Culture Dose: August Sails Along With Fresh, Seasonal Offerings + Music Galore

Sera Cahoone and Tomo Nakayama performing at KEXP-Bloodworks Northwest event, photo by Daniel Macadangdang

August can be an exhausting month in this city — in a good way, with so many activities to choose from and a steady string of hot and sun-stroked days (about which we will certainly not complain!). Whether you choose to get out on the water on a Seattle Donut Boat or soak in the final week of free summer offerings at the SAM Olympic Sculpture Park, there is something for everyone.

One could easily fill every evening with alfresco music, thanks to an impressive lineup at venues from the Woodland Park Zoo (there are still tickets available to see Shakey Graves with Jade Bird on August 28) to Chateau Ste Michelle, one of the region’s loveliest lawns on which to watch talented stars shimmy under the night sky.

Recent musical events have undoubtedly lived up to the hype, like the grand return of Pickathon outside of Portland two weekends ago. Then there was the incredible past week at Marymoor that featured bands like My Morning Jacket and, last Friday, Sera Cahoone, Dawes and The Head And The Heart playing the stage on the same night.

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Based on their performance last weekend under a cotton candy Northwest sky, it’s evident local favorites The Head and the Heart seem to have elevated their game. Not only did the bandmates’ music sound wonderfully cohesive, but their collective gratitude to be back onstage in front of hometown fans felt palpable too. The group recently revealed acoustic versions of “Virginia (Wind In The Night)” and the title track of their latest studio album “Every Shade of Blue” on Reprise/Warner Records. (Since the album’s April 2022 release, it has generated 25 million streams globally.)

In other exciting news, last week KEXP hosted an event with Bloodworks Northwest for their second annual Music’s In Our Blood campaign launch. The music-centric initiative involves a sturdy crew of local artists, small businesses and other benevolent community members who’ve come together to bring awareness to the region’s serious blood shortage. Their aim: To recruit 20,000 new and reengaged blood donors by December. (Visit the website today to learn DJ and artists stories, to read up on blood donation FAQs and to make an appointment for yourself!)

Courtesy Cone & Steiner General Store

Alluring culinary news catching our attention this month includes the anticipated openings of Hatback Bar & Grille (in SoDo, directly across from T-Mobile Park) and Chef Eric Donnelly’s Bar Sur Mer (in Greenwood), plus accolades recently gained by Spinnaker Chocolate, who won nine awards from the globally-recognized Academy of Chocolate Awards. This local, single-origin chocolate company comes with a great story and an admirable mission; for every item you purchase, they make a donation toward cleaning up the ocean. Added bonus? One of Spinnaker’s gold-winning bars is in partnership with Seattle-based 2Bar Bourbon.

© BCRA All Rights Reserved / Courtesy 14 Hands

In celebration of American Adventures Month, Washington state’s 14 Hands compiled some potential road trip itineraries inspired by their bold wines “to help weekend warriors find their wild.” They say the itineraries are “a reminder that you don’t need to buy plane tickets or book expensive excursions to have an adventure.” Ideas include having a glamping experience at KOA Leavenworth while enjoying 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend with river and mountain views. Alternatively, the 14 Hands Winery in Prosser (above) is a must-visit for fun-filled tasting experiences where you can also purchase limited varietals like the 14 Hands 2017 Vintage Series Red Blend. (Tasting reservations are recommended.)

Courtesy Schilling Hard Cider

Washington-based Schilling Hard Cider proves a favorite PNW picnic staple, too, thanks to refreshing options that are fresh-pressed from Washington apples and have no artificial ingredients or preservatives. The most popular, Excelsior Red Glo, is a dry imperial cider made with unique and rare Lucy Glo™ apples (a cross between the Honeycrisp apple and the Airlie Red Flesh). This fall, Schilling also debuts a seasonal spiced chai hard cider — “Chaider” — that’s made with a custom-made proprietary chai tea blend in collaboration with Portland’s Kinglet Tea.

Courtesy Cone & Steiner General Store

Those on the hunt for tasty non-alcoholic drink options this summer will be thrilled to learn about the launch of Cone & Steiner General Store‘s new product menu of Total Zero. This roster features an array of innovative, non-alcoholic beverages available on tap and off the shelf, plus three house-specialty mixed mocktails.

One example, Finer Finder, features elderberry seltzer and lime mixed with Pathfinder, the PNW’s own hemp-derived spirit. Another, Oat Cream, is a nostalgic treat made by combining Jones root beer, oat milk and vanilla syrup.

For another celebration of summer, head to Uneeda Burger for unique flavors of their beloved hand-dipped shakes, like the raspberry rhubarb or fruity pebbles. These gems are available for a limited time, so the sooner the better, before this sweet season slips into the next.

Courtesy Spinnaker Chocolate