Entertainment

Ethnic Fest turns 30 with performers, arts, skateboarding and more

Sharmar’e Palmer II, 2, and Kayleigh Martinez, 8, from left, play drums during the 2013 Ethnic Fest in Wright Park, Tacoma.
Sharmar’e Palmer II, 2, and Kayleigh Martinez, 8, from left, play drums during the 2013 Ethnic Fest in Wright Park, Tacoma. Staff file, 2013

Can you write your name in Korean? Make an origami bird? Stay up on a skateboard? Try your hand at all three during Tacoma’s Ethnic Fest, celebrating its 30th anniversary in Wright Park this weekend.

The two-day festival honors world cultures with performances, arts and crafts, food trucks and hands-on fun, plus an outdoor screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” late Saturday.

Co-organized by Metro Parks Tacoma and The Warehouse, Ethnic Fest will see performances Saturday from IMAHE Guam/Chamorro music and dance, Shahdaroba Middle Eastern Dance Troupe, drum and dance band Vamola, Tacoma Flamenco, the Indonesian Cultural Association and African fusion band Maya Soleil. Sunday’s lineup includes Hawaiian music and dance, gospel singers including Erica Walker and DaNell Daymon, and a finale by reggae musician Alex Duncan.

More than 120 vendors, from community groups to arts and crafts, will be spread around the park. Hands-on activities at the Asia Pacific Cultural Tent will include name calligraphy in Korean, Cambodian and Chinese; origami; Thai clay sculpting; hula lessons; and Japanese puppetry. A kids stage will feature Clay Martin’s puppet shows and dance groups from Metro Parks.

Children will get the chance to learn skateboarding, thanks to portable ramps, boards and helmets brought by Tacoma nonprofit skate group Alchemy. They can play on tablets at the mobile tech lab, with Legos in the Lego Tent, or on giant checkerboards and Jenga in the Kids Zone. The spray park will be open.

Around 30 food trucks will offer food from countries and cultures around the world, from barbecue to lumpia, egg rolls to calzones and the famous Tornado Potato.

Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568, @rose_ponnekanti

Ethnic Fest

When: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Wright Park, 501 S. I St., Tacoma.

Cost: Free.

Information: metroparkstacoma.org/ethnicfest.

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