On Stage


An explosive end to summer


Typically, during the early days of September, those who are looking forward to autumnal glory—or just want a chance to wear their new leather boots and fancy scarves—start murmuring about how glad they are the long, hot summer is coming to an end. 

In the other camp, there are those of us who steadfastly refuse to let go of the season where we never wear socks and all the windows in the house are open, all the time. We may be in denial, but we don’t give up on summer until the calendar forces us to—or until it get so cold we have to close the windows, turn on the heater and regretfully dig out our long socks.

At the Lookout Arts Quarry near Alger, organizers are currently hard at work ensuring that, whatever happens in the next few weeks—whether an Indian summer keeps the warm vibes flowing through the month or an early fall dashes all hopes for going barefoot into October—you’ll end the season in an explosive manner.

For those not in the know, I’m talking about the Soapbox Sh’Bang!, an annual “festival of ideas” that takes place just a few miles outside Bellingham, this year starting the afternoon of Fri., Sept. 6 and continuing until early evening Sun., Sept. 8. 

While the three-day event won’t involve any time travel, it will ensure that your summertime adventures end with a bang.

Being as the Lookout Arts Center is run by a collective looking to “nurture and inspire artistic excellence, community and education in the performing arts field” (according to the missive on their website), a big part of the weekend’s adventures will involve shows of many different stripes. Attendees can expect to be entertained by circus performers, burlesque dancers, vaudevillians and the like.

But that’s not even close to being all. There’ll be music from bands both local and arriving from far away, fire shows, creative carnival games, water sliding, a zone for kids, interactive theme camps, workshops, vendors, art installations, swimming (bring your birthday suits!), and a late-night cabaret.

And, per usual at the sixth annual event, an off-road derby happening Saturday will elevate everyone’s adrenaline and raise the stakes for a good time.

You’re welcome to come for a day or a night, but from the sounds of it, those who set up camp on Friday and stay through the weekend are treated to the most surprises.

And, while you’ll still have a couple weeks after the Soapbox Sh’Bang to enjoy the waning days of summer, outdoor events will soon grow as rare as a 75-degree day, and all you’ll be left with are memories of the season. Make them here, and take them home. We promise, they’ll keep you warm—at least for a little while.

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