Things to Do: Mercer Island Art UnCorked, MIHS Homecoming Parade & More!

August 29, 2023 | by Sophia Maggio

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Upcoming end-of-summer and fall events you won’t want to miss: Mercer Island’s Art Uncorked, Friday Art Walk, Oh! Chocolate’s Grand Opening on the south end, the MIHS Homecoming Parade, All Island Band Night, and more!

Mercer Island Art UnCorked

Friday, September 8, 5 pm 8 pm at the Greta Hackett Outdoor Sculpture Gallery in Town Center, $10-$35

Pair a glass of wine and food truck fare with live music, followed by a post-dinner stroll through the artists’ booths at this annual Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce event featuring top wineries in Washington. Keep an eye on the event website for more information about the food vendors and participating artists and musicians, which range from sculptors to jazz players.

Please note: this event is projected to sell out and there is no guarantee of ticket availability on-site the day of the event, so attendees are advised to purchase tickets online and early. 

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Friday Art Walk

Friday, September 8, 4 pm – 8 pm, Clarke & Clarke Art + Artifacts and participating locations, free

To align with Art UnCorked festivities, the next Art Walk takes place on the second Friday of September, featuring the work of Alexa Budd at Clarke & Clarke Gallery.

Interact with Budd and her paintings before walking to view artwork at other participating locations, listed on the Mercer Island Art Walk map below.

Image courtesy Ginny Clarke

MIVAL Gallery Presents: Patterns of Nature

Reception on Friday, September 8th, 5 to 8 pm | Show runs through October 29th

Join the Mercer Island Visual Arts League (MIVAL) for a reception on September 8th celebrating its latest show, Patterns of Nature, at its local downtown gallery. Or stop by to see the show during gallery hours, Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm, or Sunday, noon to 4 pm. MIVAL’s mission is to promote and encourage artistic endeavors on Mercer Island and the surrounding area, to stimulate awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in the community, and to sponsor art exhibits and workshops.

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Artworks by MIVAL Artists | Courtesy MIVAL

Emergency Management Volunteers Booth at the Farmers Market

Sunday, September 10, 9 am – 3 pm, 7700 SE 32nd St, free

Swing by the most prepared booth in the farmers market and leave with a wealth of information about what to do in the event of an emergency. The Mercer Island Emergency Volunteers share their knowledge, experience, and tips, offering much-needed peace of mind in the realm of emergency preparation.

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The Cloven 2 Book Launch and Hotdog Roast

Sunday, September 10, 12 pm – 3 pm, Island Books, free

Author Garth Stein and illustrator Matthew Southworth celebrate the second installment of their graphic series, The Cloven. Join this creative duo for an afternoon of drawing, animated discussion, and a hotdog roast with vegetarian options.

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Photo courtesy Island Books

Oh! Chocolate Grand Opening

Saturday, September 23rd, 11 am – 5 pm, New location at the South Mercer Shopping Center, 8451 SE 68th St, Suite 105

As of September 1st, Oh! Chocolate will have a new home on the south end of Mercer Island – in the South Mercer Village Shopping Center. You’re invited to their Grand Opening on September 23rd. Oh! Chocolate will continue their tradition of sharing artisan chocolates, caramels, and other treats with the Mercer Island community, and also has some sweet new treats in store at the new location, including Parisian sipping chocolate, more chocolate-making classes, and outdoor seating. Please join the celebration!

Photo Courtesy Oh! Chocolate

Mercer Island Farmers Market and Final Day

Sundays through October 8th, 10 am – 2 pm, 7700 SE 32nd St, free

Buy the juiciest fruit and most colorful flowers straight from the people who grow them at the Mercer Island Farmers Market. Each Sunday, vendors from the island and region set up to sell their fresh produce, sustainably caught fish, pasture-raised meats, artisan crafts, and other local goods. Prepared food stands and live music, ranging from solo artists to full bands playing folk, rock, swing, bluegrass, gypsy jazz, blues, and more, create a party atmosphere. The Ask a Master Gardener program provides advice and consultations for local gardeners, kids can learn more about food, gardening, and nature through volunteer-led activities at the Children’s Table, and vendors offer tastings on a rotating schedule through the season.

On October 8, the last day of the season, Dysfunction Junction headlines the final live show, featuring some of Seattle’s finest bluegrass musicians. Grab lunch from a food vendor and soak up the music (and hopefully some sun!) before the season resumes next June.  

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Photo Courtesy Dysfunction Junction | Photo by Ryan Flynn Photography

MIHS Homecoming Parade 

Friday, October 13, 3:30 pm 4:30 pm, MIHS Stadium Field, free

Gather the kids and assemble your lawn chairs as the MIHS Homecoming Parade rolls through the streets of Mercer Island, led by a procession of marching bands and festive floats. Historically, the parade starts Downtown, but this year’s procession will most likely follow a “mega-block” around MIHS, including the administration offices, the Peak, and Mary Wayte pool. 

After the parade, spectators can find a seat in the stadium and cheer on the Islanders in their homecoming game, scheduled to begin at 5:45 pm that evening. 

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Night of 1,000 Scares

Tuesday, October 17, 7 pm, Arc Lodge Cinemas in Seattle, $17

Get spooked by three original short horror films starring Youth Theatre Northwest students. These teen horror films were written by Sarah Eisenberg, a YTN alumnus and Emmy award-winning screenwriter, and directed by Kim Douthit, another YTN alumnus and “honest-to-goodness paranormal investigator.” Stick around after to get scared silly by Chaos Theory, YTN’s improv troupe.

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Emergency Management: Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

Thursday, October 19, 10:20 am – 11 am, community-wide, free

In recognition of International ShakeOut Day, Mercer Island Emergency Management encourages all islanders to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” This island-wide earthquake drill is an opportunity to reflect on your emergency preparedness at school, home, and work. After the drill, take time to ensure your family or business has a plan to respond to an earthquake or another natural disaster.

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All Island Band Night

Friday, October 27, during halftime at the MIHS football game, MIHS Stadium Field

On this high-energy evening of music, marching, and school spirit, all Mercer Island bands from 5th through 12th grade put on a show for local football fans. During halftime at the MIHS home football game, the young musicians play classic tunes, including the perennial favorite, “Hot Cross Buns,” performed by the 5th graders. 

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Island Books Clubs  

Virtual Knitting Book Club: Once a month, 6 pm – 7 pm, online, free

Open Book Club: Last Thursday of every month, 7:30 pm – 9 pm, Island Books, free

Island Books hosts two monthly book clubs: an in-person Open Book Club and a Virtual Knitting Book Club.

To join Virtual Knitting Book Club, simply click the Zoom link and knit or craft while discussing the assigned book. This September, knitters plan to discuss Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez, followed by The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches in October. Sip tea, listen to the clacking of needles, and embrace the silence when troublesome patterns interrupt the conversation. All levels of knitters and crafters are welcome!

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At Open Book Club, members read and rehash books from a variety of genres, chosen by a staff facilitator. In August, join fellow readers to discuss Quan Barry’s novel, When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East: a story of twin brothers tasked with finding a reincarnated spiritual teacher in Mongolia. In September, club members plan to read Trust by Hernan Diaz: a Pulitzer Prize-winning story of class, fortune, and deceit, staged in the bustle of New York City.

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Park Restoration Events

Weekly, various dates, times, and locations in Mercer Island, free

The City hosts several restoration events and “work parties” at green spaces throughout the island. Connect with neighbors and get your hands in the dirt while learning about our local plants and forests. 

Small snacks, gloves, and tools are provided, and no experience is necessary. Please visit the City calendar to view the restoration event dates and register as a volunteer.

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