Arts, Science and Water Fun – Tacoma Ocean Fest returns!

Celebrate, learn and get inspired to protect the ocean at this free festival 10am – 5pm, Sunday, June 7, 2020

Tacoma Ocean Fest returns for the third year with even more arts, science, and water fun to help everyone celebrate the ocean, learn about its threats, and get inspired to protect it.

This year the free festival runs 10am-5pm on Sunday, June 7, 2020, with returning favorites and brand-new experiences for all ages to celebrate World Oceans Day weekend. Tacoma Ocean Fest is an official Orca Month event.

Local and national artists, musicians, dancers, youth poets, and even an aerialist combine with food trucks, face painting and more to highlight the beauty and fragility of the ocean and its creatures.

“Ocean Fest is completely unique in Tacoma,” says director and founder Rosemary Ponnekanti. “The goal is to make people think differently about the ocean, and to care enough about it to change what they do. It could be as simple as giving up plastic straws, or driving less. The ocean needs our help – and it will take all of us. That’s what Ocean Fest is about – inspiring our imagination through the arts, informing us through science, and showing us how to take action. And just having fun!”

Ocean Actions: To help festival-goers commit to helping the ocean, they’ll get pledge cards printed with “Ocean Actions” – from cleaning up a beach to choosing clean energy – which are explained at booths and exhibits. Turned-in pledges will go in multiple draws for prizes.

Parking is limited on the waterfront, and festival-goers are encouraged to bike, walk, scooter, take transit or paddle into the festival, which saw over 1,300 attendees last year. Those who do are eligible for giveaways (while supplies last).

Ocean Fest is a City of Tacoma Green Event, and aims to create little to zero waste. Please bring a reusable water bottle to fill at the stations.

Tacoma Ocean Fest is supported by a City of Tacoma Arts Projects grant and grants from the Bamford Foundation, Arts Washington and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, plus support from Metro Parks Tacoma. The Foss Waterway Seaport is the venue sponsor. Tacoma Sunrise Rotary is the lead sponsor of the Youth Ocean Story Contest, with prizes donated by The Grand Cinema, Round Table Pizza and Tacoma Youth Marine Center, and generous help from Rotary 8, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Public Schools, Tacoma Public Library, Waka Waka Studios, Oculus, Tacoma Rotary South, Rotary Passport Club of Pierce County and the Washington Environmental Council. Tacoma Ocean Fest is an official Orca Month event.

Beach Cleanup: 1-3pm Saturday, June 6 – location TBD

Festival: 10am-5pm Sunday, June 7 at Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock St., Tacoma

Cost: Free

Media contact: Rosemary Ponnekanti, director.



Parking is very limited, with free street parking or pay lots along Dock Street. We urge you to help the ocean and get there by bus, bike, carpool or paddle!

Map: How to Get to Ocean Fest Without Driving –

Bus: (Red, Blue, Purple lines)

  • Get off at the Commerce St transit center, walk along 11th St to the Murray Morgan Bridge, take the elevator down and walk five minutes north along Dock St.
  • Or walk north along Pacific Avenue/Shuster Parkway and turn right over the 4th St overpass, then walk another five minutes along Dock St.
  • Or from UWT walk over the Bridge of Glass and north 10 blocks along Dock St.
  • Bus Schedules here.

Bike: (Green line) Ride your own (info here) or take transit to the Tacoma Dome station and pick up a Lime Bike to ride along D St and Dock St!

Paddle: (Blue area) We’ll give special shout-outs and giveaways to folks who paddle in! Tie up at the Foss Seaport dock south end.

Carpool: Save gas and the ocean. And save yourself a parking hassle.