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Another La Conner summer launches

Summer doesn’t arrive for another eight days, but it sure looked and felt like summer this past weekend. After two Sundays of overcast skies and rain pouring down, this week the La Conner Live Gilkey Square concert band Adrian Xavier & Ska Island and listeners were blessed with sun, blue sky, a mild breeze and temperatures almost to 70 degrees. May Sundays all summer long be warm, but not climate change induced too hot.

Next Sunday it is Skagit favorite Chris Eger Band. Concerts start at 1 p.m. through Sept. 8. Bring your lawn chair. There is an extra, Saturday show, courtesy of the Skagit Community Band. Mark 2 p.m. Saturday Aug.24, on your fun things to do calendar for this annual summer in the sun concert. Wear a hat.

Gilkey Square concerts are only the start of music – and noise – on the Swinomish Channel and throughout the Skagit and northern Puget Sound. There is no need to go into Seattle or indoors, though the Lincoln Theatre is air conditioned.

Stay in La Conner for all things 4th of July related, from the parade up First Street to the music, beer garden, food trucks and games at the La Conner Marina, good until dark descends for the official Town of La Conner fireworks, those 15 minutes of fame. Before and after that light show, Swinomish tribal members will be setting off their excess inventory of near professional grade pyro techniques. Stay up into early July 5th. Bring a blanket.

Escape to Anacortes all summer for Port of Anacortes concerts Wednesday and Friday nights, starting July 10 at 6 p.m. at Seafarers’ Memorial Park. Saturdays in July and August it is the Heart of Anacortes concert series, also starting at 6 p.m., at 4th Street and O Avenue.

Return to Anacortes again and again, first for their Pride Parade June 22. June 29 is the Downtown Anacortes Alliance Whale of a Sale. Then, July 20 is the Shipwreck Fest, when over 200 vendors take over Commercial Avenue, and so do you, looking for stuff to buy. That is a Fidalgo Island Rotary Club fundraiser.

Of course there is the Anacortes Arts Festival Aug. 2-4, with the juried fine art show at the Depot Art Center.

Start this weekend with Burlington Berry Days kicking off local, Skagit-scaled events.

Go up to Sedro-Woolley for a week of Loggerodeo, June 30-July 6.

In Mount Vernon the Highland Games, organized by the Celtic Arts Foundation, will bring music, food, sheep and beer, of course, to the Skagit County Fairgrounds, July 13-14.

The Lincoln Theatre’s Brewfest will take over Edgewater Park the second weekend in August.

A bit south, next to the Rexville Grange, you will find Shakespeare Northwest performing in the Blackrock Amphitheatre. “The Two Gentlemen of Verona and “The Winter’s Tale” are in repertoire weekends July 12 through Aug. 10.

Concrete’s Cascade Days 2024 are Aug.16-17.

While you don’t have to leave Skagit County, there is plenty of music, food and theatre a bit north in Bellingham and even more across the border in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. There is still more to the south of us on the fourth-longest island in the U.S., Whidbey Island, anchored by Langley’s Island Shakespeare Festival. “King Lear” is playing in repertoire with “The Lucky Chance” by Aphra Behn July 19 -Sept. 8.

The Oak Harbor Music Festival plays Aug. 30-Sept. 1, ending on Labor Day.

And if you head to San Juan Island, by ferry for those without boats, there is even more wine, music and, yes, Shakespeare, this time under the stars, performing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Thursday-Sunday July 11-Aug. 11.

No wonder housing prices are so high in the western Skagit Valley. Besides being beautiful, rural and slow paced, there is so much to do. And all the locally owned bookstores in towns here, near and far were not even mentioned, though La Conner’ Seaport Books is not to be missed.


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