Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Timothy Thomas McNeely


Maritime Fest Promises to Be a Merry Time

Forget the views of Mt. Rainier. Forget the railway connection to the Northern Pacific Line that made Tacoma dream of its destiny. Forget diversity or proximity to military bases or anything else you thought set Tacoma apart in the world.

Unless you are considering Tacoma’s natural deep-water harbor in Commencement Bay and its usefulness as a port facility, you’re missing what first made Tacoma special to European explorers and American pioneers. In its modern incarnation, Tacoma is first and foremost a maritime city.

In honor of that history and tradition, a vital strain the the greater history of Tacoma, I encourage you to go to the Tacoma Maritime Fest this weekend, August 24-25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m at the Thea Foss Waterway.

Where else will you find a “tugboat ballet,” free lessons in swordfighting for sailors, a boat building competition and parade, knot tying, and cannon battles? There will be a “kids’ zone,” a medieval history pavillion (importing history that happened elsewhere, but still), boat tours, a beer garden, and a chance to meet novelty pirates for free.

Tacoma’s working waterfront has helped shaped the community since the late 19th century. It is a part of the shared heritage of contemporary Puget Sound, and a great way to spend the weekend.


About the Author

Most days, Timothy Thomas McNeely leads federal and state education program reviews for the State of Washington. Born in Tacoma, he studied poetry and philosophy in Canada and the United Kingdom. He is editor of the Community and Literature sections for Post Defiance, and writes poetry and prose whenever he can. He and his family live in Tacoma. Find him on Twitter as @ttmcneely.

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