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Summer Festival Schedule

Festival season offers summer fun for everyone

Northwest Guardian

Published: 02:38PM June 7th, 2018

Northwest Guardian / 2017

Robert Yoder, of Original Kings Kettle Corn, prepares an order for a customer during the Freedom Fest celebration on Lewis Main in 2017.

Additional Festivals

Georgetown Festival — Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. at Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Power Tool Drag Races, Equinox Interactive Arts, live music, carnival games, food trucks and more. Free admission.

Meeker Days Arts and Music Festival — June 15-17 at Pioneer Park, Puyallup. Live music and art celebrating local history. All Buick Open Car Show June 17. KidZone, antique tractor display and more. Free admission.

Fremont Fair — June 16-17 at Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Fremont Solstice Parade June 16. Live music with more than 300 vendors selling food and crafts. Free admission.

Bite of Seattle — July 20-22 at Seattle Center. Featuring food and beverage showcase with more than 60 restaurants and vendors. Live cooking demonstrations and cook-offs. Free admission.

Summer is here, and with it, several opportunities to get outside and see some of the best Pacific Northwest festivals and fairs. Most are just a short drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The Taste of Tacoma at Point Defiance Park June 22 to 24 provides locals a chance to enjoy food and drinks from more than 40 restaurants and vendors. Similar to the Bite of Seattle, people will have a chance to sample everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary — sometimes even the weird side of food.

The event’s menu includes gyros, burgers and chicken, alligator on a stick, deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and liquid nitrogen coated cereal. One of this year’s newest entrees will be deep fried Cheetos-encrusted pickles.

“It’s one weekend where you can get out of your comfort zone, try some unique foods and have a really lovely weekend,” said Trudi Webster, media director for the Taste of Tacoma.

Admission is free at the Taste of Tacoma, but there will be plenty of restaurants and vendors to purchase food from.

Five local restaurants are participating in the South Sound Bites, where each one will present a special menu item daily to be sold together as a plate for $17.

A new addition is combining the South Sound Bites with a craft beer or wine tasting package. The cost is $30 online in advance or $36 at the event.

Taste of Tacoma will feature more than 80 musical performances on five stages, including the I Corps Army Band’s “Sounds of Courage” group out of JBLM.

Closer to JBLM is the annual Lakewood Summerfest July 14 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park. The free outdoor festival provides several family-friendly activities.

Entertainment includes live music with bands such as Spike and the Impalers. There will also be fire dancers, trapeze artists and trampoline stunt acts.

Additionally, athletic enthusiasts can sign up for the Summerfest Sprint Triathlon, which is part of the Triple Threat Triathlon Series with the Black Hills Triathlon, June 17, and the JBLM Pacific Pathways Triathlon, Aug. 4.

There is also a “Run Forrest Run” event at Lakewood Summerfest July 14 in honor of the classic Forest Gump film. Options include a 5K, 10K and a kids’ 1-mile run.

Sally Martinez, the city of Lakewood’s Parks and Recreation coordinator, said her goal since she took over Summerfest planning three years ago was to provide accessibility to everyone of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Even if someone has an unhappy home life, we know they’re having a happy time at Summerfest,” Martinez said.

That’s why one of the biggest additions to Summerfest recently is the Passport to Sports, where kids of all ages can try a variety of sports, such as golf, volleyball, baseball, tennis and fencing.

“Not every family can afford to take lessons in golf and volleyball,” Martinez said. “They can come to Summerfest and sample all of these for free. Maybe they’ll find a sport they never knew they’d be passionate about.”

JBLM has a summer festival of its own — the annual Freedom Fest at Cowan and Memorial stadiums on Lewis Main. This year’s events begin July 3 with a festival exclusively for service members and their families, retirees, Department of Defense employees and military ID cardholders.

The second day, July 4, will be open to the public and military community members who want to go a second round or see musical performances headlined by country star David Lee Murphy.

Both days will include carnival games and rides, along with fair food, stage entertainment and roving entertainers who will mingle with the crowds between stadiums.

JBLM Freedom Fest will conclude with a special fireworks show July 4 at 10 p.m. at Cowan Stadium. For more information, visit

Dean Siemon: 253-477-0235, @deansiemon