There's no denying it now, summer time is here! Like much of the Puget Sound, Tacoma loves to take advantage of the weather and offer as many outdoor festivals and activities as possible. We hope you're hungry, thirsty and ready for some local entertainment because Tacoma will have it all and in abundance too. Cheers!
On Independence Day, Tacoma’s waterfront will be bustling with food, fun and fireworks to celebrate the good ol’ U-S-of-A. You will find beer gardens outside your favorite waterfront restaurants and additional food trucks scattered along Ruston Way. Local vendors, bakers and makers will also be ready to service your sweet tooth and your style. Be sure to stick around not just for the live music but the long awaited air show! If you're looking to stay up late, fireworks starts at 10:30pm right in the middle of Commencement Bay. This is a kid and pet friendly event that is sure to be packed, so be sure to wear your walking shoes as parking will be up in the neighborhoods and Ruston Way itself is no short stroll!
July 6th & 27th
Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent in the back of a pick-up truck with my best friend Kimmy at the Valley-6 drive-in theater. Sadly, the Valley-6 was closed in 2012 and later torn down. All the more reason why this event will be SO exciting. Lemay Car Museum is hosting a free summer drive-in movie experience, starting on July 6th with Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, followed by The Goonies on July 27th (Be still my childhood heart!). While the movie experience is free and picnic concessions will be open to all, admission to the museum is not included. Parking starts at 4:30pm and the show begins at dusk (roughly 9pm). So, load up your snacks, a fuzzy blanket, and your best friend and enjoy some outdoor cinematic nostalgia.
If you've ever been out to Pho with John and I, you'll know we start pretty much every order with some tasty fresh spring rolls. I5-Pho would like to help you create this delectable treat in your own home! The class includes instruction on creating and rolling your own chicken, pork, tofu, shrimp or veggie spring rolls, all-you-can-eat rolls for the duration of the class (no take-homes), and a free drink. Just typing this out is making me crave that peanut sauce on the side!
Okay, so this event is technically in our neighboring city of Lakewood, but it’s just SO GOOD. With over 40 food trucks and tents, performances from around the world, a motocross aerial show, live music, classic car show, and a hot air balloon display (my fav part!) to light up the night sky, this all-day event has something for everyone. For the triathletes out there, this even starts much earlier at American Lake where you can swim, bike and run a sprint triathlon ending at Steilacoom Park right in the middle of the festivities. Kid friendly and free of charge, this community event is great for the whole family!
Come celebrate art and Tacoma’s eclectic charm at 6th Avenue's largest festival of the year. With live local music, artists, food trucks, beer gardens and other local vendors, the Ave is sure to be packed to from State Street to Alder. For a complete list of vendors, performers, and grub providers, check out the website! This is a kid friendly and free event that is great for Tacoma new comers and old locals who feel like running into old friends. See you on the Ave!
Looking for a dinner and a show? Tacoma Musical Playhouse (TMP) is hosting their fourth annual TMP Food Truck Festival. You can make a day or a night out of the event, as Mama Mia! will be showing at both 2pm and 7pm. Food trucks will open at 12pm and include Bliss Creamery, Boss MaMa’s Kitchen, MIX Poke Truck and several more. What a great way to sing AND eat your heart out! Also, Wild Side Wine Shop will be there with cold beers and delicious wine. Cheers!
Organically Grown Muscles is hosting their 2nd Annual Summer Vegan Market and they certainly have grown! Join others in the vegan community for treats, art, clothing and cosmetics for a 100% vegan afternoon. Local animal welfare organizations along with companies striving for a waste-free future will also be there to provide education and information on reducing waste. Come learn, eat and enjoy a myriad of products from the 15+ vendors.
Unfortunately for some women in Pierce County, domestic violence is a very real issue. To help combat this, the Tacoma YWCA provides care, protection, education, and encouragement to victims of domestic abuse. As several women and sometimes their teen/preteen daughters come through the YWCA, some of the simplest necessities are still difficult to provide. We’re so happy that one of our favorite 6th Ave joints invites everyone to help! On July 5th, Tacoma's famous hot dog bar, The Red Hot, invites you to bring in new menstrual care products to be collected by the YWCA staff. Stick around and join the conversation with YWCA’s Associate Board along with the 253 Club to learn about the live saving work being done in Tacoma. Every little bit helps!
July 27th – 28th
.Ethnic Fest has been celebrating culture and community in Tacoma for over 30 years. With live performances, hands on activities, crafts and food from around the world, it's hard not to get lost in this little world-tour that takes over Wright Park. As the festival grows, so has the activity list! This year there will not only be a Kid's Zones but a 3 on 3 basketball tournament for youth (15 and Under) and Adaptive Recreation divisions. Voted best festival in the South Puget Sound, you won't want to miss out! Lucky for all of us, this party lasts for two days.