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There’s Zoolights, ice skating, tree lighting in downtown Tacoma, local comedy and more happenings this weekend and beyond

Post by Mary Anderson / The News Tribune on Nov. 25, 2011 at 9:00 am with 2 Comments »
November 25, 2011 11:43 am
File photo, Peter Haley, staff photographer

Join in the 66-year tradition of the annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Parade in downtown Tacoma. As part of the celebration, catch the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at 2 p.m. today. Stick around for the tree-lighting and parade after the movie. All events are in front of the Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma. Cost is $14 for the movie, other festivities are free.

Today through Jan. 1
It’s that time of year when Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium comes alive with elaborate, moving and whimsical light displays thanks to Zoo Lights. Sure to make you ooh and aah, the display opens today and runs through Jan. 1. Hours are 5-9 p.m. daily. Admission is $7 at or at Fred Meyer; $8.25 at the gate, free for children.

Today–Dec. 4
We don’t really have the weather for ice skating, but you still can try your hand (or feet) at the classic winter sport at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian in Puyallup. The Holiday on Ice Rink opens today (11 a.m.-11 p.m.) and will continue with various hours through Dec. 4. Tickets are $7 and include skate rental. For details, call 253-840-2631,

Today through Jan. 2
Tollefson Plaza Franciscan Polar Plaza in Tacoma offers ice skating as well. They’re open 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Sunday as well as various other times through Jan. 2. Admission is $8 and you can visit their website at

How about some laughs this weekend? See a couple of the area’s hottest comics at two Tacoma comic venues.
Ty Barnett – with credits including “Star Search,” “Last Comic Standing,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and Comedy Central – will perform at 8:30 and 10:30 tonight and Saturday at the Grit City Comedy Club, 445 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma. Tickets are $15 through
Seattle’s Brad Upton opened for Joan Rivers during her Tacoma visit this month. The national touring comic has an act appeals to people from 18 to 80. He’ll perform at 8 and 10:30 tonight and Saturday at the Tacoma Comedy Club, 923 Market St., Tacoma. Tickets re $15. Go to and use the ticket code “friday” for a coupon for 50 percent off any of the four shows. Call 253-282-7203.

Rafael Tranquilino plays a wealth of musical styles including blues, rock, funk, metal, ska, reggae, Latin and jazz fusion and is known locally for his impeccable guitar sound. Most recently a member of the Randy Oxford Band, he has branched out on his own and signed with Maurice the Fish Records. Catch his new set from 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Mandolin Cafe, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma. Admission is $5. Call 253-761-3482.

With a musical style that incorporates classical, orchestral, symphonic and progressive elements into hard rock and heavy metal, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is most famous for its series of rock operas. It has sold nearly 8 million concert tickets and 8.5 million albums during its musical career. See the group at 8 p.m. Saturday at KeyArena in Seattle Center. Tickets are $29.50-$56.50 and are available through Ticketmaster.

It might be Black Friday today, but instead of early shopping maybe you’d like to kick off the season by heading to Seattle for holiday traditions.
The Macy’s Holiday Parade and Star Lighting event is in downtown Seattle, Third Avenue and Pine Street. The parade is at 9 a.m., and the star-lighting and fireworks show is at 5 p.m. Both are free.
You also can watch the tree-lighting celebration at Westlake Center Lights Up Downtown today. The free festivities begin at 4:45 p.m. at the mall at 400 Pine St.

Thursday–Dec. 3
The Mark Morris Dance Group will take the stage at the Moore Theatre in a program that features the Seattle premiere of “Festival Dance” along with a performance of Violet Cavern. With music performed live by The Bad Plus, the show opens Thursday and runs through Dec. 3 at 1932 Second Ave., Seattle. Tickets are $25-$82. Call 877-784-4849 or go to

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. itwasntmethistime says:

    Help me, fellow readers. My kid wants to try skating but I couldn’t find the following information in the article about the downtown rink. First, what is the parking situation? Where can I park and what will it cost? Second, are there time slots or a time limit or something for the $10 cost to skate?

  2. Kevindot1 says:

    I am really surprised that the ice skating talked about in this article was not referring to Tacoma’s very own brand new, outdoor, covered Polar Plaza ice rink in down town Tacoma. For all more info on Tacoma’s ice rink, go to It tells you where to park and how to get there.

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