Frequently Asked Questions
- Why does this event have a different name and location?
Due to the pandemic, the former event company that owned The Taste of Tacoma, Festivals Inc., could no longer financially support the event. The Washington State Fair stepped in and purchased The Taste of Tacoma, in order for the longtime tradition to continue. By providing a new home and adapting the brand to The Taste Northwest, we are able to showcase many of the same vendors who participated in Tacoma for years, and add even more food and entertainment that will be unique to our venue. While Point Defiance Park was a beautiful setting for The Taste, The Washington State Fair Events Center is the largest of its kind in the state and is able to provide many additional amenities to vendors and guests, including ample parking and room to grow as the event evolves in the future.
- Will The Taste Northwest be free admission?
Yes, admission is free.
- Will there be parking available?
Yes, parking will be available for purchase in our Blue and Gold Lots (overflow parking will be available if needed). There is limited free and/or paid parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
- Will you partner with Pierce Transit from various malls in the county, as you’ve done in the past during the Washington State Fair?
At this time we are not, but should that change we provide an update.
- Will this event be held on the entire fairgrounds?
No, it will take place on the east side of the grounds, with entry at the Gold and Blue Gates.
- Will there be bag checks at the gates?
Yes, please be prepared for bag checks.
- Will there be wheelchair and/or scooter rentals be available?
We are working on possibly securing a vendor for rentals. We will update if/when this is confirmed.
- Is this similar to prior Fair Food-To-Go events?
No, this event is completely different than any prior Fair-produced event. We want our guests to feel the nostalgia of the prior Taste of Tacoma, with some Fair-style whimsical delights sprinkled in.
- Is this similar to the State or Spring Fair?
No, this event is completely different than any other Fair-produced event. The majority of The Taste will feature different food and commercial vendors. Activities are brand new to this event. A few Fair food and commercial vendors will be participants.
- Will dogs be allowed as they were at Pt. Defiance Park?
No, the policies for only service dogs being allowed at all our events remains in place for The Taste NW.
- Will outside food and drink be allowed?
Sealed non-alcohol beverages will be allowed, but no outside food will be allowed. No open containers will be allowed.
- Does anything need to purchased ahead of time?
No, but special experience package deals are available for pre-event purchase. Learn more >
- Will there be sample food taste prices?
Most food vendors will offer sample tastes for $5.
- Can the experience packages be purchased on-site?
No, these are special pre-event opportunities for these great deals. But any item within the experience package will be available to buy individually on-site.
- The experience packages include “Food Bucks” are those required at this event?
No, regular forms of payment will be accepted. The Food Bucks are only used in lieu of cash if you purchase an experience package.
- Will tequila tasting be available at all bars?
No, tequila tasting will be available only at the Mainstage bar.
- How much will it cost to do tequila tasting?
Each tasting will be $20 and includes a (.5 ounce each) flight of four.
- Can kids go into any of the alcohol areas?
No, but Pioneer Pub has a beer garden that overlooks the Jump Zone.
- Is this an all ages event?
Absolutely! Bring the kids, the grandparents, the friends, everyone!
- Will there be shopping available?
Yes! There will be lots of specialty shopping options.
- What activities are in The Square?
The Square, which is inside Mattress Firm ShowPlex, will have several activities:
- Retro Roller Rink
- Axe Throwing (ages 16 + with parent/guardian signature)
- Super Slide
- Jump Zone
- Do I need to pay for activities in The Square ahead of time?
Nope! The activities can be paid for with Fun Card tickets in-person inside Mattress Firm ShowPlex, once you arrive.
- How much are the Fun Cards?
You can load them with any amount of tickets you choose. Each ticket costs $2.
- How many tickets is it for each activity?
Super Slide = 2 tickets
Axe Throwing = 6 tickets
Roller Rink = 6 tickets
Jump Zone = 6 tickets
- Do The Square activities only take the Fun Card or can I just make direct payment for each?
You must purchase Fun Cards in order to do the activities. No direct payment will be available.
- Are there special requirements for the Super Slide and Jump Zone activities?
Guests must be ages 2+ for the Super Slide. No height/weight restrictions. Each Jump Zone activity will have a sign near it showing any safety requirements (i.e. age, height, weight).
- Is there face painting available at this event?
Yes! A limited selection of face painting is included in the six-ticket cost ($12) to participate in the Jump Zone. Custom designs are available for six additional tickets ($12).
- Can I bring my own skates, or are rentals available?
Either! We will have skate rentals and you’re welcome to bring your own.
- Is roller skating located indoors or outdoors?
Indoors, inside Mattress Firm ShowPlex.
- Do I have to pay to enjoy the live music performances?
Nope! This is part of the free experience.
- Where can I find schedules of all the activities and entertainment?
We will continue to update our website as we get closer the event. You’re also encouraged to follow us on social media and subscribe to our free E-Club to receive emails with all the latest happenings at our event center
- What should I do if I’m interested in being a vendor?
Contact Vendor Services: https://www.thefair.com/get-involved/vendor-info/
Brew Park Stage
Presented by Fred Meyer
Enjoy live music inside Brew Park for those 21 and older.
The Main Stage
Check out live music by great bands FREE to all event attendees.
Retro Roller Rink
Get down at the Retro Roller Rink.
How are your axe throwing skills? Give it a try at The Taste NW!
The Taste Cooks!
Presented by Albert Lee Appliance
Watch local chefs showcase their skills and compete in mystery ingredient cook-offs!