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June 27, 2014 at 7:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Taste of Tacoma, Pride Film Festival, Downtown Music Crawl, Experimental Music Fest ...

Taste Cooks and funny hats return to the Taste of Tacoma today through Sunday at Point Defiance Park. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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FRIDAY, JUNE 27 2014 >>>

1. It would be hard to determine what Tacoma tastes like. For starters, where would one sample the soil most indicative of the City of Destiny? Commerce Street? Or would the most-telling turf be found at higher elevations such as Hilltop? And what would that flavor be like? You can be sure the topsoil would smack of scandal - but it would probably also taste a bit like Pacific Brewing Co. Deeper down, there would be traces of salty prospector tang. Then, there'd be all that fossilized dinosaur crap to contend with. When you think about it, Tacoma would probably taste pretty disgusting. Fortunately, the good people at Taste of Tacoma do the thinking for us, presenting a more palatable annual survey of the city's best cuisine from 11 a.m. today through at 8 p.m. Sunday at Point Defiance Park. The Taste of Tacoma hosts 29 restaurants, 17 food product booths, six entertainment stages, comedy club, beer and wine gardens, wine tasting, carnival, more than 50 hand-crafted artisan booths, the poplar culinary demonstration stage and more.

2. Early summer in the South Sound means changing warmer weather, adding a boa and checking out the pride festivals. In conjunction with Olympia Capital City Pride event last weekend, the Olympia Film Society presents the 2014 Pride Film Festival, opening today at the Capitol Theater. At 6:30 p.m. PAS and To Be Takei will screen as well as other festivities.

3. Tonight will see round two of the confluence between small businesses and indie music performances in a moment of synergy that won't rub you the wrong way. Dubbed the Downtown Music Crawl, the event will feature three downtown businesses showcasing three brief, consecutive concerts. Starting with the Wheelies at 6:30 p.m. in Bleach, moving on to Novel Nature at urbanXchange, and ending at 9 p.m. with The Cloves in Anthem, the event is designed to reward those who do the crawl and hit all three stores. If you attend all three concerts, you'll receive 15 percent off at each store.

4. Olympia has maintained its status as a hub of musical experimentation. It should come as no surprise that they hold the premier South Sound festival for exploring the farther reaches of musical expression. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival and, as much as the music remains an intangible wonder, the festival itself remains comfortably in the same niche that it established for itself two decades ago. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the Olympia Experimental Music Festival in the Music & Culture section, then catch Elliott Sharp, Peter Randlette, Dead Air Fresheners, KnotPineBox, J.D. Helwig and Big Tom the Lithuanian at Northern.

5. Sometimes, with this arms race of who can nail the heaviest stoner rock to the wall, things can get muddy in a way that interferes with the visceral thrill promised by these tectonic riffs. Gladiators Eat Fire bring it with the massive sound, but they have smarts enough to parcel things out in more digestible bites. At their heaviest, they even approach some demonic heavy metal, but they always back off before they totally blow their wad. Catch the band with Death By Stars and the Lion in Winter at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, June 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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