The city of Olympia is throwing a whopper of a party to celebrate its 150th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 17 — and it’s free to attend. Stop by to meet the city’s oldest living resident and hear poems written for the student poetry contest. 1–4 p.m. Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. 360-753-8585, ci.olympia.wa.us
The Peking Acrobats are making their rounds through the South Sound area. Catch their body-bending displays on one of two days: Friday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Admiral Theatre, 515 Pacific Ave., Bremerton, $18–$28 (360-373-6743); or Sunday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m., Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $16-$40 (253-591-5894).
Famed illustrator David Macaulay’s exhibit “The Way He Works” opens at the Tacoma Art Museum on Saturday, Jan. 17, and to mark the occasion, the museum is throwing a literacy party. Everyone who brings a new children’s book to donate to the charity Page Ahead gets in free to hear public readings, participate in art-making activities, and be treated to special performances. Noon–3 p.m. Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. 253-272-4258.
Take a trip to the early years of the blues with Grammy Award–winning artist James Cotton at Kent’s Spotlight Series on Friday, Jan. 23. In his 65 years of
entertaining, Cotton has become a blues legend, performing with such acts as B.B. King, Santana and even the Grateful Dead. $20–$24. 7:30 p.m. Kent-Meridian High School Performing Arts Center, 10020 S.E. 256th St., Kent. 253-856-5050, ci.kent.wa.us
— Karla Lindula