My MI Summer Fun Guide 2018

July 2, 2018 | by Julia Hess

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After the 4th of July, summer events on Mercer Island start taking place in full swing. From Summer Celebration to Shakespeare in the Park, here’s our round-up of 10 exciting local events providing great outdoor entertainment in the beautiful summer weather:

Mercer Island Farmers Market

Sundays, June 3rd – October 7th, 10 am – 3 pm + a special Harvest Market on November 18th

No market July 15th (Mercer Island Summer Celebration) or August 5th (SeaFair Blue Angels Air Show)

Come and experience the fun of the Farmers Market during some of the best weather of the year. The market features beautiful produce, sustainably caught fish, pasture-raised meats, flowers, artisan and read-to-eat foods, and so much more. It’s also all about building community, and the market features the following programs:

  • Children’s Table – Volunteers offer activities every market day to enhance children’s understanding of food, gardening, and nature.
  • Master Gardeners offer advice and consultation to gardeners on every market day.
  • Music is offered every Sunday market, adding a fun, entertaining element to the farmers market.
  • Tastings are offered several times a month during the season to educate the community about farmers market products and promote healthy cooking and eating.

Check out the complete calendar of special events, along with our post on this year’s Farmers Market. Families with young children should save the date for the highly anticipated Caspar Babypants Concert at the Market on August 19th.

Learn more >>

Shakespeare in the Park

Performances Thursday – Sunday in July & August, starting July 12th

Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater,  2040 84th Avenue SE

Sponsored by The Mercer Island Arts Council, Wooden O brings Shakespeare plays to life, engaging audiences of all ages, in the beautiful, outdoor setting of Luther Burbank Park. This year, Wooden O will feature The Merry Wives of Windsor and King Lear.

The Merry Wives of Windsor synopsis: On the make in the sleepy suburb of Windsor, the fat knight John Falstaff hopes to score a pretty penny by seducing two of the town’s wealthy wives, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. But it’s the women who know how to play the game better. They soon orchestrate a scheme to scam the scammer. A warm-hearted and antic romp with some of Shakespeare’s most clever and comic characters.

King Lear synopsis: An aging monarch’s last act could destroy his kingdom. After ruling for many years, Lear decides to divide his lands and wealth between his daughters. Overestimating their love and loyalty, Lear finds everything that defined him as a king ripped from his hands. Only after wandering purposeless and tossed about in a storm of pain and madness, the once mighty ruler begins to discover his own humanity.

Learn more >>

Mercer Island Summer Celebration 2018

This year’s theme is Island Vibes!

Saturday & Sunday, July 14th & 15th

Mercerdale Park, 77th Avenue SE and SE 32nd Street

Mercer Island’s only community-wide festival draws crowds between 20,000 and 30,000 over the festival weekend.  Held annually on the second full weekend in July and boasting a new theme each year, this year’s theme is Island Vibes.

The festival consists of many events: a parade, car show, fireworks, children’s rides, art/craft vendors, food vendors, musical entertainment, and boat rides around the Island. Special activities this year include Sk8te the Rock 2018, Sand in the City sculptures, Meet Moana!, Dig & Create Sandbox, and much more.

Sk8te the Rock 2018

Sunday, July 15th, 1 – 3 pm 

Mercerdale Skate Park, 77th Avenue SE and SE 32nd Street

Mercer Island Parks & Recreation is partnering with Bellevue Parks & Recreation for our second annual skate event as a part of Summer Celebration! Join us at “Sk8te the Rock” on Sunday, July 15th at 1 pm at the skate park in Mercerdale Park. Contestants can choose from three age divisions and will have 60 seconds to skate their best run! Giveaways, demos, and prizes for winners of each age division. There will be guest appearances, music, and much more!

Mostly Music in the Park

Thursdays in July & August, 7 – 8:30 pm

Mercerdale Park, 77th Avenue SE and SE 32nd Street

Join us in Mercerdale Park in July and August for the Mercer Island Arts Council’s annual summer concert series. Concerts feature various bands and artists from around the region, performing a wide variety of music. While concerts will be on Thursdays at 7 pm, the final concert on August 24th will start at 5 pm with a Food Truck Rodeo, and the concert will begin at 6 pm. Bring the family for dinner and stay to enjoy the music. All concerts will be held at Mercerdale Park in downtown Mercer Island. Sponsored by Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA).

Mostly Music in the Park 2018 Schedule:

  • July 19: The Rumba Kings, Mediterranean/Latina
  • July 26: Scott Lindenmuth Group, Jazz/Funkadelic
  • August 2: Joy Mills Band, Country/Americana
  • August 9: The Mighty Dreadful, Blue Grass
  • August 16: Ethan Keller Group, Contemporary Rock
  • August 24: The Infinity Project, Journey Tribute Band

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 29

7 pm on Fridays & Saturdays, 11 am on Wednesdays – Sundays (excluding Fridays)

Emmanuel Episcopal Church Courtyard, 4400 86th Ave SE

Rotary Park, 4350 88th Ave SE

Youth Theatre Northwest is excited to launch its 35th summer season with a theatrical adaptation of the classic children’s picture book by Kevin Henkes. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, as adapted by Kevin Kling, brings the rambunctious and lovable mouse Lilly to vibrant life. Directed by Rachel Carlson, the production is delightfully staged outdoors, transforming the courtyard of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Rotary Park into a magical world where mice dance, go to school, anguish over siblings, and even accessorize.

About the Show: Lily is a delightful mouse that loves to dance. Lilly loves her school until the day she brings her new purple plastic purse to class. She is so anxious to share her new things that she ignores her teacher’s warning to wait and interrupts the class. When her teacher takes away her beloved possessions, Lilly is furious. What happens next presents a lesson for all to learn from.

Locations of performance:
Opening Week (Ticket prices are Pay What You Can)

  • Friday, July 20, 7 pm – Emmanuel Episcopal Church
  • Saturday, July 21, 11 am – Emmanuel Episcopal Church
  • Saturday, July 21, 7 pm – Emmanuel Episcopal Church
  • Sunday, July 22, 2 pm – Rotary Park

Week Two (Ticket prices are Weekday Matinee)

  • Wednesday, July 25, 11 am – Rotary Park
  • Thursday, July 26, 11 am – Rotary Park
  • Friday, July 27, 7 pm – Emmanuel Episcopal Church
  • Saturday, July 28, 11 am – Emmanuel Episcopal Church
  • Saturday, July 28, 7 pm – Emmanuel Episcopal Church

Closing Show – Sunday, July 29, 2 pm – Rotary Park

Since the performances are outdoors, audience members are encouraged to bring a blanket or fold-up chair and a basket of delicious goodies for this unique outdoor production.

Learn more >>

Movies in the Park

Saturday, July 28th & Saturday, August 18th, 8:30 – 10 pm

Mercerdale Park, 77th Avenue SE and SE 32nd Street

Join us for another great year of movies in Mercerdale. Free family movies are shown on a giant inflatable screen in Mercerdale Park. Participants should bring blankets, lawn chairs, and flashlights. Movies are canceled during inclement weather, so please call the Mercer Island Community & Event Center at 206-275-7609 to confirm showings on bad weather days. Fun activities and crafts related to the movie will begin an hour before show time. Flashlights, warm blankets, and chairs are encouraged. Refreshments sold on site.

  • July 28: Moana
  • August 18: A Wrinkle in Time

National Night Out 2018

Tuesday, August 7th, 5 – 8 pm

City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street

Downtown Mercer Island residents are invited to join City officials and the Police Department for a free hot-dog cookout at City Hall, as well as other fun events, on the annual National Night Out.

National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event held across the United States annually on the first Tuesday of August. The event is designed to increase crime prevention awareness, to generate support for family emergency preparedness and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and community partnerships. Island residents also encouraged to host an event in their own neighborhood – whether a block party or simply a backyard cookout.

“Seattle, USA – August 2, 2012: US Navy Blue Angels flying Diamond formation during Seattle’s annual Seafair week.”

Seafair Weekend  – Boeing Seafair Airshow

Friday, August 3rd – Sunday, August 5th

The best spots to watch on Mercer Island: Landings on 60th Ave, Park on the Lid, Groveland Park, I-90 floating bridge!

Dubbed as an unofficial Seattle holiday, Seafair Weekend culminates with one of the most impressive air shows in the country: the Boeing Seafair Air Show. Don’t miss your favorite aircraft flying high in the sky over Genesee Park and Lake Washington during Seafair Weekend. Attendees won’t mistake the familiar roar of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels ripping through the air as they return for yet another heart-pounding performance in our great city.

Camp Burbank Community Campout

Saturday & Sunday, August 11th & 12th, 12 pm – 12 pm

Luther Burbank Park Meadow, 2040 84th Ave SE

Camp Burbank’s Community Campout is a great way to “get away from it all” and still be close to home. Hosted by Mercer Island’s Parks and Recreation Department, they do all the hard work for you, like cooking, cleaning, and coming up with fun things to do, so you can enjoy the outdoors and focus on having fun! You will need to bring your tent, personal items, and sleeping bags. Activities will include fishing, beach play, swimming, volleyball, and more – all in beautiful Luther Burbank Park. The campsite, Saturday night dinner, s’mores, snacks, drinks, and Sunday morning breakfast is provided. Children must register with an adult. Call 206-275-7609 to register.