Weekly Round-Up: 7 Festive Events around Bellevue This Week

CRY Holi Lori Thantos

Add some color to your week at the CRY Holi festival. Photo by Lori Thantos.

It was the warmest February on record and Daylight Savings time is here, so it’s time to get out and enjoy this great weather!  Whether you want to get out and be spontaneous at the CRY Holi festival, be active at the Half-Marathon, or amaze your senses with dance and music, there are lots of activities to choose from around Bellevue! Read on to learn more!

1.)  WAIT, REPEAT: KHDP Repertoire Show

Friday, March 6-Saturday, March 7

Featuring original choreography by Katy Hagelin, Jonathan Hansen and guest artisit Jennifer Porter, WAIT, REPEAT is an evening of full-length KHDP Company repertoire dance works. Performed by KHDP Dance Company and guest principle artists Courtney Dressner, Kyle Johnson and Christina Stockdale, the audience requested repertoire includes Deathbed, Controller, The Seed, Purple Triangle│Purple Dagger and world premier Wait, Repeat. Performances begin at 7:30pm at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center. Click here for more information or here for tickets.

2.)    CRY Holi 2015 – Open Air Color Festival

Saturday March 7

Winter is on its way out, so what better way to welcome spring then by bringing color back! CRY Holi, “the biggest open air color festival’ is back! Join thousands of people as they get color bombed, savor authentic Indian snack, dance to upbeat Bollywood numbers, and help under-served children around the world. Last year’s event had 1500 guests, so come join the fun this year and let your inner child out in what’s sure to be an even bigger and crazier year! Click here for more information.

 3.) Live Comedy: Tony Roberts Live!

Thursday, March 5- Sunday, March 7

You have the chance to catch not one, but 2 funny men this weekend at Parlor Live! Tony Roberts and Nate Jackson will be bringing the laughs all weekend. You may recognize Tony from his appears on “out on Parole,” “Mr. Box Office” with Jon Lovitz and Bill Bellamy, HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” “It’s Showtime at the Apollo,” and BET’s “Comic View.” Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.


4.) Bellevue Chamber Chorus: Spirit Rising

Saturday, March 7 – Sunday, March 8

You have 2 chances this weekend to listen to the beautiful voices of the Bellevue Chamber Chorus and their Spirit Rising concert. The program features the stunning “Dark Night of the Soul” for chorus, piano, and string quartet by contemporary composer Ola Gjeilo, the early Baroque masterpiece “Die mit Tränen säen” by Johann Schein, Eric Barnum’s sublime meditative “Dawn,” the rousing Gospel powerhouse “John the Revelator” arranged by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, and more. Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.

5.) Bellevue Bourbon Bash

Saturday, March 7

It’s time for the Fourth Annual Bellevue Bourbon Bash! Schwartz Brothers Restaurants is bringing together one of the largest collections of bourbon and rye whiskey on the West Coast. There will be over 100 bourbons on display and available for sampling. There will even be a small collection of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon available. Local distillers and brand representatives will be on hand to answer your questions and give you the history for most of the bourbons. Paid admission includes a tasting guide, heavy appetizers and a commemorative tasting glass. Reserve your spot now or click here for more information.



6.) Lake Sammamish Half-Marathon

Saturday, March 7

If you’ve been thinking about doing your first half-marathon, then wait no more! The Lake Sammamish Half Marathon takes runners along the smooth gravel trail that connects Marymoor Park to Lake Sammamish State Park. It’s a great trail for runners with 30% of the course on smooth gravel and the rest on pavement. Runners receive a custom bib, finisher medal, a long-sleeved microfiber Tech Shirt and sponsor products, plus, there’s a celebration at the finish line with food and music! Click here for more information or here to register.

7.)  Pictures at an Exhibition – Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, March 8

Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert is Pictures at an Exhibition and features violinist Elisa Barston. Come spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon listening to Weber’s “Overture Euryanthe,” Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra,” and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” The performance starts at 3pm at the Kirkland Performance Center and tickets at $30 for general, $25 for seniors and $15 for students. Click here for more information or here to purchase tickets.




Click on the events below for more information

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By Monica Fischer
LR-0458Bellevue Botanical Garden. Photo Courtesy of Bellevue Parks & Community Services / Colin Walker

Winter in Bellevue is a little like a show off-Broadway. It’s great and you’re glad you’re there, but you get the feeling that there’s a much better show just around the corner.

That better show just around the corner? That’s Broadway, baby—and that’s how spring feels in Bellevue. Like the curtain has lifted and the stars have taken the stage.

There is a sense of anticipation and adventure as we shed our puffy coats and fleece-lined boots and dig into a new season. Local chefs welcome fresh spring produce, festivals and nightclubs introduce talented new musicians, and city parks offer a front-row seat to some of the most beautiful views in the region.

Photo Courtesy of Crossroads Farmers Market

Photo Courtesy of Crossroads Farmers Market

As the days grow longer, we rush to buy tickets to local sporting events like Seattle Sounders FC soccer matches and Seattle Mariners baseball games. We mark our calendars for the Bellevue Jazz Festival  and concerts at the Theatre at Meydenbauer. We plan hikes in the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and camping trips in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. We move our workouts outside, and sign up for fun runs, charity rides and recreation classes at REI. We book pedicures, shop for sandals, wash our cars, roll down our windows and take a big, beautiful breath.

This, we tell ourselves, is why we live here. And this is why you’ve come.

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A similar version of this article by Angela Cabotaje first appeared in the 2013 Bellevue Visitor Guide

STYLE IN SEASON header image

Photo Courtesy of The Bellevue Collection

From flaunt-it luxury brands to starlet-studded runway shows to bargain-hunting paradises, Bellevue is a fashion mecca. Here’s how to shop this style destination, season by season.


Get a front row view of spring styles at The Bellevue Collection's spring fashion show. Photo Credit: Team Photogenic.Get a front row view of spring styles at The Bellevue Collection’s spring fashion show. Photo by Team Photogenic.

Emerge from hibernation to shop fresh-from-the-dress-form designs. The Bellevue Collection is a saving grace for those wanting to maximize their time with 250-plus stores inside three skybridge-connected hubs: Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square, and Bellevue Place. In April watch the latest styles strut down the catwalk during an exclusive spring fashion show and mini-runway events, then shop your favorite looks at department stores and boutiques including Coach, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors. Or discover what’s hot this season in home fashion by visiting the displays located throughout Bellevue Square.


A couple strolls down Old Bellevue's Main Street.A couple strolls down Old Bellevue’s Main Street. Photo by David Johanson Vasquez

Soak up the sunshine outside with some shopping in Old Bellevue. This Main Street district features leafy trees and vintage lampposts, making it perfect for a picturesque promenade and a detour (or five) into its number of charming shops. Browse the casually luxe offerings from La Ree Boutique, check out local label Jarbo, and discover plenty of jewelry and home décor finds. When the heat picks up, hightail it to The Shops at The Bravern—a European-inspired shopping village that invites strolls through its lushly landscaped property and beckons guests inside to Neiman Marcus and high-end designer showrooms.


TeamPhotogenic.PoshPartyPosh Party during Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection. Photo by Team Photogenic.

Fast-forward to fall when it’s all about Fall Fashion Week, which draws flocks of high-heeled fashionistas to The Bellevue Collection. Enjoy a host of trunk shows, special sales, beauty parties, and—of course—the Vogue-sponsored Front Row Fashion Show and the Independent Designer Runway Show. Get ready for the rainy days ahead at Crossroads Shopping Center by stocking up on indoor entertainment options from kid-approved stores like Half Price Books, Crossroads Toys, and Uncle’s Games.


xmas 10The Shops at The Bravern dressed up for the winter holidays. Photo Courtesy of The Shops at The Bravern.

Counter the chill with some fashion fa la la. Luxury brands—Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, and Jimmy Choo, to name a few—are at The Bravern, while the budget-friendly Nordstrom Rack is a discount destination for designer duds in Factoria. Avoid the Valentine’s Day doghouse with a sparkly surprise from The Bellevue Collection’s Tiffany & Co or Gordon James Fine Diamonds in Old Bellevue.

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By Kaitlyn Brajcich
Dante’s Inferno: The Ballet performed at the Theatre at Meydenbauer. Photo by Fred Burmer.

From the bewitching harmonies of a symphonic movement to the precise alignment of a ballerina’s arabesque, there’s something to be said for experiencing a performance live.  Whether you’re looking for a full-blown theatrical production or simply a casual dinner with a side of entertainment, when it comes to the performing arts, Bellevue and the surrounding region have a lineup that’s sure to make jaws drop.

2013 WEBIMG_1431 Credit Jal Schrof

Two dancers perform at the Cultural Crossroads Festival. Photo by Jal Schrof.

Watch as music, dance, and theatre, are brought to life at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center. The Theatre hosts many community events from classical ballet and orchestral productions to modern dance and cultural performances reflective of Bellevue’s ethnic diversity.

Just east of downtown, the Crossroads area is a hub of community arts and culture. Free music and dance performances take place regularly on the Market Stage at Crossroads Shopping Center and each fall, the Cultural Crossroads Festival celebrates Bellevue’s cultural diversity with ethnic music and dance. Opening in March, the new Bellevue Youth Theatre in Crossroads Park will feature student-run productions on both indoor and outdoor stages.

Get a glimpse into the world of Broadway when you head to a theatrical production at the nearby Village Theatre in Issaquah.  Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, many of which have gone on to stages throughout the world. Each season’s lineup promises fresh takes on classic musicals and at least one innovative new musical.

Bellevue is also home to two major music festivals. Thousands of adults and youth flock to Bellevue each winter for the Wintergrass Music Festival (Feb 26 – Mar 1), a 4-day bluegrass festival featuring over 200 artists. In the spring, the Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival (May 27-31) showcases top national and regional artists at various bars, restaurants, and concert venues across town.

Wintergrass -2014-01

Wintergrass Music Festival. Photo by Maria Camillo.

Delight both your ears and taste buds when you experience the sweet harmony of dinner and a live performance. Stop in Bake’s Place almost any night and be treated to a complete dining experience accompanied by anything from jazz and blues to pop and rock tributes. If you’re craving a faster paced evening, head to Blue Martini Lounge, where cocktails mix with live music four nights a week in an upscale club setting. If comedy is more your thing, be sure to catch one of the national headlining comedians that take the stage at Parlor Live Comedy Club each weekend.

It’s not uncommon for visitors to spend some time under the big top during their stay in Bellevue. Marymoor Park in nearby Redmond has hosted many traveling circus productions including Cavalia, Odysseo, and various Cirque du Soleil shows. The tents are currently pitched through March 22 at Marymoor for Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring show, “KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities.” If you’re not quite up for a full scale circus performance but don’t want to miss all the excitement, head to Suite Restaurant/Lounge in downtown Bellevue where you can watch aerialists perform choreographed routines overhead every Friday and Saturday night.

When the weather gets warmer, nothing beats listening to a tune under the summer sun (or stars!). Catch a Live at Lunch concert in downtown Bellevue during the day. Or pack a picnic and throw down a blanket at one of the summer concerts held at Marymoor Park or Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville.

Of course, no visit to the Puget Sound region would be complete without a trip across the lake to take in Seattle’s performing arts scene. Enjoy a spectacular production at one of Seattle’s historic theatres be it an original musical at The 5th Avenue, a concert at The Moore, or a Broadway show at The Paramount. Get lost in the enchanting world of dance at one of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s extraordinary performances or drift away with the captivating melodies of the Seattle Symphony.

With so many options in Bellevue and nearby, wouldn’t you agree that it’s time to pull out the headphones and turn off the TV and come experience the magic of watching a show live?

View upcoming performing arts events on our online calendar of events.

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By Monica Fischer
Catch a view of the Bellevue skyline while paddling down the Mercer Slough. Photo by Merrill Images.

When it comes to famous Pacific Northwest views, Bellevue doesn’t get a lot of press. The iconic Space Needle is on the other side of Lake Washington in Seattle, magnificent Mount Rainier is 100 miles to the south, and breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls shows off its waterworks in a small rural community to the east.

But Bellevue is no slouch when it comes to pretty panoramas. Local and not-too-far-away parks, trails and viewpoints—even a few bus stops—offer spectacular views of majestic mountains, peaceful streams, wild woods and dramatic sunsets. And on a clear spring day, you can even see a couple of those aforementioned icons—if you know where to look.

Whether you have 30 minutes between meetings, three hours before a flight or three days to explore the city, we’ve got something beautiful to show you.

The Bellevue skyline and points of interest

Bellevue Downtown Park

In the same way it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, it’s hard to see the city when you’re in the city. But there are a handful of places not too far from downtown Bellevue where you can appreciate its skyline.

Bellevue Downtown Park is just a stone’s throw to the south from the city’s high-rises. Take an invigorating walk around the half-mile loop trail, then snap a photo of the towering skyline.

Wilburton Hill Park sits just above the Bellevue Botanical Garden (more on that later) and offers a peek-a-boo view of downtown Bellevue. A short walk on the Lake to Lake Trail takes you to the historic and picturesque Wilburton Trestle, the longest wooden railway trestle in Washington.

Flora and fauna

The Ravine Bridge at Bellevue Botanical Garden. Photo Courtesy of Bellevue Parks & Community Services / Colin Walker

For views that are easy on the eyes—and the soul—head to the beautiful Bellevue Botanical Garden just a few blocks east of downtown Bellevue. The 53-acre sanctuary—a blend of gardens, woodlands and wetlands—bursts with blossoms and rushing streams in the spring. Be sure to walk the short nature trail to the Ravine Experience, where a dramatic, 150-foot suspension bridge is always ready for its close-up.

Panoramas and sunsets

Sunset view from The Golf Club at Newcastle.

To truly appreciate the stunning Puget Sound panorama, you have to get up high, and The Golf Club at Newcastle, about 8 miles southeast of downtown Bellevue, is the perfect lofty viewpoint.

If you don’t have time for 18 holes, grab an outdoor seat on the patio at Calcutta Grill. Bring your camera—and your appetite—and enjoy dinner or a cocktail as you watch the sun sink behind the Seattle skyline and Olympic Mountains.

Bellevue is home to a handful of charming neighborhood beaches, all of which offer immensely photographable panoramas. Perhaps the prettiest is the view from Chism Beach Park, especially when the sunset seems to light the Seattle skyline on fire.

If you’re exploring the region by bus or bicycle, be sure to stop at the Evergreen Point Park & Ride viewpoint, just before the Evergreen Point floating bridge on Highway 520. By far the prettiest bus stop in town, the new transit center offers spectacular views of Lake Washington, the 520 bridge and downtown Seattle.

Waterfalls, waterfowl and wildlife

Spot wildlife at Mercer Slough. Photo Courtesy of Bellevue Parks & Community Services.

If you prefer views that are a bit more, um, animated, then head to the largest park in downtown Bellevue, the sprawling, spectacular Mercer Slough Nature Park. The 320-acre park is Lake Washington’s largest remaining wetland, and home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife.

The Mercer Slough itself is an aquatic trail, best explored by kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board. Row or paddle through the peaceful waterway for photo opps of water lilies, turtles and herons.

If you forget for a moment that you’re still in the city, look up to see a glimpse of the downtown Bellevue skyline, or visit the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, which offers a bird’s-eye view of the city skyline from viewing platforms that extend into the tree canopy above the slough.