Washington State's second largest city, with a population of about 200,000 and a location at the southern end of Puget Sound, just 35 miles south of Seattle, Tacoma has a sizable LGBT population and is the host of the Tacoma Gay Pride Festival in early to mid-July - events take place this year July 8 through July 16, 2016, but the main day of Pride is Saturday, July 9.
Festivities typically begin with a Tacoma Pride Festival Kickoff on Friday afternoon, July 8, in the lobby of the stunning Pantages Theater. On Saturday, July 9, the Out in the Park Pride celebration takes place right by the Pantages at South 9th and Pacific Avenue, from noon until 5 pm. You can meet and mingle with more than 100 vendors and watch a wide range of entertainment, from drag shows to musicians - this year's lineup includes Deveastatia Black Snow and Nasty Habits, among other amusingly named talents. This is followed from 5 pm until 2 am outside the popular Tacoma gay bar, Mix, with the annual Tacoma Pride Block Party, featuring a DJ with dancing, food trucks, three bars, and go go dancers.
Many other fun events take place throughout Pride Week (lasting through July 16), from a skate night to the Tacoma Pride Film Series. Visit the official Tacoma Pride Event Calendar for details.
Also keep in mind that just a two-hour drive north, Bellingham Gay Pride takes place the weekend of July 9 and 10.
Tacoma Gay Resources
Check out the Tacoma Gay Nightlife and Dining Guide for tips on where to eat and play during Tacoma Pride. Also consult local gay papers and websites, such as Seattle Gay Times and the Seattle Lesbian. And take a look at the very useful visitor site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Travel Tacoma.