Arts & Culture

Jump into a cool arts scene this summer, from festivals to outdoor concerts to street scrambles

When the weather gets hotter, the cultural scene doesn’t wind down — it just heads outside and gets cool. You’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy this South Sound summer both indoor and out, from festivals to music, from dance to theater.

There’s a festival almost every weekend somewhere in the South Sound. Try the Maritime Gig Fest in Gig Harbor, Slug Fest at Northwest Trek, Tacoma Pride, a Zimbabwean music festival at the University of Puget Sound, the Scottish Highland Games in Enumclaw, the Renaissance Faire at Bonney Lake, the Proctor Arts Fest or University Place festival, for starters.

There are street scrambles in Tacoma and Gig Harbor, strawberry festivals on Vashon Island and at South Bay Grange in Olympia, a Japanese Heritage Festival at Auburn’s Neely Mansion, Chinese dragon festival in Seattle’s International District, Olympia’s Harbor Days, and the Seattle Center plays host to festivals of culture from the Philippines, Poland, Iran and more.

And don’t forget the big ones: Taste of Tacoma, Fourth of July festivals from Auburn to Tacoma, and Seattle’s Seafair and Fremont Fair.

Music gets outside and fun in summer, whatever genre you like. Find outdoor series at the Woodland Zoo in Seattle, the Curran Apple Orchard in University Place, Kent’s Cornucopia Days, Flute Quest at Saltwater State Park, Music and Art in Wright Park, and the Olalla Bluegrass Festival.

Inside there’s also plenty of action. Vicci Martinez comes to Jazzbones this weekend, Cher and Cyndi Lauper play KeyArena, Wynona Judd comes to the Emerald Queen, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper play the White River Amphitheater, Saint Martin’s University hosts the America’s Jazz Festival, and Pickwick collaborates with the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall.

Theater doesn’t stop just because it’s summer. Lakewood Playhouse mounts the Monty Python-based comedy “Spamalot,” Tacoma Musical Playhouse does “Young Frankenstein,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes to KeyArena, “The Book of Mormon” plays the Paramount, and “The Pirates of Penzance” comes to Port Orchard.

Pack a blanket and picnic (and maybe an umbrella, just in case) and head out this summer for local arts fun.