Spring is finally here and we've found some ways to get out and about! Jump back into history, shop local, take the kids on a treasure hunt, enjoy some new and old brews, dine out for a cause, or just go for a walk. We're pretty excited for the sun to be out again and look forward to enjoying Tacoma while catching some rays.
Dining out for Life (DOFL) is a long standing partnership between local restaurants and the Pierce County AIDS Foundation (PCAF). In years past, local restaurants would donate 25% - 100% of one day's proceeds to help provide the life saving services of PCAF. This would generate upwards of $50,000 in donations!
PCAF is now extending DOFL through the whole month of April, but are doing things a bit differently. While there are still several participating restaurants, DOFL won't be asking for a portion of sales. Knowing that these local restaurants have taken quite the hit this past year, DOFL didn't feel right asking for funds from sales, nor were they comfortable encouraging large gatherings. So they got creative. This year, each restaurant will be contributing to a local Cookbook that will be given to those who donate $100 or more! They will also be offering local cooking classes online!
Another change is to the ambassador program. Typically, an ambassador would be present at the participating restaurants on the day of DOFL to explain the program and thank guests for their contributions. This year, DOFL is asking for virtual ambassadors to promote their favorite participating restaurant virtually. Ambassadors will use social media to encourage their friends and family to get take-out or safely dine-in at these restaurants who have been so generous to DOFL in the past. Learn about becoming an ambassador here.
Another piece of our beautiful city is slowly opening up! Come celebrate the Washington State History Museum’s re-opening by wandering the Great Hall of Washington History and the Washington My Home exhibit. Then later this Spring, check out the Remembrance exhibit, a historical tour of the first Japanese communities to set roots in Washington. This exhibit will focus on the struggle of Japanese Americans incarceration following Pearl Harbor using letters, photos, and art from the time.
Online materials, exhibits, and events are still available as well! This includes the April 10th Dolores Huerta Day Celebration which dives deeper into Delores Huerta and Caesar Chaves’ contributions to farmworker rights in Washington state.
With the Spring sun shining, it’s the perfect time to get out for a walk! Join the virtual tours lead by Downton on the Go! and explore the beautiful neighborhoods and history of Tacoma. This month's kick-off event will explore Downtown Tacoma’s historical waterfront. Learn how this area has shaped our city's history and continues to shape the culture of Tacoma. Sign up today to ensure you get some Walk Tacoma swag and be sure to follow Downtown on the Go! to stay up to date with the Walk Tacoma schedule.
Here’s a fun event to get the kiddos outside. La Paloma Market is taking over Wright Park for a rock treasure hunt! A treasure map will be installed at the playground where the hunt will start. Families can come hunt together for special painted rocks (two per person) and if you find a golden rock, you will receive a special prize! Masks are required for the duration of the event, as well as social distancing from other families. Hopefully the sun will be out to help shine some light on your treasures!
La Paloma is hosting a Kids Virtual Market! Join online on April 10th for this completely virtual kid-run market. Check out young local artists and makers as they start their business journey. To join, just follow La Paloma Market on Facebook and/or Instagram and follow along as they introduce artists and their work!
April 7 – 11th & 14th – 18th
The Daffodil Parade is a South Puget Sound tradition that for most locals brings up childhood memories. At least it does for this local girl. Lining the streets of downtown waiting for the big bright golden floats to go by and sometimes even being able to dress up and pass out treats during the junior parade. This year’s parade however, will look a bit different. In partnership with WA State Fair and it’s Spring Fair, this parade is going stationary. That’s right. The parade will still be full of beautiful fresh cut daffodil sculptures per it’s 80 year tradition, but instead of moving through the crowd, the crowd will be moving through it! Don’t worry, the bands, clowns, and Daffodil Princesses will still be making an appearance. Grab your tickets today to make some floral memories!
Want to enjoy a nautical twist on this daffodil tradition? Park along the Ruston Way waterfront on April 18th to enjoy a full fleet of decked-out boats boats as they cruise down to the Thea Foss Waterway. This Daffodil Marine Parade runs from 11:30am to 2pm, so be sure to get there early to grab a “seat”!
April 18th – 24th
(In person on the 24th!)
Support local businesses and maybe even win yourself a prize in the process! Hilltop Action Coalition (HAC) is hosting their Spring Crawl, a week long event where you are encouraged to visit local Hilltop businesses both virtually and in person. Full details of the event will be announced on April 5th at 6pm over a Facebook Live with HAC. This is a great way to get to know your local makers, bakers, and artists while supporting the Tacoma community. Also, be sure to stick around a learn about the work of HAC and their mission to “engage residents, businesses, and partner organizations to build and sustain a resilient community with socially-just housing, jobs, commerce, and quality of life.”
Point Ruston Public Market invites your to celebrate Arbor Day along the waterfront! Come check out all the fares, treats, and produce the market has to offer, and don’t forget to grab a tree seedling on the way out. To celebrate this day of loving nature, Point Ruston Public Market is also bringing in a professional arborist you can meet at the “Ask-An-Arborist” table. Feel free to ask all of your tree questions and learn how to care for your new seeding as well as any trees you already have at home.
And don't forget to just check out the Point Ruston Public Market, open daily from 10am - 6pm!
New and Old Brews!
New to 6th Ave
This March, 6th Ave gained a new neighbor! Located in the old Ice Cream Social space, Komadre Kombucha has set up shop with the intention of bringing fresh local Kombucha to the community. Starting as a kitchen science experiment, owner Julie Davidson wanted to create a healthier alternative to sugary sodas and alcoholic drinks. Using a blend of her own “mother culture” along with fresh pressed juices, she created a mixture anyone new to the Kombucha world can get on board with. Come check out her tropical concoctions and learn more about her business model of uplifting and supporting other female, latinx, and entrepreneurs of color in our community.
One of Tacoma’s treasures is returning to full operation! The Spar Tavern’s café side will be operating as a full coffee shop starting on April 1st. Located in Tacoma’s beautiful Old Town, you can now enjoy some tasty Valhalla espresso, pastries, and breakfast items in one of grit city's oldest bars.
Not a coffee person? That’s alright! Go grab a brew of the hoppy variety later in the day, as the bar is open again as well. Even better, they have brought back Sunday night live music! Reservations for the 5:30pm and 7:30pm shows are highly encouraged.
Markets This Month
-Back to regular season!
-Saturdays 9am – 2pm
-Local produce, art, flowers, and food
April 9th - 11th
-11am - 5pm
-Local artists and vendors
-Food and cash drive for local charity
-Food court open
-10:30am - 5:30pm
-Artisan and handmade goods
-South Tacoma Way between 52nd & 56th