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September 16, 2014 at 2:03pm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord battalions to participate in the Great American Picnic in Puyallup

Friendly rivalry is alive and well in the South Sound and next week, it'll ramp up in Puyallup.

"We are very excited to be hosting the 2nd Annual Great American Picnic this year," said Sarah Harris, Puyallup Parks & Recreation director.

The picnic, which will occur Sept. 27, is a joint effort between the city of Puyallup and the city of Sumner when they also partner with the 504th Military Police Battalion and 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Attendance will be divided by city of residence and military affiliation so that two teams will face off in flag football, softball, basketball and volleyball, as well as a tug-of-war. Puyallup residents and members of the 504th MP BN should wear a black T-shirt, while Sumner residents and members of the 13th CCSB should wear a white T-shirt. 

"We have asked city staff and members of the community to come out and play or cheer on the city of Puyallup and city of Sumner teams in order to support the troops and help welcome them into the community," stated Harris.

The afternoon will also have field games, from sack races to a water balloon toss, and even a delicious scone eating content. Food and drink will be available for purchase but everyone is also welcome to bring their own picnic lunches.

Pre-registration is recommended for each event and should be completed by Sept. 19. Residents can compete in multiple events. Puyallup residents can register at http://tinyurl.com/pk79tks and Sumner residents can register at www.ci.sumner.wa.us.   

The Great American Picnic will kick off at noon at the Puyallup Valley Sports Complex, 808 Valley Ave. NW. For inclement weather updates, call 253.841.5519 after 8 a.m. the day of the event. For more information, call the Puyallup Recreation Center at 253.841.5457.

August 18, 2014 at 8:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Footgolf, indie film discussion, Velocity, Scattered Light ...

Footgolf can be played in approximately 90 minutes. Photo courtesy of prweb.com

MONDAY, AUG. 18 2014 >>>

1. Golf is an infuriating sport, that's why we have switched to FootGolf - a golf-style game that's not a sequel to the derp-filled fest that was the movie BASEketball. In the vein of disc golf, it replaces the tiny white ball and bag of expensive clubs with a soccer ball and our good kicking leg. Meadow Park Golf Course on the edge of Lakewood has an 18-hole FootGolf course with tee boxes, green bunkers, hazards and 21-inch diameter cups. The game scores just like a regular round of golf on stroke play and each full kick counts as one swing. Putting works the same way except our leg has to make a full motion no matter how close it is to the hole. Basically, if you can kick a golf ball in a fit of spittle-filled rage, you can easily pick up FootGolf.

2. Today is the last day the Olympic Flight Museum hosts the B-25 "Maid In The Shade" airplane. The B-25 Mitchell was made famous by the Doolittle Raiders, when 16 of these medium bombers took off the deck of the USS Hornet and bombed Tokyo just four months after Pearl Harbor. The B-25 served in both theaters of war in many roles from bomber to transport. After the war, it continued service best known for its role as a fire bomber.  The aircraft will be on display for the public, offering cockpit tours and ride, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The Grand Cinema has been taking advantage of the simultaneously obvious and genius concept of taking Filmmaker Magazine's yearly list and turning it into a film festival celebrating rising talent. Actors, writers, directors, animators and other facets of filmmaking are honored by the magazine, and then in turn are celebrated during the five-day festival at The Grand Cinema. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the 25 New Faces in Independent Film in the music and Culture section, then catch today's films, including a 6 p.m. roundtable indie film discussion with several filmmakers.

4. Saxophonist Cliff Colon, keyboardist Peter Adams, bassist Rob Hutchinson and drummer Brian Smith are known as Velocity, a jazz fusion and Latin funk band that will bring it at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

5. Saxophonist John Croarkin's group, Scattered Light, returns the Rhythm and Rye club with more refracted sounds and musical sun salutations at 8 p.m. The quintet, plus vocalist LaVon Hardison and Olympia's tenor saxophonist Chuck Stentz , will be exploring a wide range of contemporary Brazilian grooves from composers such as Joyce Moreno, Dori Caymmi, Hermeto Pascoal, A.C. Jobim, Clare Fischer, Roland Kirk, Pixinguinha and Egberto Gismonti.

LINK: Monday, Aug. 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 17, 2014 at 8:29am

5 Things To Do Today: Classy Chassis Car Show, indie films, Dayclub, St. Practice Day ...

Sumner will celebrate timeless automobiles today. Photo courtesy of sumnerdowntown.com

SUNDAY, AUG. 17 2014 >>>

1. Head to downtown Sumner for its 15th annual Classy Chassis car, rod and truck show from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It's the best place to scope out new and old muscle cars, or show off your own. Expect a "used car lot" this year as well as a "junk yard" sale location where you can find car parts for your classic cars. Wally and the Beaves will rock the block.

2. Since 2010, The Grand Cinema has been taking advantage of the simultaneously obvious and genius concept of taking Filmmaker Magazine's yearly list and turning it into a film festival celebrating rising talent. Actors, writers, directors, animators and other facets of filmmaking are honored by the magazine, and then in turn are celebrated during the five-day festival at The Grand Cinema. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the 25 New Faces in Independent Film in the music and Culture section, then catch Manos Sucias, a collection of shorts, Afronauts and Pauline Alone beginning at 2 p.m. 

3. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watching condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and guest DJs B-Boy Peanut, Blueyedsoul and PhoSho spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

4. Gabe Dixon has recently been diagnosed with a cancer. His sister is throwing a rockin' benefit show featuring Mr. Von, Speakerbox, Vividal and Ayron Jones and The Way from 3-7 p.m. at Jazzbones. There will be raffles and a silent auction for Seahawks tickets, custom built guitar and more. The all-ages show has a suggested $10 cover.  

5. St. Patrick's Day celebrations aren't easy. You must practice to prepare yourself for the zaniness that goes down every March 17. Doyle's Public House knows this. That's why they host monthly St. Practice Day parties, of which happens again Sunday. The party begins with Doyle's Guinness Club toast at 5:17 p.m. All the members gather before Grand Poobah Russ Heaton, who recognizes members who have hit milestones, such as 500 pints of Guinness, while the other members tear up. After the announcement, Heaton raises a glass of the Irish Mother's Milk and toasts the members. At 7 p.m., musical genius Ethan Tucker gives everyone another reason to raise a glass.

LINK: Sunday, Aug. 17 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 12, 2014 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Old Town R&B Festival, Lakewood Summerfest, Out in the Park, World Cup Finale Party ...

Steve Stefanowicz will kick-off the Tacoma Old Town Rhythm and Blues Festival free park shows with a bang at noon, Saturday, July 12. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY, JULY 12 2013 >>>

1. The Tacoma Old Town Rhythm and Blues Festival will add more rhythm to the annual beloved blues festival. From 9:30 a.m. to midnight you'll find the festival back for the pancake breakfast at the Slavonian Hall, free all-day outdoor music stage (with beer garden) in Old Town Park and night headlining shows. Here's the Tacoma Old Town Rhythm and Blues Festival schedule.

2. Love Rhubarb? Sumner hosts Rhubarb Days from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. loaded with a pancake breakfast, kids' games in Heritage Park, tractor display, petting zoo, pie-eating contest, entertainment and more rhubarb than you have seen in your life. There will also be a community bake-off at 11 a.m. Here's the Sumner Rhubarb Day's schedule.

3. Free stuff is good. Better yet, let's talk about free stuff for the entire family - Lakewood Summerfest 2014 at Fort Steilacoom Park. Tons of food, craft and nonprofit vendors will be on hand. (Read: more glass jewelry, organic food petitioners, and meat on a stick than your mom could ever dream of.) If you don't feel like indulging in drippy foods and knitted caps, then there's also going to be pain on triathletes faces to watch, Army Strong vehicles, a kids zone, and an outdoor cinema featuring Jurassic Park. Sound good? We're not done. There's also our favorite part of any event - the live entertainment! Expect country, blues, New Wave, Southern rock and more. And remember: Minus the angioplasty you're going to need after all the funnel cakes, most of it is free. Here's the Lakewood SummerFest schedule.

4. Tacoma's annual, awesome LGBTQ Pride celebration, Out in the Park, will be fabulous from noon to 5 p.m. on Broadway between Ninth and 11th streets. Afterward, until 4 a.m., The Mix throws one helluva block party. Here's the full Tacoma Pride week schedule.

5. After throwing the largest and longest World Cup party in the, er, world, Doyle's Public House will party even more hosting a world Cup Finale Party with The Staxx Brothers and Mighty High at 8 p.m.

LINK: Saturday, July 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 29, 2014 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: Bike Month, Sumner history, tacos and jazz, choir concert and more ...

Ride your bike to the Harmon Tap Room tonight.

TUESDAY, APRIL 29 2014 >>>

1. Thursday marks the beginning of National Bike Month. In Tacoma and Pierce County, employees are encouraged to do lots of bike stuff, and ride their bicycles to work.  According to commute co-op Pierce Trips, if you live within five miles of your workplace, biking may not be as hard as you think. With gas hitting $3.75 a gallon, we thinks Bike to Work Month is gonna be crackin' this year. Planning to organize a Tacoma-Pierce County Bike Commuter Challenge Team? Enjoy food and drink specials while picking up special Captain's Packet with Bike Month incentives to help you and your team get in gear from 5-7 p.m. at the Harmon Tap Room.

2. Sure, you know about cow-tipping and daffodils ... but what do you really know about Sumner? Carmen Palmer and Paul Rogerson will share the histories and stories of Sumner at 6 p.m. in the Sumner Pierce County Library. They will discuss their book, Sumner, a new volume in the award-winning local history series, Images of America.

3. "Now Wally, I want you to go in the living room and pick up those orange peels that you left on the coffee table. If your father comes home and sees them he'll be in a terrible mood all through dinner and won't let you and The Beaves rock the Red Wind Casino at 6:30 p.m." - June Cleaver

4. Not that anyone needs another excuse to eat tacos, but Southbay Dickerson's BBQ in Olympia has declared Tuesday the day of the taco. And while barbecue and tacos may not sound harmonious on the surface, the principle behind "low and slow" cooking crosses any border. These hybrid tacos come with slow-cooked pork shoulder or smoked chicken for $1.50 a piece. To take Taco Tuesday to the next level, Southbay invites the Don Cohen Jazz Quartet to fill its Pig Bar with jazz at 8 p.m. Five dollar margaritas just make the night crazy delicious.

5. Pacific Lutheran University Singers and Men's Chorus under the direction of Brian Galante and Nathan Frank perform at 8 p.m. in Lagerquist Concert Hall.

LINK: Tuesday, April 29 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 6, 2014 at 10:21am

Eat This Now: Seaside Crab Cake Benedict

Cafe Bellis in Sumner knows how to make a Benedict. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Downtown Sumner's retail and antique stores align in a row, providing a lovely stroll. Snuggled in the row, Cafe Bellis boasts a charming small town vibe that fits. It's an intimate interior - with the server station on full display in the tiny dining area, which is nice because the gals on staff are uber friendly and conversational.

What really had me popping in was the breakfast. Cafe Bellis' "We serve breakfast all day" motto holds the key to my heart. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.


Filed under: Food & Drink, Sumner,

December 18, 2013 at 7:12am

5 Things To Do Today: Celebrate Las Posadas, Taxi Driver, Uke Christmas, bluegrass and more ...

Hang out with Mexicans tonight in Sumner.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18 2013 >>>

1. Take a mini vacation south of the border today. Preposterous? Not at the Sumner Pierce County Library. It's an indoor Mexican Christmas complete with traditional Mexican rituals, food and entertainment at 6 p.m. In Mexico, the Christmas season begins Dec. 16 with las posadas, a series of nine nightly processions that recreate Mary and Joseph's pilgrimage to Bethlehem and their search for shelter for themselves and the baby Jesus. The pilgrims stop at homes requesting lodging and after the rituals are performed, they are welcomed with food and drink, music and the breaking of a piñata. The traditional foods are tamales, pan dulces (sweet breads), ponche de posada (holiday punch) and hot chocolate. 

2. Olympia Aloha Ukulele Pu'ukani is a group of ukulele players who share the love of Hawaiian, hapa haole and Americana music. At 7:30 p.m. the uke group will perform its Christmas concert featuring traditional holiday songs with an aloha twist at the Olympia Timberland Library. Hear about Santa in a red canoe, Christmas luaus, rock around the Christmas tree and then uke around da' Christmas tree with a Mele Kalikimaka sing-along. 

3. OK, while the winter solstice technically is the shortest day of the year, and nighttime falls at a ridiculously early hour, for some, the solstice means getting their party on and celebrating. In the Appalachia region, winter solstice means breaking out the instruments, sweet treats and excellent libations in a festival of dancing, music and storytelling. So why can't the South Puget Sound enjoy the same, right? Ah, but we can. The Puget Sound Revels performance brings traditions, energy and spirit in an electric, inspirational performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

4. Tacoma jazz band Taxi Driver will perform jazz standards and holiday music at 7:30 p.m. in Hilltop Kitchen.

5. The Barleywine Revue will fill The Swiss with bluegrass beginning at 8 p.m.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Wednesday, Dec. 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 11, 2013 at 12:12pm

2013 AMOCAT Arts Awards winners named

The City of Tacoma has just released the three winners of this year's AMOCAT Arts Awards. Here's the press release:

The Tacoma Arts Commission has announced this year's AMOCAT Arts Award winners: Erivan and Helga Haub and family (Arts Patron), Puget Sound Book Artists (Community Outreach by an Organization) and David Domkoski (Community Outreach by an Individual). The AMOCAT Arts Awards honor those who provide distinctive contributions to the arts in Tacoma.

Filed under: Arts, Community, Sumner,

June 11, 2013 at 9:49am

The Mouth: Ice Cream Speakeasy, Squeak & Squawk, clothing of the future and more ...

Rev. Adam McKinney not only co-produces Tacoma's Squeak & Squawk indie music festival, he performs in it. Photo courtesy of Kickstarter.


Maxwell's Speakeasy & Lounge now serves locally made Ice Cream Social with flavors such as old fashioned vanilla, chocolate toasted coconut, salted caramel and a grilled peach sorbet.

Only five days remain to fund Tacoma's indie music festival Squeak & Squawk on Kicksquawker.

You better hurry. The 14 loaned sculptures on exhibition this past year along Percival Landing are coming down this week. A new set of sculpture will be installed on Percival Landing the week of July 8, 2013. 

The TNT Diner reports the Olive Branch Cafe is moving to downtown Tacoma.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH? Ghostbusters' documentary.

LIST: 100 songs - one song from each of the last 100 years.

FINALLY: Star Wars characters recreate historical images.

We can't speak for the rest of you, but Walkie Talkie is turning things around beginning tomorrowland.

March 12, 2013 at 8:18am

Like a kid in two local candy stores

CIARRAI JEANNE CONFECTIONS: The store's caramels melt in your mouth. Photo credit: Adrienne Kuehl


It's hard to improve upon something as beloved as candy, but two local candy shops are proving there's more to it than just being sweet.

Downtown Sumner is now home to Ciarrai Jeanne Confections, an old fashioned candy store that opened at the end of January selling family-made confections, as well as other locally made treats. Owners Karen Kralovic and Kerry Langel are a mother/daughter team carrying on the candy making traditions of Kralovic's Great Aunt Sophia, whose 60-year-old soft peanut brittle recipe called "bruttle" ($7.95/8 oz.) is made in Spokane and sold at the shop, along with homemade fudge ($2.95), caramels ($1/each) and chocolate barks ($4.75). Both the caramels and peanut brittle are unique takes on the traditional. "The soft, buttery caramels melt in your mouth, and the brittle retains its original flavor without being overly hard and crunchy," says Langel. "We wanted to keep the candy as local as possible," she says. With Sumner-made Madyson's Marshmallows and Killian Korn from Othello, they are doing just that.

With the phrase "If you're buying it, then you understand it", owner Ellen Laguatan of OCD Candy Company is doing things a little differently. Customers love the fun concept, as OCD grew out of their Sanford and Sons location, and moved to larger St. Helens Ave Mercantile. Find meticulously packaged gummy bears in rainbow order ($5.25/full pack) and perfectly placed color-coded coated chocolates ($4.95/180 count), as well as hard to find nostalgic candies. "People that come in are happy and curious," says Laguatan. "I really enjoy how excited people get when they see an old, favorite candy in the nostalgia section or come across the OCD Candy and think it's an awesome idea."

From traditional to quirky and locally made to hard to find, these South Sound confectionaries have you covered.



Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma, Sumner,

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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