Festivals and Events
Kick the year off in a nonalcoholic way at Tacoma’s First Night (253/591-7205) celebration, with all sorts of events: theater, gallery openings, live music, comedy, mimes, and more. Activities start at noon on December 31.
For three days in mid-February, Wintergrass (253/428-8056, www.acousticsound.org) is the largest indoor bluegrass festival in the world, with 30 bands on five stages around Tacoma.
The Daffodil Festival in mid-April features a parade of floral floats through downtown Tacoma, a marine parade with daffodil-decorated boats, plus live entertainment and other events.
Tacoma’s big Freedom Fair (253/756-9808, www.freedomfair.com) on the 4th of July includes arts and cultural events, and live entertainment along the waterfront. A huge fireworks display is the feature when dusk arrives, but the main attraction is the air show—one of the largest in the nation—featuring both civilian and military aircraft over Commencement Bay.
The Taste of Tacoma (www.tasteoftacoma.com) takes place at the same time, with dozens of local restaurants providing food, two concert stages with live music and entertainment, and a beer garden.
Several weekend Salmon Bakes (253/756-7336) are held July through September at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park. The Point Defiance Zoo has periodic summertime concerts—Zoo Sounds (253/591-5358, www.pdza.org)—and a holiday Zoolights for additional seasonal fun.
The Steilacoom 4th of July includes a parade and street fair with food vendors, art booths, and live entertainment. Other events include a popular Salmon Bake on the last Sunday in July, a town-wide annual garage sale on a Saturday in August, the Apple Squeeze Festival in early October, and a Spaghetti Feed (253/584-4133) in February.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition