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Foss Waterway Seaport Re-Opening

by Editor

It’s time for one of our very favorite organizations to officially open for the season this coming Sunday. The Foss Waterway Seaport, which combines both Tacoma’s storied maritime history familiarizing the public with today’s boating activities, has a great summer planned. While it’s definitely worth stopping by on Sunday, better yet plan for some of the activities later in the year, especially Family Fun day, Maritime Fest and Summer Science SeaCamp. For more on the Seaport, check out the Wave Writer column from last year. Here’s the official press release:


The Foss Waterway Seaport’s Summer Season Kicks Off Sunday, May 17, 2015!
Tacoma: This is your Waterfront!

The Foss Waterway Seaport—the South Sound’s premiere maritime heritage center—will officially open its doors for the summer season beginning Sunday, May 17 at 12:00 pm. Located on Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway, the Seaport will host a re-opening celebration, including family-friendly festivities, cake cutting, live music, free Ivar’s World Famous Clam Chowder, the Tacoma Fire Department fire boat, special maritime vessels, activities, exhibits, and actors in period dress.

The theme for the summer season,“Tacoma: This is Your Waterfront” will highlight the many historic maritime treasures in the museum’s collection. Throughout the summer, themed programs and weekend activities will use those artifacts as touchstones to connect visitors to their shared past—the sailors, ships, rail yards, the workers and port that shaped the South Sound into the region it is today.

A series of family fun events are scheduled through-out the summer including: Family Fun Day with Pierce County Education Communication Outreach Net (PECO NET) on May 30, Maritime Fest on July 18 and 19, and Summer Science SeaCamp the weeks of August 3-7 and August 10-13 (advance reservations for SeaCamp are required).

A row of tall ships ready to take on wheat from eastern Washington and the Midwest.

The warehouses seen here were used for wheat more than a century ago. Now they house the Foss Maritime Seaport.

An Ocean Transformed – Art with a Message features marine debris sculptures created by students from Sherman Elementary School as part of a pilot offered through the Seaport’s 2015 education programs. Students and their teachers partnered with local artists and engineers to construct marine debris sculptures that impart the kids’ thoughts on single use plastics. The five sculptures invoke strong visual messages and are sure to encourage best practices in everyone who views these wonderful art pieces, along with a 32’ plastic grey whale constructed from recycled plastic bags, designed by artist Carrie Ziegler, will be on display from May – October.

Foss Waterway Seaport Executive Director Wesley Wenhardt said, “We are so excited to welcome museum visitors again for the summer and give them the opportunity to re-connect and re-unite with the Tacoma waterfront, Puget Sound and to the incredible history of our region. We have more than doubled our exhibit space.” A new signature exhibit, “Where Rails Meets Sails,” features a model railroad switching yard and representation of the historic half-moon railway yard adjacent to the Seaport that can be operated by children and adults. Also in the exhibit are an authentic operating Griswold crossing signal, railroad wheels forged by the Griffin Wheel Foundry in South Tacoma in 1909, and striking images of Tacoma’s railroads of the past. Soon to be added will be a hands-on steam locomotive simulator.

Classic boats made here in Washington will be displayed in the expanded space, along with a maritime themed Lego exhibit with interactive components for children, vintage diving equipment, and artifacts from the “Mosquito Fleet” era of steam ferries.

The museum will be open throughout the spring and summer: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4:00 pm on Sundays. Admission pricing is $8.00 for adults, $5 for Children (5+) and Seniors (62+) $20.00 for a Family Pass. Parking is available adjacent to the Seaport. Side tie public moorage is available with power and water, and a four hour stay is free. Moorage is within walking distance of restaurants, museums and downtown. For more information visit: fosswaterwayseaport.org

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