Stroll, interact in downtown Tacoma for free

Staff writerMay 10, 2013 

Take a gander at Tacoma mainstay The Swiss Restaurant & Pub during a Downtown on the Go walk Wednesday.

PETER HALEY/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, 2008

Walking is always free, but Downtown on the Go makes it more interesting with its Walk Tacoma 2013 series that continues through August.

The free guided walks give Tacomans a chance to walk around specific downtown areas, learn more about them, meet other folks and get some exercise at the same time.

The Walk Tacoma 2013 series is an eight-event walking series the first and third Wednesdays from April through August. Now in their fourth year and organized by urban living nonprofit Downtown On the Go, the walks are scheduled during lunch or after-work hours and take on a different area of town. So far, they’ve covered Wright Park, public art and the waterfront. About 70 people participated each time.

“The Walk Tacoma events are a great way to get to know your co-workers better while getting exercise at the same time,” walk participant Bruce Stirling said. “It also gives you an opportunity to meet people from other downtown businesses and learn things about the city of Tacoma that you never knew existed.”

The next walk is at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, led by architectural historian Michael Sullivan around Tacoma’s historic Brewery District.

“We’ll walk from the Swiss through the old beermaking neighborhood, stop at the Pacific Brewery, talk about the Prairie Line (and) the artesian springs ... maybe make it to the Fourth of July 1900 streetcar disaster site,” Sullivan said.

He also will talk about Tacoma’s beer wagons and blacksmiths, the Nisqually Power Station and the black-owned jazz clubs of the early 20th century.

Many of the 1- to 2-mile walks lead to a local cafe for socializing afterward, and this one appropriately ends at the Harmon Brewery and Eatery.

Here’s the schedule of free walks:

5:15 p.m. Wednesday: Brewery Walk. Begins at the top of the University of Washington Tacoma stairs at South 19th and Jefferson streets. Led by Sullivan.

Noon June 5: Immigrant History Walk. Begins at Woolworth Building at South 11th Street and Broadway. Led by Patsy Surh O’Connell of the Asia Pacific Cultural Center.

5:15 p.m. June 19: Museum Walk. Begins at the Children’s Museum, 1501 Pacific Ave. Led by Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland.

Noon July 17: Sugar Walk. Begins at Tollefson Plaza, 1700 Pacific Ave. Led by historian Ron Magden.

4:30-8 p.m. Aug. 7: Walking Scavenger Hunt. Begins at Social Bar and Grill, 1715 Dock St., Tacoma.

Or you can walk by yourself around town. Walking maps of many routes are available for free at Downtown On the Go, 950 Pacific Ave., Suite 300; at downtown businesses; or by contacting Meagan Kula, Downtown On the Go coordinator, at 253-682-1734. For more information, go to downtownonthego.org/go/walking/2013-walk-tacoma

Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568
rosemary.ponnekanti@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/arts

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