By Erika Kar

It was a two-fer Saturday night in the beautiful town of Mazama. The Mazama Store continued with its wildly popular Beer and Brat Nights, which happen every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night through the summer. While the name might lead you to believe that you can only get beer or brats, kind of like Oktoberfest, that is not true at all. It should be noted that they also serve burgers and salads, as well as other drinks and ice cream. However, this past Saturday, the Mazama Country Inn added to the scene by hosting the annual Mazama Garden Party, which benefited the Methow Housing Trust, whose mission is to develop and preserve affordable housing for the people of the Methow Valley

The Garden Party began at 5 p.m., and partygoers arrived to the very pretty garden of the Mazama Country Inn all set up with lights, tables and even canopies to help beat the heat. Not many people were there at the start time, but once the music of Danville began around 5:30 p.m., more people filtered in.

Danville provided some great music to dine to, and people enjoyed a selection of barbecue-type foods expertly prepared by Mazama Country Inn chef Mike Brickey. I overheard one person say, “Well, this doesn’t suck” while he was eating his Asian pulled beef. Beer from Old Schoolhouse Brewery and wines from Lost River Winery were flowing, priming people for the next band.

At 7:30 p.m., local favorites Laura Love and the Family Dog took the stage, getting all kinds of funky. Before long, the lawn in front of the stage was packed with dancers enjoying the music. Everyone from the littlest of kids to people older than me danced with abandon.

One of the sweetest things that I saw was Jennifer Perryman taking a break from serving to dance with her beautiful daughter, Aurora. The party continued until close to 10 p.m., but probably could have gone on all night. It really was a lot of fun. And the best part was that the cover charge went to a very worthy cause.

It is pretty easy to take this sort of stuff for granted, living in a place that is so rich with music and art. But take a step back and think of the utter magic of being tucked up in the mountains in a smidge of a village, and having the opportunity to listen to not one, but two amazing bands while enjoying good food and local drinks, among a community of pretty great people. Thankful.