's great reason to bring the community together for a big ass party. 

"Waiting a whole year until the summer would be too long," says Landin. "A great, lively community celebration is exactly what us folks in the South Sound need in the middle of winter."

With an activity-focused afternoon, and a music and entertainment packed night, the event has something for everyone. 

LOL kicks off Saturday afternoon with a free festival. From 1-6 p.m. at the Olympia Ballroom, expect live acoustic music, laughter yoga, children's activities, (including balloon drop), classical Indian music of Rag Dharma, Sean Gaskell's West African kora music, Flamenco dancing and local art, crafts and vendors.

Then, 7 p.m. to midnight - with a $12-$25 sliding scale cover - party-goers will experience a transformed space that includes a professional light show, dancing, trapeze, swing and aerial art, a live auction to support the free summer festival and a full bar. Live music includes the fun dance band Erev Rav Klezmer Orchestra. Vendors can choose to stay open during this time as well.

"I could hardly express how blessed I feel to be a part of this community, surrounded by so many talented and inspired people who are so ready to share their gifts; I could almost cry," says Landin. "For me it is opening community space for the amazingly positive members of this community to come together that I love - and allowing as many folks as possible to share their natural gifts. Whether it is music, crafts, skills to share, or smiling faces."

OLYMPIA BALLROOM, SATURDAY, FEB. 9, 1 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT, 116 LEGION WAY SE, OLYMPIA, 360.943.9242

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