By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
Spring and summer in the Pacific Northwest are packed with events and adventures for all ages, budgets and interests.
Some, like our many farmers markets, are ongoing, others are one-time and easy to miss.
Here are my top suggestions for spring and early summer of 2018 –
Coming up the first weekend in May, do not miss Tacoma’s annual tour of historic homes.
As the epicenter of the timber industry for years, if not decades, Tacoma had unmatched resources when it came to skill, wood and yes, seemingly infinite imaginations and budgets. You can see the odd, sometimes eccentric, but always magnificent architectural monuments left by a generation that knew few limits when it came to building a home that was always far more than a place to live – these are tributes to dreams and fantasies that have taken (sometimes tragic) shape in Tacoma’s neighborhoods.
To see these homes up close and from the inside just might change your view of Tacoma forever.
Bethany Presbyterian Church will be the reception center – with complimentary snacks and drinks.
The 2018 tour will feature the Weyerhaeuser mansion’s “Haddaway Hall,” and five beautiful and historic homes of North Tacoma. Docents will be in each home to answer questions and to give its background and history.
This is a self-guided walking tour. The homes are within walking distance of each other. Good walking shoes and weather appropriate attire are recommended. Last tour of Haddaway Hall starts at 4:15 each day.
I have been on this tour many times over the years and I would suggest that you take it slowly – many of the design and architectural features are subtle and easy to miss. Pay particular attention to stained glass and ornately crafted entry ways – be sure to read the guide as you prepare to encounter each home.
These tours are sponsored by the Tacoma Historical Society, more details here https://www.tacomahistory.org/historic-homes-of-tacoma.
Yes, these are in Seattle….
Film buffs should mark the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on their May calendars.
SIFF is one of the largest film festivals in the United States, with more than 155,000 people attending each year. The 25-day event held each May presents over 400 features, short films, and documentaries from more than 85 countries. More than 70% of the films screened at SIIF will not be shown in theaters, but many are likely to be shown at SIFF first. SIIF almost always features a world premiere or two each season. Details and schedules can be seen here – https://www.siff.net/.
If music, culture and food are more your kind of thing, do not miss the Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25-28 (https://www.nwfolklife.org/).
What is Northwest Folklife, you might ask? It is more than 5,000 performers, artists and master craft workers from the more than one hundred cultural communities that inhabit and influence the Pacific Northwest.
And even further north…
I have not been to the Richmond Night Market, but I have been to night markets in Asia. There is something about the mix of darkness, bright lights, pungent smells, unexpected finds and exotic treats that makes night markets more magical and mysterious than the daytime version.
Imagine a farmers market, food festival and flea market all rolled into one in a cool northwest evening.
I’d love to have a closer night market, but for now, this is probably the best one in North America. You can catch it on weekend evenings from May 11- October 8.
More details here – http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/.
If you have children in your life, do not miss Vancouver’s International Children’s Festival (http://www.childrensfestival.ca/) May 28- June 3.
As their website puts it….
“The Vancouver International Children’s Festival inspires and motivates young minds with professional artistic experiences that transform a child’s understanding of the world around them and what is creatively possible.”
For a fuller range of events in the Vancouver area, take a long look here – https://www.hellobc.com/vancouver.aspx.
And don’t forget Victoria….
The old saying about Victoria is that it is more English than England.
Where else in North America can you find double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages, formal gardens and classic British tearooms? But there is much more than that.
If you are a gardener – or want to be inspired to be one – don’t miss The Butchart Gardens. Be sure to linger into the evening for fireworks or a musical revue on most weekends.
Victoria is voted one of the Top 10 cities in North America by readers of Travel + Lesiure magazine almost every year. Spend more than a few days there and you will see why.
How many cities offer the culture of a city (don’t miss the Royal BC Museum), quiet beaches and whale watching in the same afternoon?
If you are considering a trip to Victoria, here is a good place to start – https://www.hellobc.com/victoria.aspx.