Resting in the shadow of Mount Rainier, Tacoma is the perfect place for Pacific Northwest getaway. The city of more than 200,000 residents features a variety of outdoor activities, restaurants, and performing arts venues. Point Defiance Park is a great spot for all visitors, sprawling out over 760 acres and featuring Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, an old growth forest, and more.
The Taste of Tacoma® has been a can't miss showcase of the city’s food and culture for 32 years. It will take place June 23-25, at Point Defiance Park, located directly on the shore of Puget Sound. The event will feature more than 30 of the city's best restaurants, food trucks, and vendors, serving a variety of foods. The event will also include numerous bands and performers from Tacoma and around the nation, performing on four stages. Kids can instantly make a beeline for the Funtastic Carnival that offers rides and games. A marketplace with local vendors offers everything from handmade jewelry to maps made of wood. Those over 21 will love The Beer Gardens, Craft Beer Tasting, and The Wine Bar, and local chefs will hold demonstrations showing off their culinary skills. We got the opportunity to interview Megan Postiglione, a representative of the event, to learn more about this massive celebration.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
MP: The Taste of Tacoma® will celebrate 32 years this summer!
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
MP: The Taste usually sees around 200,000 guests over the three-day festival at Point Defiance Park.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
MP: We attract a wide variety of guests including friends, couples, and families! Plus, it is the perfect way to kick off the new season as it’s the first official weekend of Summer!
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
MP: Attractions include, but are not limited to:
30+ Restaurants and Specialty Food Vendors
The All-New South Sound Bites Restaurant Showcase
The Taste Cooks! Chef Demo
Mystery Ingredient Cook-Off Stage
Live Music on Four Stages
Craft Beer Tasting and Wine Bar in the Rose Garden,
Funtastic Carnival Rides and Games,
Local Handcrafted and Artisan Food Vendors,
Sponsor Activities and Samples
Plus, much more!
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
MP: The Taste of Tacoma® features some amazing local and national acts on four live music stages including a former contestant of The Voice (Siahna) as well as former American Idol contestant Lovey James. You can also enjoy popular local acts like Geoffrey Castle, Washed in Black, Michael Powers and more! Plus, catch amazing chef demonstrations and mystery ingredient cook-offs from local chefs at The Taste Cooks! stage including The Table’s Derek Bray, Bar Bistro’s Chris Lewis, Aura Mae the Kitchen Beautician, and more.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
MP: If you are coming from out of town or just want to make a weekend trip to 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 the Hotel Murano, which is a boutique style hotel located in the heart of downtown Tacoma.
The Taste offers a FREE Park & Ride Taste Express courtesy of Pierce Transit from Tacoma Community College to the event and back. This service will be available during event hours all three days of the festival, June 23-25. Check our website for more details.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
MP: The Taste of Tacoma® has been a local summer tradition for over 30 years! The Taste has and continues to support local community organizations each year. In addition to hiring and training over 60 temporary workers during the three-day weekend, the Taste also works in close cooperation with the following organizations: Emergency Food Network, Tacoma Police Explorers, Bethel High School AFJROTC and more.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
MP: The Taste of Tacoma® was created to bring awareness and celebrate the local Tacoma restaurant, chefs, music, and arts scene. We strive to support these with new and exciting opportunities each year. Our newest addition, South Sound Bites, is solely a local Tacoma area restaurant showcase of brick and mortar restaurants in the area that also brings awareness to a great local cause, the Emergency Food Network.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
MP: The Taste of Tacoma® is a local tradition that celebrates local and regional food, chefs, music, arts, and more. It was created to be the ultimate family picnic and summer kick-off, and it truly is!
For more information about the Taste of Tacoma®, please visit the event website.
Photography Credit: Christopher Nelson