The Taste is Tacoma’s summer party at Point Defiance
By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
Once summer begins in the Pacific Northwest, it really begins. Once the school year ends, the parties and celebrations seem to go on all summer.
For over thirty years The Taste of Tacoma has been the food and music event of the South Sound.
This year, the always free event features an exceptional line-up of fresh, local and yummy food and, to set the mood, a wide range of music for grown-ups and a more family-friendly kid’s stage.
Some of the music is presented by bands and performers who are Taste of Tacoma regulars, others are new to Tacoma – or even new to the stage.
You can see a full schedule here (https://www.tasteoftacoma.com/) but for now, I have a few recommendations.
At The Bowl Stage (https://www.tasteoftacoma.com/the-bowl-stage)
Back in the late 1960s, radio was king, but the really interesting music came on after midnight. If you want to get a feel for what went in the rock world after hours, don’t miss Midnight Radio Revival. They specialize in the heavy riffs and songs of rock’s golden age — the mid-1960s to the early ’70s. MRR (https://midnightradiorevival.weebly.com/songs–videos.html) plays songs by the Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers, David Bowie, the James Gang, Mountain, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, the Stones, and other great bands and artists of that era. You can catch them at 2 pm on Friday.
Right after MRR, hang around the stage and take in School of Rock Seattle House Band as they introduce us to the future of rock.
Later on that evening, after some food and other distractions, come back to the bowl for some Smokin’ Hot American Rock at 5 pm (Allman Brothers style) or at 8 pm for a tribute/celebration of the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
And that is just one stage on Friday.
On Saturday you can get your fill of Classic Rock, tributes to Mother Love Bone, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and yes, even 1970s soft rock icons like Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Little River Band, America and Hall & Oates.
Sunday always has a different vibe at The Taste. You can catch tributes to Elvis, Joe Cocker, Pink Floyd (1*), Eric Clapton and The Beatles.
If your tastes run to the more mellow, less raucous side, don’t miss the craft beer and wine tasting (https://www.tasteoftacoma.com/craft-beer-wine-tasting) at the Rose Garden or try out various beer gardens (https://www.tasteoftacoma.com/beer-gardens).
And if you have kids, don’t miss the family fun zone and carnival with its mix of rides, activities and music for kids of all ages.
And don’t forget the food!
40 restaurants and specialty food vendors (https://www.tasteoftacoma.com/restaurants/) will be serving a variety of items from Ethnic cuisine to All-American favorites. From crepes to tostilocos to the legendary alligator on a stick, you can find it fresh and fast at The Taste.
As in previous years, you can take Pierce Transit for free from the park & ride at Tacoma Community College (S. 19th St. & Mildred).
Parking is always a nuisance, so Uber, Lyft, carpool or ride a bike to get there. If you bicycle, skateboard, or use any other form of environmentally-friendly wheels, check out the bicycle corral near the main entrance of the park. Guests can check strollers, bicycles or other non-motorized wheeled items at the corral and return at the end of the day to retrieve their items using the numbered tag provided by corral staff. Volunteers from Tacoma Fire Fighters Union Local 31 will be keeping an eye on your wheels to make sure they are there when you are ready to head home.
(1*) A few years ago I caught a Pink Floyd tribute band at The Taste that was fantastic.