Hops and Crops Harvest Festival to benefit historic Mary Olson Farm

The White River Valley Museum is working with the City of Auburn to restore the Mary Olson Farm, the most intact 1880s family farm in King County. - Courtesy/White River Valley Museum
The White River Valley Museum is working with the City of Auburn to restore the Mary Olson Farm, the most intact 1880s family farm in King County.
— image credit: Courtesy/White River Valley Museum

Great music, great food, local microbrews for sipping pleasure and activities like a kids' soda garden, face-painting, pumpkin decorating, even a big old hay pile with prizes in it to keep the little ones busy.

And all of the above nestled in the bucolic arms of a turn-of-the 20th-century subsistence farm just as autumn's leaves turn colors and start to fall.

White River Valley Museum officials call Saturday's grand shindig a Hops and Crops Harvest Festival, and it will be the first the museum has ever put on at Mary Olson Farm, nearing the completion of its restoration at 28728 Green River Road north of the Auburn Golf Course.

"It's sort of a sneak-peak at the farm, but it's not our grand opening," said Tara McCauley, WRVM's curator of education. "It will just be a way to get the community out to the farm so people can enjoy the beautiful sights, sample some great microbrews from local breweries and listen to really good music. We have partnered with the Auburn International Farmers Market to create a little craft area, so we will have like 13 vendors selling neat homemade crafts and flowers and more. Auburn Kiwanis will be serving up brats and kabobs, and the senior center will serve caramel apples. It's a big, awesome community event."

All the fun starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. The cost is $5 for general admission ages 13 and up, Kids under 13 get in free with an accompanying adult. For folks 21 and older who want to sip the suds from six breweries, the cost is $10, which will net said guests a commemorative cup and three taster tokens.

Grand Hallway, an eight-member band, will be the musical headliner, followed by Kelli Schaefer, Big Sur and other special guests.

"I personally love music, love microbrews, and I love the flavor these give to events, so I thought, "Gosh, wouldn't that be so cool to that here?" said McCauley. "For almost a year we researched other music festivals around the area, and then we just started to move forward.

"It will be a lot of fun," McCauley added. "The idea is to create a family-friendly event that is appealing to multi-generations of people and a great way to celebrate this site, celebrate the fall, and bring people out here."

McCauley said all the proceeds will be used for the continued restoration of the farm.

Here's what the bucks will help do:

1. Between buildings create ADA-compliant pathways made of compact gravel with grass along the rough sides

2. Create three handicapped accessible parking stalls

3. Build a pasture fence

4. Install directional signage to restrooms, parking and more

5. Install 12 interpretive panels on things such as the barn or invasive species

6. Build a septic system

7. Plant four more orchard trees

8. Design and install some shallow platform/steps on the highest grades of the wagon road off the side of the roadbed.

9. Finish the parking lot in the north meadow

10. Design and build the ticket booth, which will look like a fruit stand

11. Fence the south meadow

12. Move furniture and make the downstairs of the house a display

13. Move office stuff into the upstairs

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