Music blasted over the Mima Mounds this weekend as the first Cascadia Rainingman Festival was held at a private residence close to the South Thurston County natural area.

CascadiaNow!, a first year nonprofit, teamed up with The Music on the Mounds event to bring a collection of music, art and ideas to a 10-acre farm just outside of the preserve. 

The festival focused on a community culture where Cascadians come together to bond over their region of the Pacific Northwest and create long-lasting connections. Vendors and craft booths were at the site, as was a community kitchen open to all. 

Performances over the weekend included slam poetry, musicians and workshops hosted on a variety of topics from cordage-making to non-violent communications. 

The mission of the event was to give everyone a place to be themselves, organizers said.

“Everyone comes here and celebrates the connection with Cascadia and they grow that,” Naomi Botkin, CascadiaNow! associate director, said. 

The event began on Friday and ran through Labor Day. More than 100 people attended by Saturday, many of which camped for a night or two.

Musicians filled the barn located on the property with music as listeners sat on hay bales in an intimate setting.

“It’s laid back and flexible,” Botkin said, adding the location was perfect for this year’s event. “This is a great place and the right size.”

An artist at the event, Erin Fox, said the festival was “very low key.” 

She attended the event to help build community, something she saw as important.

Other artists helped paint a mural on the barn’s doors throughout the weekend. 

Whealon Costello and his painting partner, Danny Lange, came together to do a piece that depicts the mystery underneath the Mima Mounds. 

“It’s exciting to hear music while doing art,” Costello said.

The small event gave those in attendance an opportunity to get to know everyone involved.

“It’s the most intimate festival I’ve ever been to,” Lange said. 

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