Tacoma’s events calendar doesn’t bring in as many major headliners as Seattle, but does get some pretty major players at the Tacoma Dome. More commonly, you’ll spot plays and musical performances at the Pantages, musicals and plays at Tacoma’s community theaters, as well as no shortage of festivals.
Click on each month below to view an at-a-glance events calendar for that month, and take a look through the annual, don’t-miss annual events for each month.
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Many of the area’s Christmas light displays last into early January, as does Polar Plaza in downtown Tacoma. Other annual January events include the very chilly MetroParks’ Polar Bear Plunge and the Tacoma Home and Garden Show.
See the January 2015 events calendar.
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Tacoma is pretty quiet on the annual event scene in February, but watch for shows at the Broadway Center downtown, Tacoma Dome and area theaters.
See the February 2015 events calendar.
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Tacoma does not have a big St. Patrick’s Day celebration like Seattle does, but many area bars get into the spirit. TEDxTacoma has taken place in March as well.
See the March 2015 events calendar.
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April means the Puyallup Spring Fair, the little sister to the Washington State Fair as it’s held at the same fairgrounds. Another celebration of spring—the Daffodil Festival—brings a parade, beauty pageant and community events to Tacoma as well as other South Sound cities.
See the April 2015 events calendar.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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May is a lovely yet laid-back month—not yet the busy summer months. Watch for Cinco de Mayo deals at restaurants in early May and Mother’s Day brunches toward the end of the month. Especially at some of the Waterfront restaurants such as the Lobster Shop, Mother’s Day brunch is a real treat!
See the May 2015 events calendar.
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June is the start of the summer festival season and in Tacoma it largely kicks off with the Taste of Tacoma at Point Defiance. Father’s Day mid-month ushers in a few community events, such as 5Ks, and the Tacoma Highland Games brings a little bit of Scotland to the Pierce County Fairgrounds.
See the June 2015 events calendar.
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July in Tacoma means the Freedom Fair along the Ruston Way Waterfront, complete with vendors, food, car shows, live entertainment, an air show and fireworks to wrap it all up. Other great July festivals include Art on the Ave, which shuts down part of 6th Ave and fills it with art, food and family fun.
See the July 2015 events calendar.
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In August, don’t miss Brew Five Three—a beer and music festival that’s getting increasingly popular (the 2015 event sold out halfway through the day). Other awesome annual events in August include Maritime Fest and the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Festival in Bonney Lake.
See the August 2015 events calendar.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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September is all about the Washington State Fair, which is one of the largest fairs on the West Coast and one of the biggest happenings all year round in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The fair comes along with its annual concert series, too. There are other annual events in September too, including the Concours d’Elegance at LeMay – America’s Car Museum.
See the September 2015 events calendar.
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October welcomes in the autumn with lots of harvest-season festivities. Explore corn mazes and pumpkin patches at farms around the area, or visit a haunted house if you want to do something a little scarier. If you want to go trick or treating, check out this list of the best places to go in the Tacoma area. Alternately, there’s an annual holiday festival at the Tacoma Dome each year if you just want to bypass Halloween all together and jump straight into Christmas.
See the October 2015 events calendar.
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For the most part, the annual events in November skew toward the start of the Christmas season with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday at shopping areas and malls, and Christmas lights displays opening after Thanksgiving. Tacoma is also known for Art Month, which usually happens in November each year.
See the November 2015 events calendar (coming soon).
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December is a quiet month for festivals, but a huge month for things to do. Christmas lights displays like Zoolights and Fantasy Lights and other holiday happenings take over. Victorian Country Christmas fills the Washington State Fairgrounds with a unique place to shop from local vendors and crafters. Tacoma’s Christmas tree lighting downtown is a lot of fun for families.
See the December 2015 events calendar (coming soon) and the annual Holiday Guide.