Spring is a season where the Northwest comes back to life after a chilly, rainy few months. It’s a time when flowers pop out of the ground, a time when the sun (usually) returns and a great time to get out and enjoy the community. Festivals are an all-around solid way to delve into the people and places around you. While festivals never really stop all year round, spring festivals include a bit of everything, from those with a foodie focus to music festivals to family fun at the fair.
Tacoma Wined Up – April 7, 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Get ready to taste your way through more than 20 Northwest wines, spirits and ciders at the Tacoma Armory, located downtown near the Theater District. The event will also have a silent auction to benefit Broadway Center’s arts education programs so rest assured that your drinking is going to a good cause. If the samples at the event are just not enough, you can also purchase bottles of wine to take home.
LeMay Wine, Spirits & Chocolate – April 13-14, 4:00-9:00 p.m.
If what you seek is an event filled with delicious food and drink, you’ve come to the right place. Head to the Marymount Event Center to sample your way through wines, spirits, cheese, other foods and chocolate galore. Vendors hail from Washington State and include names you’ve likely heard before like Hoodsport Winery and Tacoma’s own Tease Chocolates, as well as places you’ve probably not heard of – all the better for some tasty surprises.
Spring Fair – April 19-22
The Spring Fair is held at the same fairgrounds as the Washington State Fair, and has many of the same elements – fair food, rides, carnival games, music and animals – just a little less of everything and a lot more baby animals. Since the fair is smaller, it doesn’t take a full day to check it all out, so it’s perfect for families with younger children (but older children will enjoy the rides). Of course, don’t miss the fair scones.
Tacoma Wayzgoose – April 28-29, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wayzgoose is not just a funny word. It’s a word rooted in literary history. A wayzgoose is traditionally a master printer’s party for his or her workers, but the Tacoma Wayzgoose goes above and beyond, celebrating not just a printer but all of the printing arts. Held at King’s Books, the Wayzgoose brings out printers of all stripes to showcase their craft. You’ll find card printers as well as book binders, and you can try your hand at many bookish arts along the way. While all things paper are the focus, the Tacoma Wayzgoose has become known for steamroller prints where artists carve 3×3 linoleum blocks and then use a steamroller to create prints.
Spring Fairy Festival – May 19, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Spring Fairy Festival at Tacoma’s Crescent Moon Gifts starts as a party held by the store’s owner for her customers, but has grown over the years to be an annual festival that draws more than 4,000 attendees! The festival takes place in and around Crescent Moon Gifts and aims to celebrate art, music, performance and community. Fans of fairy and fantasy art won’t find a better collection of artists. Regular artist attendees include Tacoma’s own Amy Brown most years as well as other Washington State artists. Musicians and performers bring extra flare to the festival and, of course, expect plenty of vendors of all things fairy and fantasy.
Gig Harbor Beer Festival – May 19, noon – 5:00 p.m.
There are few finer ways to enjoy a (hopefully) sunny afternoon in the Northwest than a beer festival. The Gig Harbor Beer Festival fills Uptown Gig Harbor with breweries. Attendees get the requisite tasting glass and tokens to make their way through the vendors all to the tune of some live music. This festival usually sells out so buy in advance if you want to go.
Maritime Gig Festival – June 2-3
The Maritime Gig Festival celebrates Gig Harbor’s connection to the water with lots of family-friendly fun. The event kicks off with a pancake breakfast, but also includes a parade, a kids dash, yacht tours and more. On Sunday, the Gig Festival closes with a blessing of the fleet.
Meeker Days – June 15-17
Just before spring comes to a close, Meeker Days in Puyallup offers one final chance to celebrate the season before summer kicks in. The festival includes a bit of everything – live music on three stages, fair food aplenty, beer and wine gardens, more than 200 art and craft vendors, an antique tractor display, bounce houses and a Buick car show.