The July Edition: 21 Tacoma Events

We’ve been in Tacoma for about 15 years and we’ve been making this monthly list for just over a year now. We hope you find something new, something fun, something to care about! See you around.

We’ve been in Tacoma for about 15 years and we’ve been making this monthly list for just over a year now. We hope you find something new, something fun, something to care about! See you around.

July is the month of festivals in Tacoma! This month we celebrate Tacoma Pride, we celebrate cultural diversity, we celebrate food, we celebrate music, we celebrate Independence Day, we celebrate art, we celebrate summer.

And part of that celebration is giving back, so you’ll see some opportunities to support each other. Sometimes that just means showing up! Sometimes it means giving some time, some money, or an item. We all need something sometime (cue “Lean on Me”) so do what you can do.

Join the Tacoma community, open yourself up to something new, a new move, a new group, a new taste, a new skill, a new experience, a new ability.

Now on to the list!

1. Old Town Summer Concert Series

Wednesdays in Summer
July 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, & 31st
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Old Town Park, 2350 N 30th St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Live music every Wednesday - check out the line up here

  • Pack a picnic, bring your blankets, lawn chairs, friends, and kids

  • Old Town Park is just a couple of blocks from Ruston Way, so stretch your legs or visit the beach before the music starts. You could also drop-in at The Spar if you didn’t have time to eat dinner (they have a family friendly seating area too).

Image from    The Mule Tavern

Image from The Mule Tavern

2. Nerd Night: Weekly Board Game Tournaments at The Mule Tavern

Wednesdays July 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, & 31st (and beyond!)
8 - 11:30 pm
The Mule Tavern, 5227 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma

  • $5 entry

  • Sign-ups from 7 - 8 pm (16 players maximum, so don’t be late!)

  • Games rotate from week to week, so check out the event schedule to practice and prepare your best game day strategy

  • We’re talking Chutes & Ladders, Yahtzee!, Battleship, Guess Who, Sorry, CLUE, Scrabble, Connect 4

3. Tacoma Freedom Fair

Thursday, July 4th
9 am - 10:30 pm
Ruston Way, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Annual waterfront festival to celebrate Independence Day!

  • Fireworks, 5 stages with live music and entertainment, car show, air show (back after 6 years)

  • For access to the Freedom Fair Kids Park purchase a pass for $10 per child here or $20 at the event

4. WTF (Women/Trans/Femme) & Non Binary Night at 2nd Cycle

Friday July 5th & 19th
6 - 8 pm
2nd Cycle, 1205 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Bring a bike that needs some work or just learn how to take great care of yours

  • Bike stands, tools, and expert help provided

  • Safe place, safe event

5. Dune Peninsula and Wilson Way Bridge Opening Day

Saturday, July 6th
Point Defiance Park, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Come see the newest addition to Metro Parks! The Dune Peninsula connects to the Ruston Way Waterfront and to Point Defiance Park

  • Beautiful 40 acre site includes the Dune Peninsula (with a lawn, benches, pavilion, and restrooms), Wilson Way Bridge (the long time “missing link” between Ruston Way and Point Defiance - walk on!), the Frank Herbert Trail looping the new beach park, and Slides (a series of 6 slides leading down to the marina alongside traditional sets of stairs - fun!)

  • We’re so excited!!!

6. La Paloma Marketplace

Saturdays in Summer
July 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th & beyond
Proctor, 3810 N 27th St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Weekly Saturday market across the street from the Proctor Farmers’ Market

  • Shop vintage vendors, crafters, junkers, local handmade booths, food stalls, kid vendors (where the vendors are the kids!)

  • Seriously, don’t miss the booths run by kiddos! So far this summer I’ve purchased rock cakes, a scrunch, and a make-your-own-slime kit all homemade by kids

  • This is a creative marketplace with a mission: "La Paloma Marketplace celebrates and welcomes people of all cultures, backgrounds, and abilities" - so get on out there and celebrate!

  • Come back every Saturday through September 14th


7. Summer Poetry Workshops with Tacoma’s Poet Laureate

Wednesdays in July
July 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st
5 - 6 pm
Eastside Community Center, 1721 E 56th St, Tacoma

  • Free, Ages 13+

  • Abby E. Murray, Tacoma’s Poet Laureate will host these times of sharing, writing prompts, discussion, and poetry appreciation

  • No poetry expertise necessary (but if you write outstanding poems all the time, you’re welcome too, of course)

  • No registration required, just show up to one, some, or all

  • Direct questions to

Image from    The Curious Bear

Image from The Curious Bear

8. Summer Art Club at The Curious Bear

3 Wednesdays
July 10th, 17th, & 24th
10 am - 12 pm
The Curious Bear Toy & Book Shop, 2061 Mildred St W, Fircrest

  • $99 for 3 sessions, designed for ages 7-10 - reserve your spot here

  • An artist and former elementary school teacher will lead all 3 sessions suited for kids in 1st - 4th grade (drop-offs are great, but feel free to stick around while your child participates)

  • Sessions will include watercolor, drawing, and hand-lettering with fun projects designed to develop skills

9. Campout at Owen Beach

Friday, July 12th
7 pm - 8:30 am
Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma

  • $50 + tax for 4 person tent space, $75 + tax for 6 person tent space, $100 + tax for 8 person tent space

  • Register by Wednesday, July 10th at 4 pm by calling Tacoma Nature Center: (253) 404-3930

  • The campout includes snacks, ranger led events, games, free time, and a sunrise breakfast

  • Campers provide their own tent and supplies

  • Keep your eyes open for 2 more campout dates in August!

Images from    Tacoma Pride Festival

Saturday, July 13th
12 - 6 pm
Pacific Avenue between 9th & 7th

  • Free - all ages welcome and bring the pets too!

  • Tacoma Pride is just part of the Tacoma Pride Festival celebrating the LGBTQ community in Tacoma and Pierce County

  • Entertainment, booths, food stall, youth dance tent, beer garden, community!

  • Don’t miss the other Tacoma Pride Festival events like the Stride With Pride Fun Run at 10 am and the Dance at the Dock starting at 8:30

Image from the    Job Carr Cabin Museum

Image from the Job Carr Cabin Museum

11. Craft Saturday - Rock On!

Saturday, July 13th
12 - 5 pm
Job Carr Cabin Museum, 2350 N 30th St, Tacoma

  • Pay as you can - activity best suited from ages 3-9 and their families

  • Drop in anytime from 12 - 5 pm to paint some Tacoma Rocks that you can keep or hide around the city (which is even more fun!)

  • The Blues On! Festival in Old Town Park will be going on at the same time, so enjoy some music while the kiddos paint

Image from    Art on the Ave

Image from Art on the Ave

12. 19th Annual Art on the Ave

Sunday, July 14th
11 am - 7 pm
6th Avenue from State to Alder, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Tacoma’s biggest annual arts festival

  • Live music, live art, over 200 vendors, beer gardens, a grub crawl, and tons of people-watching

  • Tacoma Night Market will take over an entire block for this year’s Art on the Ave

13. Art on the Hill - Feel the Pulse of the Hilltop

Thursday, July 18th
5 - 9 pm
Martin Luther King Jr Way from 9th to 15th, Tacoma

  • Free

  • This is the inaugural Art on the Hill event, so don’t miss out

  • It’s Third Thursday, so it’s already an arts night in Tacoma and Hilltop is taking it up a notch

  • Artists will be inside Hilltop Businesses and out in the streets too, so go explore

  • Live music and food trucks (ice cream, bbq, donuts, and more), hands-on arts activities

14. Fircrest Fun Days

Friday, July 19th: 7:15 - 10 pm
Saturday, July 20th: 10 am - 10 pm
Fircrest Park, 555 Contra Costa Ave, Fircrest

Images from    Fircrest Fun Days

Images from Fircrest Fun Days

  • Free

  • 2 day old-fashioned summer style community festival in Fircrest with a pie baking contest, watermelon eating contest, live music, food, field games, a movie night, and a Furry 4k Walk

  • Register for special events like the pie and watermelon contest, the 4k, and other special events here - no fee to register

  • Food trucks, arts & crafts vendors, beer garden, fireworks

  • And lots of fun for kids: pony rides, reptiles, story time, a wolf program, bubbles, and games

Last year we enjoyed ice cream from Bliss, live music, and a visit to Wildside Wine.

Last year we enjoyed ice cream from Bliss, live music, and a visit to Wildside Wine.

15. 4th Annual Food Truck Festival

Saturday, July 20th
12 - 7:30 pm
Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 6th Ave, Tacoma

  • Free entry

  • Head to the lot behind the playhouse for a day of food and live music

  • Food trucks include Bliss Small Batch Creamery, Boss Mama’s Kitchen, Sirius Wood Fired Pizza, MIX Poke Truck, Ruco Food Truck, and more

  • Visit Wildside Wine for wine and beer (housed in the same building as the TMP)

  • Add to the experience by getting tickets for Mamma Mia at 2 pm or 7:30 pm - purchase tickets here

Image from T   he Mule Tavern

Image from The Mule Tavern

16. Ladies Night to Support Planned Parenthood

Saturday, July 20th
4 pm - 1:30 am
The Mule Tavern, 5227 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma

  • Ages 21+

  • The Mule will donate 10% of bar sales to Planned Parenthood for the night

  • And there’s a raffle with prizes from local businesses so bring cash ($1 per raffle ticket) - 100% of raffle sales go to Planned Parenthood

17. Hilltop Pop-up Market

Sunday, July 21st
10 am - 2 pm
People’s Park, 1100 S 9th St, Tacoma


Tuesday, July 23rd
1 - 3 pm
L’Arche Tahoma Hope Welcome Center, 12302 Vickery Ave E, Tacoma

  • $15 per person

  • Decorate your own drawstring bag (bag provided) with paint, stencils, and buttons

  • This is just one of a very wonderful variety of art activities and social events at the L’Arche Welcome Center - they have things like karaoke, dances, ice cream socials, and other arts and crafts events.

  • Take a look at their calendar here

  • RSVP to OR 253-535-3178 (prefer your RSVP 5 days in advance in order to have enough supplies for all participants)

Image from the    YWCA Pierce County

Image from the YWCA Pierce County

19. Tampon Drive for the YWCA Pierce County

Thursday, July 25th
6 - 8 pm
The Red Hot, 2914 6th Ave Tacoma

  • Free entry, 21+

  • Hosted by YWCA Pierce County and the 253 Club

  • Bring menstrual care products for clients living in the YWCA’s safe shelter

  • The YWCA Associate Board will be present to tell us more about the work of the YWCA and what it means to be a member of the 253 Club and make a difference in the lives of survivors of domestic violence

  • The Red Hot will donate portion of proceeds for the night to the YWCA

20. Ethnic Fest

Saturday - Sunday
July 27th - 28th
12 - 7 pm
Wright Park, 501 S I St, Tacoma

  • Free

  • Over 30 years of celebrating culture and community in Tacoma!

  • Live music, performers, dance, art, vendors, and foods from cultures and traditions all over the work

  • Kid’s Zone, hands-on activities and experiences, and a i3 on 3 basketball tournament

Image from the    Job Carr Cabin Museum

Image from the Job Carr Cabin Museum

21. Old Town History Walk - Immigrant Stories

Saturday, July 27th
10:30 - 11:30 am
Job Carr Cabin Museum, 2530 N 30th St, Tacoma

  • Pay as you can

  • Meet at the Job Carr Cabin Museum in Old Town park 10 minutes early

  • Walk and hear the stories of immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s

  • Rain or shine or wind - they’ll be walking!

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