In its 31st year of existence, the Taste of Tacoma has established itself as one of the essential festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Spread over two days in June, the Taste of Tacoma incorporates flavors and dishes from all over the city in a smorgasbord of food, fun, and festivities in historic Point Defiance Park. If you’re interested in sampling Tacoma’s culinary scene, this is the event for you.
Sitting about 35 miles south of Seattle is the city of Tacoma. This port city is home to beautiful cool summer days with an average high temperature in the mid-70’s. With a backdrop that features the Olympic Mountains, there aren’t many festivals that can match Taste of Tacoma’s combination of activities and ambiance. Live music will be featured all three days of the event and will feature a wide variety of musicians and tribute bands covering everything from U2 to the Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd. Taste of Tacoma is truly an experience that has something for everyone in the family. Come for the food, stay for the music, and sample craft beer.
ResortsandLodges.com had an opportunity to speak with Megan Postiglione, Media Director with Festivals Inc., to learn what makes Taste of Tacoma such a unique event and what vistors can expect when the festival opens on June 24!
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event…
MP: This year will be the 31st Anniversary of the Taste of Tacoma. It’s a wonderful event and we typically attract between 200,000 and 250,000 participants. The Taste of Tacoma is a family friendly event with delicious, local food and fun for the kids like the Funtastic Carnival Rides & Games as well as fun for the adults like Craft Beer Tasting & Wine Bar.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
MP: The Taste of Tacoma has delivered free family fun to the citizens of Tacoma for over three decades! The Taste was started in 1986 by Festivals Inc. CFO and local restaurateur, Alan Silverman after the Tacoma Restaurant Association requested that an event be created for the Tacoma community just as he had done with the Bite of Seattle, which he launched successfully in 1982. A restaurateur himself, Al (as he is called), was dedicated to creating "the ultimate family picnic." The principals in which he created the event 30 years ago still holds true today; promote the local food, beverage, and restaurant industry while offering the public a chance to taste a wide variety of foods at affordable prices - all of this in a magnificent setting like beautiful Point Defiance Park.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event...what can I expect as an attendee?
MP: Emerald Queen Casino's Taste of Tacoma presented by BECU is the "Ultimate Summer Get Together" we have everything you could want:
40+ restaurants & vendors
50+ craft & commercial goods vendors
local chefs performing live cooking demonstrations & mystery ingredient cook-offs at The Taste Cooks! Stage
Beer gardens featuring local beers and craft spirits
The Family Fun Zone including an entertainment stage and rides and games from the Funtastic Carnival.
4 live music stages that promise to have something for everyone in the family. The full music lineup is at TasteofTacoma.com
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging? Our travelers are a segment of the market that seek out unique, mom & pop accommodations...is this what they will find when they come to your event?
MP: If you are coming from out of town or just want to make a weekend trip of The Taste, there are several places to stay near Point Defiance Park. So, take a break, spend the night and start fresh the next day on your foodie adventure!
Our featured hotel is Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown but there are a few other hotels in the area like Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino or The Silver Cloud Inns & Hotel, which shows off the beauty of the area since it’s located on the Tacoma Waterfront.
RAL: What does this Taste of Tacoma mean to the community?
MP: It is a local summer tradition that has been going on for over 3 decades now! Celebrating the food, music and culture of the Tacoma area! Not to mention, it’s a great way to kick off the summer season with family and friends.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
MP: The Emerald Queen Casino’s Taste of Tacoma celebrates 31 years in 2016 and continues to support local community organizations each year. In addition to hiring and training over 60 temporary workers during the three-day weekend, many young people from the Taste also work closely with local organizations and charities. The Taste also helps to promote a #supportlocal attitude with all of its marketing and social media posts throughout the year, hoping to drive support to the great local businesses in the Tacoma and Point Ruston area not only during the event weekend but year-round.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
For more information about Taste of Tacoma, be sure to visit their website!