Famous because the "Procession of the Species," the Arts Walk parade which takes place on Saturday, has been noted in many regional sources. The Procession of the Species — Olympia’s celebration of Earth Day, creativity and community spirit — was honored by Readers Digest last summer as America’s best procession and parade.
An estimated 3,000 participants with masks and costumes honoring nature gather accompanied by chest-thumping drums, and parade downtown with an anticipated 30,000 spectators cheering them on. The big art pieces — whether it be a whale or rhinoceros or zebra - are always popular.
The parade is part of the spring Arts Walk celebration, which continues from noon until 7 p.m. at various businesses in downtown Olympia. Dozens of artists have their creativity on display — from metal art to photography to oil paintings. Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species provide a perfect opportunity to showcase talent and the great businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues that populate downtown Olympia. And it’s free.
This was my first year in many that I did not show my watercolor paintings, but it gave me the opportunity to see other artists and their art. My favorites were Alan Adams, wood & stone sculpture at the Black Box in the Washington Center for the Performing Arts; Stephanie Holttum, mixed media sculpture at Mixx 96.1 KXXO; and Alica R. Lewis, ceramics at the Painted Plate.