There’s a brand new summertime festival/outdoor market coming to Tacoma this month that offers a unique way to explore and experience the historic Stadium District and neighboring Wright Park. It’s called Stadium Fare, and it runs every other Saturday from July 6 through Sept. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church, across from Wright Park and on the corner of South 2nd and South ‘G’ Streets. Mayor Marilyn Strickland will give the official launch at 10 a.m.
Described as an eclectic neighborhood market, Stadium Fare will offer local foods, vintage and artistic craft and wares vendors, entertainment, music and even dodgeball in Wright Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The vibe will be patterned after that of an open-air market in Paris, complete with street performers and artists creating for the public to enjoy. A little bit of Brooklyn will be tossed into the mix as well, as Stadium Fare is patterned generally after the food and flea market Smorgasburg held in the North Brooklyn town of Williamsburg.
Ethan Wing is on the Stadium Business District Board of Directors and an agent with Coldwell Banker. A native New Yorker, Wing’s fondness for Smorgasburg gave him the notion that such an event would be perfect for Tacoma.
“Tacoma, being a little smaller than Brooklyn, it seemed like a good idea to combine the two,” he said. “That’s one of the cool things about Tacoma – the city is of a scope where you can organize and do things to make it a better place. You can’t do that in Seattle.”
A collection of about eight community volunteers have come together over the past three months to orchestrate Stadium Fare, including Tacoma resident and business owner Nadine Larsson (who is a professional voice-over artist, http://www.nadinelarsson.com).
“I came on with the Parisian theme,” she said. “The Presbyterian Church is such a beautiful building, and the area around it just calls out to me for jugglers, mimes, music and things like that,” the type of delights one would encounter while wandering the streets of Paris.
Considering the French chateau architecture of Stadium High School, Larsson’s idea fit well into the theme of Stadium Fare.
Wing and Larsson said there is room for 60 different vendors at Stadium Fare, and so far about 30 have signed up. New vendors are being added weekly. For those who wish to sign up as a vendor, the deadline is the Tuesday prior to the market. Food vendors in particular are encouraged to come out and take part. There is also a need for jugglers, mimes, face painters, artists, buskers and anyone who has a skill or talent that would fit in to the family-friendly Stadium Fare.
“If you’re a local talent, come for an hour to show people what you can do,” Larsson said. “We want to get artists out of their own communities and into a place where they can show people what they do.”
“We have six more dates with rolling deadlines, so come and help make every iteration different,” Wing said, noting that only small, local businesses will be showcased at Stadium Fare.
The list of Tacoma-based vendors so far includes Art House Café; Only Oatmeal Cookie Creations; Basic Goods Co. gifts; artisan jewelers Danielle Dunlap Design, Parisienne Girl Design and The Jeweled Cross, Sallee’s Sweets, SeaStone Botanicals and Enotica Wine Merchants, among many others. Lost and Found Thriftique owner Andrea Haug, who is also a co-organizer of Stadium Fare, said, “The Fare is going to be perfect for us and many other great flea market vendors in the area. The Stadium District has needed something just like this, it’s an event perfect for the whole family.”
A variety of entertainment is lined up for this inaugural Fare. The 15-piece orchestra RJ’s Express Band plays from 10 a.m. to noon; author Judy Cullen gives spoken word at 11 a.m. and Josh Rizeberg of hip hop group Beanz and Rize will perform at 2 p.m.
If all goes well, Stadium Fare will become an annual event. Surveys will be distributed to attendees, vendors and everyone involved in Stadium Fare to get feedback
“It’s going to be eclectic, interesting and evolving,” Wing said.
Visit http://www.stadiumfare.com for additional information, and choose “Like” on their Facebook page.