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Love Our Local Fest returns to Olympia

Cultivate community, celebrate our gifts and dwell in possibility are the goals

China Faith Star will unveil her mural at the Love Our Local Fest in Olympia Sunday. Photo credit: Meesh Rheault Miller

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Love Our Local Fest (LOL) could very well be in the running for the Weekly Volcano's next Best of Olympia issue: Best Use of Giant Coloring Paper To Make a Community Mural, Best 30-Foot Geodesic Workshop Dome, and Best Reason To Shut Down Traffic on The Eastside are certain category winners.

"Our three-fold mission is cultivate community, celebrate our gifts and dwell in possibility," says Daniel Landin, co-curator of LOL. "Closing the street to vehicular traffic and opening it for the community to inhabit with our gifts is tremendously fun. We feature as many musicians as we can, local artisans bring their wares to the street, there is fun for kids, and non-profit organizations can meet community members and share their good work."

The event, in its fourth year, takes place Sunday from 1-9 p.m. at the corner of San Francisco Avenue and Bethel Street in Olympia. The eight-hour festival, which is free to the public, will include a couple new highlights this year.  

"Synergy Space," hosted by Imaginal Arts, is a 30-foot geodesic dome that will house workshops, community conversations and some musical experiences. There will be Evolutionary Astrology with Ari Moshe Wolf. The festival will include a talk given by West Central Park folks. Founder of Imaginal Arts Leon Janssen will host an "Imaginal Salon." A yoga class accompanied by the Bhava Tree Band is also new.

"This will be a peaceful and nurturing environment amidst the festival excitement," says Landin.

The unveiling of a community mural project happens at 2:30 p.m. China Faith Star created the unbelievable, larger than life "coloring pages" mural in which 30 community members painted, thanks to a grant secured by LOL.

"It looks really, really cool and the process China led to create this was amazing," says Landin. "It will face Roosevelt Elementary School' so there is a youth focus, and also Puget Sound wildlife imagery. ... What we are thrilled about is China's style is so unique that this mural is really one of a kind."

The mural magic continues. A live street mural painting will happen Sunday. Show up and paint.

Other LOL highlights include Cottleson Pie family dance party from 3-5 p.m. in the Kids Zone, and the folks from Vibrant Health and other massage therapists, acupuncturists and healers will be offering their peaceful services at the Healing Haven.

Delicious local food from Nineveh, Tamale Fusion, OlyPops and others will keep the community fed and fueled for the Love.

And speaking of ... what's a party without music? Con Alaffia will be bringing traditional Latin rhythms to the street, with a salsa dance at Center Stage. The Brown Edition headlines with funk, Erev Rav with "World Klezmer Groove," Oly Mountain Boys bust out bluegrass, Belladonna belly dancers, Mukana Marimba playing African marimba music and Hurts Like Hell performing heavy original blues.

"Love Our Local Fest in many ways starts out a blank canvas each year and by festival day," reflects Landin. "It is filled with color and patterns and spirit brought by the people. It is intended to open wider each year - thus we are dwelling in possibility. ... It is looking super fun this year. We are very excited!"

LOVE OUR LOCAL FEST, 1-9 p.m., San Francisco Avenue and Bethel Street, Olympia,

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