September Edition: 25 Tacoma Events

One of my favorite signs of the changing season is the blooming of the fall crocus. Look closely, I’ve already spotted some in Tacoma.

One of my favorite signs of the changing season is the blooming of the fall crocus. Look closely, I’ve already spotted some in Tacoma.

September found us. It doesn’t matter that many of us were looking back, back toward July, back even to June, back to the deep distance a season’s lifetime ago where summer began. But there are those of us who have started to run headlong toward shorter days, drizzly mornings, spiced coffee, knitted pullovers, woolen hats, rubber boots. You know who you are. Recently, upon being asked if I’m ready for fall, I heard myself say, “I’ll be ready when it’s here,” which sounded very wise, we all decided. And yet. And yet, I’ve felt a hesitancy, a worry, a reluctance sneaking into my bones. It must be that old “back to school” anxiety come to visit. If you’re feeling it too, if you’re somewhere halfway between grasping for the last straws of summer, and opening a friendly door to fall, it may help to go out and engage with the community who weathers this life of changing seasons alongside you.

To that end, we’ve rustled up 25 events around Tacoma throughout September. If you’re feeling philosophical and serious and studious, don’t worry, these aren’t all for fun. There are gatherings to wake us up and guide us toward equity. There are events to call for change, for action, for inclusion, opportunities to learn and to serve, calls to deepen our understanding of diversity, to demand solutions for our beautiful Salish Sea, to come together with respect, to hear and acknowledge Native voices and experience, to celebrate our immigrant community, to know our history. And there are events that invite you to dance all night to ‘90s jams, to eat Norwegian pancakes until you can eat no more, to shop your favorite boutiques at the Warehouse Sale, to ride bikes, to practice yoga. They’re all mixed up together in this list, because that’s what life is like; the silly and the sacred are neighbors, and often they’re much closer than that, they’re under one roof, part of the same family. Help yourself to a little of both.

1. Blues Monday at Odd Otter Brewing Company

Mondays, September 2nd & 16th
6 - 8 pm
Odd Otter Brewing Co, 716 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • Free entry

  • Blues musicians from the Tacoma community are ready to help you recover from Monday!

  • Visit the tap for Odd Otter brews, and order food in from their friendly neighbor Wooden City

  • All ages welcome

  • Event occurs 1st & 3rd Mondays, so get it on your calendar!

2. Tacoma City Council Candidate Forum: Affordable Housing

Thursday, September 5th
6 - 8 pm
Salishan Family Investment Center, 1724 E 44th St, Tacoma

  • Free - register here

  • Come hear how our City Council Candidates plan to engage with affordable housing in our community

  • This is for all of us who care about the availability of affordable housing and want to vote to make a difference!

  • Light refreshments provided

  • Hosted by the Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium

3. Writers’ Workshop at Honey

Thursday, September 5th
7 - 9 pm
Honey at Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Bring your writing! If you don’t have any ready, then just be ready to listen and discuss the work or other writers. (Also nice to bring a laptop so you can share and receive work electronically.)

  • Hosted by Alex Napelenok (find Alex at Sasha & Sebald)

  • Writers meet every first Monday, so get it on your calendar for the year!

Image from   Yoga Wild

Image from Yoga Wild

4. Tacoma Nature Center Work Party with Yoga Wild

Friday, September 6th
9 am - 12 pm
Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S Tyler St, Tacoma

  • Free - please sign up ahead if possible (if you forget, you’re still welcome!)

  • If you love Tacoma, the outdoors, and giving your time, this is a great place to express all those things! Work includes trail maintenance, planting native species, non-native species removal, garden bed maintenance, picking up litter, and other miscellaneous tasks

  • Come for as long as you’re able and bring garden gloves if you can

  • All ages welcome

  • This opportunity comes around every 1st Friday of the month, so you can volunteer again and again!

Image from   The Grand Cinema

Image from The Grand Cinema

5. Exhibition on Screen Encore Screenings at The Grand

Friday, September 6th - Thursday, September 26th
The Grand Cinema, 606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • Ticket prices vary

  • Calling all art and cinema lovers to a 3 week tour of art films exploring famous artists and collections

  • Get the full program here

  • View the calendar of screenings here

  • A new Exhibition series begins November 14th - make sure to follow @TheGrandTacoma so you won't miss it!

6. Elks Temple 90’s Dance Flashback

Friday, September 6th
9 pm - 1:30 am
Spanish Ballroom, 565 Broadway, Tacoma

  • $10 cash at the door - 21+

  • Dance till you drop - it’s ‘90s night in the Spanish Ballroom at McMenamins

  • ‘90s music videos all night long!

Sunday, September 7th
9 am - 2 pm
Block Party at
Fireman’s Park, 801 A St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Downtown to Defiance: Walk, run, skate, roll, bike, move however you like without your car (or a motor, you get it)! There are several "official stops" at parks along the way with games, food, and fun all set up for you.

  • Tacoma Waterfront - nearly 7 miles from 21st Street Park to Point Defiance

  • The Downtown Block Party at Fireman’s Park is one of the official park stops along the Downtown to Defiance Route - find coffee, games, music, and information about upcoming and ongoing city projects

  • Highlight: at 10:30 am Major Woodards leads a bike ride along Schuster Parkway!

  • Hosted by the City of Tacoma, Downtown on the Go, and more. All are welcome!

  • Learn more at

8. Historic Tour of North Slope

Saturday, September 7th
11 am - 1 pm
Parkway Tavern, 313 N I St, #1, Tacoma

9. Harvest Home at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Saturday, September 7th
11 am - 5 pm
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 5400 North Pearl Street # 11 Point Defiance Park. Tacoma

  • Ages 3 and under: Free, Youth (4-17): $8.50, Military/Senior (65+): $9.50, Adult (18-64): $10.50, Family (Up to 2 adults + 6 youth): $35.50

  • A harvest festival that takes you back to the Victorian era with live music, harvest traditions, games, dancing, and a cider press

  • Bring your best homemade jam for the Jam & Jelly Competition!

10. Norden's Famous Pannekaker Breakfast

Sunday, September 8th
9 am - 1 pm
Norden Lodge #2, 1106 S 15th St, Tacoma

  • Adults: $10.00, Ages 6-12: $5.00, 5 & under: Free (card-carrying lodge members save $2)

  • Famous all-you-can eat Norwegian style pancakes, plus scrambled eggs, bacon, juice, and coffee

  • All are welcome!

11. Grit City Think&Drink - Race & Pedagogy

Tuesday, September 10th
6:30 - 8 pm
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma

  • Free and open to all

  • Talk given by Dr. Dexter B. Gordon, Distinguished Professor at University of Puget Sound, founding director of the Race and Pedagogy Institute, director of the African American Studies Program, author of Black Identity: Rhetoric, Ideology, and Nineteenth-Century Black Nationalism (2003), and the City of Tacoma’s 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Citizen of the Year

  • Pull up a chair, order dinner or a drink, bring the family, get ready to learn and to listen

Image from   Tahoma Audubon

Image from Tahoma Audubon

12. Nature Movie Night with Tahoma Audubon

Friday, September 13th
7 - 10 pm
James Center North, 1602 S Mildred St, Tacoma

Image from   Satori

Image from Satori

13. Warehouse Sale at Alma Mater

Saturday, September 14th
10 am - 3 pm
Alma Mater, 1322 S Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • Free entry

  • It’s an end of season pop-up market full to the brim with favorite local vendors

  • Up to 70% off of apparel, decor, paper goods, and more

  • Drinks, music, and special deals

  • Brought to you by Satori in partnership with other wonderful local retailers like Cocobolo, Lapis, Little Sister, Compass Rose, Paper Luxe, UXC, Bleach, Fernseed, and so many more

14. Black Parent Alliance - First Meeting

Sunday, September 15th
3:30 - 5 pm
Peace Community Center, 2106 S Cushman Ave, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Connect with other parents

  • Get updated local data about our youth

  • Discussing strategies to expand opportunities and clear pathways for success

  • Open to parents of Black youth at any Greater Tacoma area school

15. Home, Heart & Me: Navigating Latinx and LGBTQ Identities

Wednesday, September 18th
5:30 - 7 pm
Tacoma Rainbow Center, 2215 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • Free - rsvp on the event page

  • Film screening followed by panel discussion lifting up queer, Latinx voices about immigration and coming out

  • This event is part of Welcoming Week, an annual series of events around the US with a goal to “bring together immigrants and those born within their countries in a spirit of unity to build strong connections across their communities and affirm the benefits of welcoming everyone.”

Image from   Warrior Women

Image from Warrior Women

16. Tacoma Reads Film Series: Warrior Women

Wednesday, September 18th
5:30 - 8 pm
Tacoma Public Library Wheelock Branch, 3277 N 26th St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Warrior Women tells the story of a Madonna Thunder Hawk and her daughter, Marcy, fighting for Native rights and alternative education, and fighting against environmental devastation

  • Join for the film and a post-film discussion hosted by Danica Sterud Miller, Puyallup Tribe of Indians member and Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at UW Tacoma

17. Flavor - Stand Up For Immigrants, Sit Down For a Meal

Thursday, September 19th
11 am - 10 pm
Tacoma & Gig Harbor

You can spot us in the upper right corner enjoying 2018 Flavor night at  En Rama  - mark your calendar!

You can spot us in the upper right corner enjoying 2018 Flavor night at En Rama - mark your calendar!

  • Dine-out fundraiser for people who’d like to support immigrants and refugees through the work of the Tacoma Community House and its core programs of Education, Employment, Immigration, and Advocacy

  • Participating restaurants donate 25% of sales to Tacoma Community House (some commit to a higher percentage), all you have to do is go out and eat!

  • Visit THC’s site for list of participating restaurants, their hours, percentage donated, and learn which are immigrant-owned

  • This is event is part of Welcoming Week and is the 7th Annual Flavor event in Tacoma

18. Japanese American Community Scanning Day

Thursday, September 19th
3 - 7 pm
Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma

  • Free - sign-up ahead here

  • Washington State History Museum is working toward a new exhibition about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. If this is part of your family history, the museum invites you to bring up to 5 relevant photographs, letters, documents, drawings or pamphlets to scan and share for their archive

  • The museum will return your originals and give you the scanned, digital version they create, as well as archival materials for storing your documents

  • Questions regarding documents/materials? Contact Gwen Whiting at or 253-798-5927

19. Walk to Protect & Restore the Salish Sea 2019 Climate Emergency

Friday - Monday, September 20th - 23rd
Tacoma LNG 3302 E 11th St, Tacoma - Olympia State Capital

  • 4 day March from Tacoma to Olympia starting at 6 am on Monday the 20th

  • Environmental advocacy walk - walk and rally to petition Washington State representatives to declare a Climate Emergency and draft emergency legislation terminating all fossil fuel expansion projects in the State of Washington - walk to honor Tribal Treaty Rights - walk to stand in solidarity with Salish Sea tribes

  • If you plan to walk, be sure to be prepared. The event page includes a list of what you’ll need to pack, what is provided, and how to take care of yourself and others during the walk.

  • The walk culminates in the Climate Emergency Gathering at Olympia State Capital on Tuesday, September 24th

20. Tacoma Youth Climate Strike!

Friday, September 20th
12 - 6 pm
People’s Park, 1100 S 9th St, Tacoma

  • Free gathering

  • 12 pm Youth Lead Rally in People’s Park - stories, art, songs for climate change

  • 4 pm March to City Hall with Walk to Protect and Restore the Salish Sea

  • Many more details on the event page - if you’re interested, absolutely read about it before showing up at People’s Park

Image from Tacoma Moon Festival

Image from Tacoma Moon Festival

21. 7th Annual Tacoma Moon Festival

Saturday, September 21st
1 - 7 pm
Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park, 1741 Schuster Parkway, Tacoma

  • Free entry

  • Festival to celebrate the diverse cultures of the Puget Sound and the 25th anniversary of TAcoma’s Sister City relationship with the Chinese city of Fuzhou

  • Food trucks, traditional treats, moon cake sampling, vendors, informational booths, beer and wine garden, dance performances

  • Activities for all ages - tea ceremonies, calligraphy, and more

  • Festival closes at 7 pm with a parade of lanterns led by the Moon Princess

  • Presented by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation

22. Tacoma Night Market

Saturday, September 21st
5 - 10 pm
Alma Mater, 1322 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma

  • Free and open to all ages

  • Art, vendors, community, live music, and DJ

  • The rooftop is open for lounging above the fray

  • Food and drink available from special vendors as well as from Honey and Matriarch on site

  • If you love the Tacoma Night Market, make sure you’re following the Gig Harbor Night Market too, hosted by 7 Seas Brewing across the bridge!

Image from   Yoga Wild

Image from Yoga Wild

23. Blue Mind Workshop with Yoga Wild

Monday, September 23rd
5 - 7 pm
Dune Peninsula, 5361 Yacht Club Rd, Tacoma

Image from   RUMBLE

Image from RUMBLE

24. Tacoma Reads Film Series: Rumble - The Indians Who Rocked the World

Wednesday, September 25th
5:30 - 8 pm
Tacoma Public Library Moore Branch, 215 S 56th St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • RUMBLE is a documentary film illuminating the powerful contribution and influence of Native musicians on popular music in North America

  • Join for the film and a post-film discussion with a moderator to be announced

25. Slo + Social Shop Ride

Friday, September 27th
6 - 8 pm
2nd Cycle Tacoma's Community Cycle Center, 1205 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Meet at 2nd Cycle for a leisurely bike ride on a fairly flat route

  • All ages and abilities welcome

  • Bring your helmet and bike light (and brink a lock so you can go in a shop and buy an ice cream cone!!!)

  • Slo + Social rides are the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month, so get them on your calendar!

One of my best girls said this is my new author photo, so I’m following directions.

One of my best girls said this is my new author photo, so I’m following directions.

Who’s writing these posts? That’s me. I’m the Gretchen half of Duggan Homes. The other half is Michael (also known throughout much of his life and by most of his friends as Duggan). Michael is the one with the license who knows the forms and carries the keys and negotiates and advocates and hustles and makes sure our clients find and sell the homes they need to find and sell in the most professional and ethical way he can. In our partnership I focus on content, community engagement, client care, and that infamous “other duties as assigned” category that all small-business people know all too well. Thank goodness Windermere Abode is our other other-half, and they help us out immensely!

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