Things To Do: Performances in the Park, Boeing Seafair Airshow, National Night Out & more!

July 19, 2023 | by Sophia Maggio

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Here are Mercer Island’s most anticipated upcoming summer events! Don’t miss upcoming music concerts and performance theatre in the park, the Boeing Seafair Airshow, National Night Out, and more!

Mostly Music in the Park

The Olson Brothers Band will perform on Mercer Island on August 10th | Photo Courtesy Luke and Isaac Olson

Thursdays through August 17th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Mercerdale Park, free

A slate of talented musicians and bands has been set for Mercer Island’s Mostly Music in the Park. The Russian Chamber Music Foundation will kick off the city’s outdoor music series on July 13th, followed with Classic Rock, Country Rock, and Oldies bands. Pack your blankets, chairs, and a meal to share, and settle in for an evening of music, entertainment, and hands-on arts and crafts to occupy little ones each week in Mercerdale Park.

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Everybody by Penguin Productions

Friday, July 21st & Saturday, July 22nd, at 7:30 pm at Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater, Pay-What-You-Choose

Come one, come all, come Everybody! This hilarious, provocative Pulitzer finalist creatively tackles morality and mortality. The characters? Friendship, Mind, Beauty, Love, and Death. The philosophical roller coaster gets even wilder with a lottery system in which actors play new characters at each performance. Join Penguin Productions on July 21st and 22nd at 7:30 pm at the gorgeous Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater for a summer production like no other. The show is recommend for ages 10+ due to profanity, but audience members of all ages are welcome.

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Shakespeare in the Park

Photo courtesy Seattle Shakespeare Company

Two shows on Sunday, July 23rd, 2 – 4 pm & 7 – 9 pm
Thursday, August 3rd, 7 – 9 pm
Friday, August 4th, 7 – 9 pm
Saturday, August 5th, 7 – 9 pm

Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater, donations encouraged.

An enchanted island with magical spirits sounds like somewhere we know, but this version comes from the talented performers from Wooden O of the Seattle Shakespeare Company. Each summer they recreate classical Shakespeare plays in the Luther Burbank Amphitheater with support from 4Culture, and this year’s show is a sea-shanty take on The Tempest, inspired by elements of the Pacific Northwest. Pack a picnic and gather for one of the free outdoor performances.

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National Night Out

Tuesday, August 1st, 5 – 8 pm, various locations, free

Gather on the streets and in the community for cookouts, conversation, and camaraderie, encouraged by the city and Police Department in recognition of National Night Out. The annual community-building event held on the first Tuesday of August in cities around the country to promote community-police partnerships, emergency preparedness, and community-building closes off streets to create meeting space for neighbors and officials to talk about community safety efforts.

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Seafair Weekend: Boeing Seafair Airshow

Friday, August 4th – Sunday, August 6th, various locations, free

Watch some of the most elite flight teams on the planet perform, race, and maneuver – all from the comfort of Mercer Island – when the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Golden Knights, as well as civilian pilots, vintage aircraft, and parachuters, fly over Genesee Park and Lake Washington, showing off gravity-defying moves and stunning aerial performances.

The best spots to watch on Mercer Island include Landings on 60th Ave, Park on the Lid, Groveland Park, and the I-90 floating bridge, but if you can’t make it to a lookout spot, tune into KING-TV or Mercer Island High School’s radio station: 88.9 FM “THE BRIDGE” for the Log Boom Radio broadcast. Both stations provide live coverage of the air show and other races throughout the weekend.

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Mercer Island Visual Arts League: 49th Annual Junior Art Show

Monday through Thursday, 9 am – 7 pm and Friday and Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm, through Friday, August 18th, Mercer Island Community & Event Center, free

Every year, the community center fills its walls with the vibrant artwork of local youth. Students from kindergarten through 12th grade submit their work for display and review by a friendly judging panel, with support from the Mercer Island Visual Arts League (MIVAL). Stop by the gallery to view their work and celebrate the next generation of young artists.

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Mercer Island Farmers Market

Sundays through mid-October, 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 island and the Pacific Northwest 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.

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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 August, knitters plan to discuss The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater by Alanna Okun, followed by Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez in September. 

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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