Summer here and so are countless events throughout the South Sound. Surrounding cities are preparing to provide their locals and tourists with unforgettable events this year.
Puyallup knows the best way to welcome summer. The 79th annual Meeker Days Art & Music Festival will be happening June 15–17. Over 200 vendors serve treats like elephant ears, cotton candy and ice cream, and pour beer and taste-test wine. There will be music for everyone, too, whether country, rock or alternative. To cap it all off, the Buick car show is ready to show itself off in style. The city also hosts a farmers market through the summer, promoting local produce and fresh goods.
Summer events in Tacoma are endless. Learn about the native Puyallup people through a canoe excursion. Enjoy local music every second Sunday at W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. Learn about nearby tide pools. Sample the delicious and varied food truck offerings in July. There’s never a dull moment all summer in Tacoma.
Is there a more beautiful way to kick off summer than the 21st Annual Gig Harbor Garden Tour? Take a guided tour by volunteers and ogle the floral scenery, and then enjoy treats from local vendors. Throughout the summer Gig Harbor hosts free concerts, rain or shine. On Aug. 11 you can support or participate in the Galloping Gertie Half Marathon, which takes participants through scenic byways and over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Sumner hosts the best summer classic, the rhubarb festival. Another Sumner classic is the car show. From old hot rods to antique farm trucks, this event sees countless visitors taking in the array of cars.
Spend the 3rd of July in Lacey, a town that knows how to celebrate our country’s birthday in style. There’s a plethora of free children’s activities, such as playgrounds and booths, and parents can enjoy music from the Olson Brothers and the Funaddicts. On July 7 get your summer barbecue fill at the South Sound BBQ Festival. This event entails a professional BBQ cook-off and several other food vendors dishing out tender meat and other foods throughout the day.
The Olympia Air Show, marking its 20th year, has become a beloved tradition to locals. On Labor Day Weekend, don’t forget about Harbor Days. As always, spectators can expect tugboat races, arts and crafts, classic fair food, and live entertainment including tribal activities. This event is in its 45th year and continues to be free, fun, and highly anticipated.
Visit downtown Centralia this summer for the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment all located in a beautifully restored National Historic District. Downtown events include the three-day Antique Fest July 27-29 and the Hub City car Show on Aug. 25.
JORDAN MARIE MCCAW