Top Picks: South Sound’s marquee event this weekend is Taste of Tacoma in Point Defiance Park. Check out the excellent coverage over on TNT Diner for the scoop. If you’re at the park, you may want to stop by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, where the new clouded leopard cubs are going on display starting Saturday. For something completely different, Wright Park is playing host to Hempfest2 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Traffic watch: The good news: The long-awaited Sprague Avenue exit in the Nalley Valley reopens overnight Saturday. The bad news: If you are headed south on Interstate 5 through Lakewood, well, you may want to change plans or find another route. Extensive backups are expected when crews close southbound I-5 near Bridgeport Way to continue repairs on Clover Creek Bridge. Read details here.
Weather check: A typical late June mix of clouds, clearing and the odd shower through the weekend. Check our weather page for details.
If you want to avoid the crowds at Point D (or the second-hand smoke at Wright Park) here are some of the other options listed in our Go&Do calendar.
Fairs & Festivals
The Tacoma Highland Games Explore the culture, heritage and traditions of Scotland with bagpipes, traditional Highland athletes and dancers. 8 a.m. Saturday, Frontier Park, 21800 Meridian Ave. E, Graham. $8 student, senior or active military, $10 general. 360-264-2156, website.
Northwest Paddling Festival northwest paddlesports community is converging on the shores of West Seattle for two days of demos, instruction, and play time. 9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, Jack Block Park, 2130 Harbor Ave. SW, Seattle.
Slug Fest Celebrate all that is silly and slimy about the Pacific Northwest’s most valuable and misunderstood mollusk, the yellow-greenish banana slug. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, 11610 Trek Dr. E, Eatonville. 253-847-1901, website.
Lakewood Summerfest featuring sports clinic, entertainment, fitness expo, car show, kidz zone, and more. 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, Fort Steilacoom Park, 8714 87th Ave. SW, Lakewood. Website.
Yelm Prairie Days and Parade 10 a.m. Saturday, Yelm City Park, Yelm.
16th Annual International Festival will offer a skateboard competition, a Cultural Village, performance from a variety of ethnic and cultural bands from around the Pacific Northwest, craft and food vendors, a play area for children and more. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Angle Lake Park, 19408 International Blvd., Seatac. Free. 206-973-4680, website.
Crossroads Doll & Teddy Bear Show & Sale for enthusiasts of all ages with dolls, teddy bears, antiques, miniatures, clothes supplies, & more: from antique to modern and the carefully hand crafted. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Puyallup Fair & Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup. Adults $7 Children under 12 $4. Website.
Walt’s Family Affair Car Show 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Dacca Park, 2820 54th Ave. E, Tacoma. Free Spectator Admission, $15 Car/Vendor Registration. 253-284-2158. Website.
Home & Garden
Master Gardener Summer Garden Talk “Pruning – 101” 10 a.m. Saturday, Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, 2607 W. Pioneer, Puyallup. Free, website.
Gig Harbor Garden Tour 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Tickets online or available at Ace Hardware, 4816 Pt Fosdick Dr NW, Gig Harbor. $25, website.
Vashon Island Garden Tour 10 a.m. Saturday, Blue Heron Art Center, 19704 Vashon Hwy. SW, Vashon. $20. 206-463-5131, www.VashonAlliedArts.org.
Tacoma Rose Society Centennial Rose Show 1-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Tacoma Yacht Club, 5401 N. Waterfront Drive, Tacoma. Free Admission. 253-537-2564, www.tacomarosesociety.org.
Puget Sound Brass Camp Concert 4 p.m. Saturday, Schneebeck Concert Hall, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma. FREE, website.
Randy Travis 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Emerald Queen Casino, 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma. 888-831-7655, website.
Twang Junkies 8 p.m. Saturday, The Spar Tavern, 2121 N. 30th St., Tacoma.
KRY 9 p.m. Saturday, The Swiss Tavern, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma.
Union Jack Amps and Riggio Guitars Demo Daze at Stonegate 3:30 p.m. Sunday, STONEGATE Restaurant & Bar, 5421 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma. 0.
Tim Hall Band 8 p.m. Sunday, Dawsons Tavern, 5443 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma. 253-476-1421.