TACOMA, Wash. — A new event is coming to Tacoma on Saturday, including a major fireworks show to light up the night sky along Ruston Way.
The free, outdoor event, called Summer Blast, is a day of live music, food, entertainment and craft vendors from noon to 9 p.m. at Dune Peninsula and Point Ruston hosted by Metro Parks Tacoma in partnership with the city of Tacoma.
More than 70 vendors from the Tacoma Night Market are signed up to attend. Live music from DJ ZETA and tribute bands Barracuda, Wasted on the Way, Petty Fever and KALIMBA will play throughout the day. The fireworks show starts at 9 p.m. and is about 20 minutes long.
“We really wanted to give the community an end-of-summer celebration,” said Sophia McKee, spokesperson for Metro Parks.
The city of Tacoma also had a stockpile of fireworks ready to go, which it couldn’t use for its annual July 4 show. The event was canceled in 2020 and again in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public officials also worried about the risk fireworks posed following an unheard-of heatwave that struck Western Washington only days prior to July 4, with temperatures reaching triple digits.
This event is a good opportunity to use the fireworks the city has on hand, according to McKee.
This year, crews are setting off the fireworks display on a barge in Commencement Bay, some 3,000 feet from Cummings Park. The distance not only reduces risk of any sparks hitting the shore, but it also provides a better view from parks all along Ruston Way, McKee said.
Event coordinators also say they’re taking precautions against COVID-19. All vendors, staff and volunteers are required to wear masks, and masks are recommended for guests. Masks will be available on-site for guests at the event.
Currently, state guidelines say people must wear masks outdoors when there is not enough room to stay 6 feet apart from others. Circles will be drawn 6 feet apart on the grass near the stage for people listening to the concert.
McKee said Metro Parks has been in frequent communication with Dr. Anthony Chen, director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. The department is also supplying 250 take-home COVID-19 test kits to be handed out at the event to those who are interested.
“We are pleased to offer the community a full day of entertainment and fun in a safe, outdoor setting at Dune Peninsula,” said Erik Hanberg, president of the Board of Park Commissioners. “Parks have played a key role in our community’s health throughout the pandemic, and we’re pleased to partner with the City, Point Ruston, and the Tacoma Night Market to cap off the summer with this event.”
Ruston Way will remain open to vehicle traffic during the event. Visitors should expect congestion in the parking lots near the boat launch and Pearl Street entrance.
ABOUT THE EVENT
What: Summer Blast at Dune Peninsula
When: noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4. Fireworks show starts at 9 p.m.
Where: Point Ruston, along Ruston Way in Tacoma, and Dune Peninsula Park, Dune Peninsula, 5361 Yacht Club Road.
Parking and travel: The parking lot at Dune Peninsula will be closed the day of the event, but other parking lots surrounding the park will be open. Pierce Transit has extended its bus service the day of the event, with additional run times. For more information, visit metroparkstacoma.org/event/summerblast.
This story was originally published by The News Tribune.
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