Emerald Queen Taste of Tacoma
When: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Point Defiance Park, Tacoma
Parking: $10 in the Funland lot across from the park; handicap parking available for $10 (access by staying in the left lane heading down Pearl)
Taste Express bus: Pierce Transit will offer express service every 15 minutes all day between the Tacoma Community College Transit Center and Point Defiance Park. Fare is $1.75 each way, or $3.50 for an all-day pass on the weekend. Seniors and disabled riders can ride for 75 cents each way by showing a regional reduced-fare permit. As many as four kids, ages 13 and younger, can ride free with a fare-paying passenger.
Pets: None allowed in the food court, but dogs are permitted in the “bowl” area at the entrance of the park. Festival organizers request participants leave pets at home, though.
Information: www.tasteoftacoma.com or 425-283-5050
Entertainment overview: Four live music stages, comedy club, beer and wine gardens and tastings, a carnival, 100 artisan booths featuring crafts, commercial and vendor booths, picnic areas for dining.
No smoking allowed: Tacoma parks are smoke-free. Smoking prohibited within all areas of Tacoma public parks.
Right bite: From vegan gyros to grilled salmon and tofu spring rolls, diners looking for more healthy options should look for the Hope Heart Right Bite symbol on every restaurant’s menu.
Cost of food: Each restaurant will offer a taste for $3, combo plates are $7 or lower, and single entree items are $6 or less.
Taste discount: Discount coupon books for $17 can be purchased at the entrance booth. Diners will receive $3 off for every $20 spent, a 15 percent discount, with the coupon book. While supplies last. Also, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday only, the discount book will cost $15.
Art a la Carte: Sponsored by the Metropolitan Park District, an art area will feature 100 arts and crafts vendors with handcrafted items for sale.
Funtastic carnival: Discount coupons for the Funtastic Carnival are available at the 94.1 KMPS booth. The coupons are good for any six rides for $13, a nearly 50 percent discount on full-ticket pricing. Purchase carnival tickets at the Funtastic Carnival ticket window.
Free cake: At noon Saturday, Tacoma City Officials will serve free birthday cake celebrating the festival’s 25th year. The cake is courtesy of Albertsons on Pearl Street.
Sunday is family day: Reptile man Scott Petersen will be there, as will the Bubble Man and Garry Golightly. Radio Disney and Home Depot will be at the festival all weekend with activities for kids, too.
Whatcha eatin’? Live blogging from the Taste
What’s on the menu? Tacos to tofu
Need more info? ECQ Taste of Tacoma website