Known as one of the flashier flowers grown in the Northwest, the dahlia has a wide variety of types, colors and sizes. Join the American Dahlia Society and Northwest Dahlia Growers at the National Dahlia Show this weekend. The exhibition will feature a large variety of blooms and arrangements. Enthusiasts from across the country will be here to enjoy and explore local dahlia gardens. It’s being held at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma. The show will be open to the public noon-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
Discover history and celebrate the Buffalo Soldiers Museum along with the Tuskegee Airmen of Seattle in a community tribute 11a.m.-5 p.m. Monday. With the theme “Honoring the Past and Embracing the Future” the day will include a home run derby softball game featuring Army and Air Force special forces from JBLM followed by keynote speaker Gen. Mitch Mitchell. The free event will also feature food, music and vendors. It’s open to the public at Stanley Playfield 1712 S. 19th St., Tacoma. Bring your lawn chairs for a fun day. Free parking will be available at state offices at 1949 South State Street, across from The News Tribune.
black hole sun
Grammy Award-winning Nine Inch Nails and one of Seattle’s original grunge bands, Soundgarden, are combining forces for a 7 p.m. concert Saturday. It’s going to be a night of rockin’ jams at White River Amphitheater, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Road SE, Enumclaw. Tickets are $29.50-$99.50 and available through Ticketmaster
Chug n’ tug
Celebrate 41 years of tugboats and maritime history at the annual Olympia Harbor Days. It’s all about tugboats but there will be plenty of entertainment, food, arts and crafts and a special kids activities area. Vintage, working and retired tugs will be moored on Olympia’s Percival Landing, many open for tours on Saturday. Find a good spot Sunday to see the tugs participate in the tugboat races in the bay. Hours are 5-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information go to harbordays.com.
The sweet abundant blackberry is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. In its 25th year, the annual Bremerton Blackberry Festival takes over Louis Mentor Boardwalk in downtown Bremerton this weekend. The festival will include a fly-in and car show at the Bremerton Airport, food, crafts, live entertainment, berry sales and wine tasting and more. Hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday. For a complete schedule of events, go to blackberryfestival.org.
Game of zones
This is the weekend gamers have been waiting for when PAX takes over the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. There are expos for comics, anime and other pop culture phenoms, but this one is all about games: console, PC, handheld and even board games. More than 100,000 square feet of show floor will be filled with all genres, platforms and styles of games. The four-day event runs 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Sunday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday. Registration is $35 for a one-day pass and $10 for a four-day pass. To get yours go to prime.paxsite.com.
The indie side
If you’re in Seattle on Monday for PAX make time to take in the Seattle Indies Expo, a one-day exhibition for independent game developers. Join in checking out indie games, play some games and talk with the developers at this relaxed and open event. It’s being held at Melrose Market Studios, 1532 Minor Ave., Seattle, and is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday. Admission is free. For more information, go to seattleindies.org/six
Get that Southern California feel from the original “surf sound” band, The Beach Boys, when they come to the Snoqualmie Casino, 37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie. Together since 1961, the band’s sound has transcended the years with classic hits including “Good Vibrations” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert Saturday are $25-$90 and are available online at snocasino.com