This weekend’s Tacoma Maritime Fest will feature new interactive aspects and exhibits.
The festival, which typically draws about 7,000 people, will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma.
“This year, one of the bigger changes we made was to create a more interactive experience for our guests with our entertainers,” said Luisa Lam, one of the event organizers.
“So, not only do we have live music all weekend, but we will have a mermaid telling stories inside the Foss Waterway Seaport, a jellyfish knitting corner led by the Sixth Avenue Yarn Bomber, and roving pirates and sailors.”
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Among the new exhibits will be an HO scale model railway display, a maritime-themed Lego exhibit and a marine biology education center.
Among the boats that will be on hand will be the Sea Scouts’ M/V Charles N. Curtis and the Tacoma Fire Department’s M/V Destiny.
Visitors also can try maneuvering remote-controlled sailboats or tugboats.
Tours of the port will take place Sunday, while the Quick and Dirty boat-building contest will be Saturday.
Lam said the festival also has expanded its Arts Initiatives, including a design contest for kids, a community-created mural on a recycled sail and an art exhibit inspired by early explorers’ cabinets of curiosity, or the Wunderkammer.
“Art is such a huge part of Tacoma’s identity, as is its maritime heritage, so we really want to showcase these two aspects of our city’s culture, blend them together, and get more people involved with the waterfront,” Lam said.
Lam said the event began strictly as a celebration of Tacoma’s historical working waterfront.
“Since then, the event has evolved to encompass more of what the modern waterfront has to offer, including boating, fishing, paddle sports, dining, walking/jogging trails,” she said.
“Today’s waterfront is a place that everyone can enjoy, but relatively few people realize it. It is truly an untapped resource for leisure and recreation because of the reputation of the working waterfront and Tacoma’s industrial history. The Maritime Fest aims to change that perception by showing what is actually available for the public.”