Big celebration day coming to Auburn on Sept. 16

City officially opens new arts center and hosts Hops and Crops Festival.

Mark your calendars: Sept. 16 will be a day for Auburnites to remember and savor.

Two major events will be primed and ready to go, allowing enough time in-between to bop from one to the other without a problem.

First off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be the grand opening of Auburn’s Postmark Center For the Arts, an event long in the making inside the newly renovated former Auburn Post Office and Seattle King County Public Health building at 20 Auburn Avenue.

The city is transforming the building into a space to empower diverse communities by providing the chance to come together within the shared language of the arts. When it opens, the facility will serve as a center for cultural arts and arts-related events with building rental options.

“The reopening of the 85-year-old historic Auburn Post Office building as the new Postmark Center for the Arts is a huge win for the Auburn community and the region,” said Daryl Faber, director of Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation, which has overseen construction. “This space will give talented artists a place to display their works as well as aspiring artists a place to hone their crafts.”

The old post office opened in 1937 as a WPA project, which it remained until 1964, when the government opened the present post office on 3rd Street. The King County health department leased the building that year and ran a clinic there for many years. When King County leased space for a new clinic on Auburn Way North, it left the old post office vacant for many years. The city of Auburn bought the building in 2016. In recent years, the building earned historical landmark status.

The events begin at 11 a.m. Sept. 16 with a grand opening and ribbon cutting, recognition of funders and project partners, Muckleshoot Welcome Figure Dedication, blessing and song, and Auburn’s poet laureate.

Now, imagine the following:

The unmistakable nose of hops and yeast hangs lazily in the late summer air, drifting among the standing, the sitting, the on-grass lounging, the music lovers, wafting all the way to the restored farm house, the barn, even the chicken coop.


But here’s the good part: you don’t just have to think about it.

Because from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, you can sample the fun for yourself by making your way to the Mary Olson Farm at 28728 Green River Road where Hops and Crops, Auburn’s annual music and beer festival, takes center stage.

There will be brews on tap, the pourings of cideries, fantastic bands and great food at the beautiful, historic, rebuilt Mary Olson Farm, snug in its canyon just across Green River Road from Green River itself.

As 2022 attendee Kathi Wiuff summed it tidily: “This is bitchin’.”

Hops and Crops is a rain or shine, 21 and up only event. Camp chairs and blankets are encouraged, outside food is discouraged. Outside alcohol, drugs, and firearms are prohibited.

Dogs of all ages are welcome (on a leash), eschewing the suds but more than willing to sample from passers-by a stray treat or that universal communicator of human-to-canine love, the old rear-end scratch. All proceeds from the event support the free education program at the Mary Olson Farm, which welcomes in more than 2,500 students annually for history and environmental science field trips.