The Tacoma Maritime Fest is a free, annual community event that serves to celebrate the city’s storied waterfront along the Thea Foss Waterway. Tacoma’s growth relied heavily on the working waterfront, which remains a significant aspect of the city’s identity still. Indeed, Thea Foss and her husband, Andrew, founded and ran their successful “Always Ready” rowboat rental operation on this very waterway, hence the namesake. Over the years, the waterfront has expanded from a place of just trade and industry to include a haven for recreational boaters and paddle sport enthusiasts as well. For the past two decades the Maritime Fest has been a weekend of merriment for those who want to reacquaint themselves with the waterfront and everything it has to offer.
A family-friendly event, the Tacoma Maritime Fest not only strives to educate the community about the gem that is the waterfront, but also to cultivate a new generation of tradespeople, boaters and paddle sport players. The Tacoma Youth Marine Center (TYMC) and the Foss Waterway Seaport have a lot to do with these efforts. Kurt Hoehne previously reported on both these organizations, shining a light on their work.
The TYMC supports the Sea Scouts, an organization dedicated to educating young boaters about sea-faring (https://www.nwyachting.com/2014/04/as-it-should-be-youth-on-the-water/). The Sea Scouts will proudly have their tall ship, the Odyssey, out for display at this year’s Maritime Fest for the public to enjoy. The Seaport, around which the festival will take place, offered affordably-priced sailing and paddle sport lessons just last month to get more people excited and exposed to these activities (https://www.nwyachting.com/2014/07/foss-waterway-seaport-offers-affordable-intro-to-sup-sailing/). Maritime Fest will help to broaden the reach of both these organizations and nurture the public’s interest in Tacoma’s waterfront.
Other entertainment include boat tours, sailing lessons and the Quick and Dirty boat-building competition, which involves the competitors building a boat in a six-hour time frame then testing their craft out on the water in a race around the dock. The Kid Zone will feature a marine science lab, remote-controlled boats, Zorb balls, performances on the Kids Stage and many other fun activities.
So on September 20th and 21st come on by to 705 Dock Street, Tacoma, and get caught up in the spirit of the Maritime Fest. Come celebrate the heritage of the working waterfront and learn more about everything the modern waterfront has to offer. Fun for all ages, and free to enter, you don’t want to miss it!
Visit the Tacoma Maritime Fest website (http://maritimefest.org/) for more information, or if you are interested in getting involved. Volunteers are always welcome! If you are interested in volunteering at Maritime Fest or other related community events, please call or send us an email through the Contact page on our website (http://maritimefest.org/contact/).
We look forward to seeing you at the waterfront!