Bringing a unique vibe to Tacoma’s slate of summertime street festivals, Urban Art Festival (UAF) returns to Thea Foss Waterway for its eighth year June 30 and July 1. “This year is going to be one of the best years yet,” said UAF event coordinator and creative director Charlie Hill. He and co-organizers Nicole King (Logistics Manager/Children’s Activities Guru) and Leilani Williams (Entertainment Coordinator/Co-Creative Director) have been leading the charge for this year’s UAF for about the past 12 months and in the process the three friends have created an event that will appeal to people of all stripes – and admission is free.
"The ‘Three Amigos’ would like to thank our community of T-Town for supporting UAF,” Hall said. “We are very proud to call Tacoma our home."
After making the fest a two-day event for the first time last year, the turnout was so good that organizers are doing it again this year. From noon to 9 p.m. both days, the fest offers music performances and live DJs on two stages, more food booths than ever before, merchandise vendors, arts and crafts, dance, a kids and teen area and much more.
New this year is a BMX performance area featuring Chris Eimen and NW Trailways, a Dorky’s Arcade tent with classic arcade games to play, and a “pampering area” courtesy of Jewell Day Spa. There will also be a Tiki Bar featuring various local breweries like Mac & Jack’s and The Harmon, coupled with a “Tiki Tea” booth courtesy of Mad Hat Tea Co. Keep an eye out for UAF T-shirts what will be for sale courtesy of Post-Industrial Press in Tacoma.
Music, though, is the magic of UAF as its mission statement attests: to entwine all forms of music and art in order to break down stereotypes and negativity while building understanding, trust and acceptance. On Saturday, June 30, the main stage will feature blues, rock, funk, hip hop, dance and more, while the DJ stage showcases some of the hottest DJs in the Northwest. Sunday, July 1, will be dedicated to reggae music on the main stage, and a Jamaican food truck will be there offering foods that compliment the day’s musical fare, as more DJs spin their best on the DJ stage.
After the first day of the festival closes June 30, and after-hours party will be held at the Deltan Club (733 Commerce St.) to which the public is invited. Enjoy drink specials and five DJs on the main floor from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. – and no cover charge. More UAF fundraisers will be held throughout the year. Keep up with all that’s going on with UAF by choosing “Like” on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/urbanartfestivaltacoma.