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October 20

Celebrate Eastside: Grand Opening of Eastside Community Center

Saturday, October 20 (10:00am)

We imagined it. Now let’s celebrate it!

Eastside Community Center is opening and we're throwing a giant party!

The event begins with a 10:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting by Eastside residents, followed by an opening ceremony featuring music and keynote speaker Victoria Woodards, mayor of the City of Tacoma.

Immediately following the ceremony, the center will come alive with hands-on, free activities. Highlights include the dedication of a time capsule and a host of performers.

Event schedule:

  • 10 am Eastside Families Parade
  • 10:30 am Ribbon cutting and opening ceremony at the front door of the new Eastside Community Center.
  • After the Ribbon Cutting: Performances including Obe Quarless, Panchanga Alert! and DJ Don Gee, hands-on beat mixing and audio recording – plus food (including CAKE), free swimming, art experiences, fun fitness demos, hoops contests in the gym, a time capsule dedication and more!
  • 2:30 - 5:30 pm Stay & play!
  • 6 - 8 pm Free movie (Howl's Moving Castle, rated PG) and open gym
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Parking at the event:

Parking is limited on the Eastside Community Center Campus.

Participants are encouraged to park in the areas shown on the map below with a "P" and ride a free shuttle to the event. You are also encouraged to carpool, walk, bike, or take the bus.

  • 10 am: Shuttle service begins
  • 2:30 pm: Shuttle service ends

Shuttles will run throughout the day (10 am- 2:30 pm) between each of these parking lots and Eastside Community Center.

A white tent at  each parking site will indicate the pick-up and drop off location.

Park and ride the free shuttle from these parking lots:

  • Champions Centre, 1819 East 72nd St.
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 Portland Ave.
  • Salishan Family Investment Center, 1724 E. 44th St.
  • Portland Avenue Community Center, 3513 E. Portland Ave

Free swimming

A major feature of the new center is its 318,000-gallon  indoor pool, with a water slide, climbing wall, “Aqua Zip’ N” (a cross between a rope swing and zip line), vortex, log roll, and hot tub. The pool will be open for free beginning at noon, but swimmers should sign up online in advance because space is limited. Later in the day, races with inflatable floaties will get underway.


Metro Parks is bringing in a giant cake in Eastside Community Center colors to celebrate the new center. We’ll cut the first slice right after the opening ceremony. We’re also have food representing some of the cultures of Eastside Tacoma, all for free.

Music Highlights Include:

  • Stephanie Anne Johnson, an award-winning singer and songwriter from Tacoma, and past finalist on NBC’s The Voice
  • Obe Quarless, a steel pan virtuoso whose specialties are soca, calypso and reggae
  • Pachanga Alert!, presenting blends of music from Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia
  • Ballet Folklorico de First Creek Middle School presenting regional dances of Mexico
  • Vision Step Team, performing traditional step dance arrangements
  • The League, from the Iconic Arts Complex, doing hip hop
  • The Movement, showcasing young rappers and singers
  • Hearts for Kids, performing traditional and modern dancing from the Pacific Islands
Fun for Kids, Fun for Adults
  • Try MixxedFit or SHRED
  • Try ballet or hip hop
  • Make your own Eastside-themed T-shirt
  • Paint
  • Shoot hoops in the gym (see below for hoops contest registration)
  • Senior activities including a calligraphy demo and a salsa dance demo.
Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, which is operating the center with Metro Parks, will open up a teen room with video games, table games, bracelet-making and more.
Outside, the athletic field at First Creek Middle School will be the site of a soccer clinic by the RAVE Foundation, the charitable arm of Seattle Sounders FC.


We’ll have tours of the building running throughout the day.


Did you know the new center has an indoor slide from the top floor to the bottom?
What is that two-story wall of mirrors about?
What’s the plan for the recording studio?
And what special animal will visit from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium?

Fun into the afternoon, the evening, and the next day

Around 2 p.m., the center will be open for guests to stay and play free of charge for the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Eastside Community Center staff will present a free indoor movie in the social hall, while the gym will open up for basketball.

If you go:

  • What: #CelebrateEastside: the opening of Eastside Community Center
  • Where: Eastside Community Center, 1721 E. 56th St., on the campus of First Creek Middle School
  • When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
  • Parking: Parking on-site is limited, so guests are encouraged to use a free park-and-ride shuttle service from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from four locations. See parking map details.
  • Cost: Free
  • Swimming: The pool will be open for free beginning at noon, but swimmers are encouraged to sign up online to ensure they have a spot.
  • Website: Eastside Community Center
  • Facebook: Celebrate Eastside

This project was made possible by a partnership between Metro Parks Tacoma, the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Schools, Tacoma Housing Authority, the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, the Greater Metro Parks Foundation and the Billy Ray Shirley III Foundation.


Sponsored by:






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This is a certified "Green Excellence" event. We recommend that participants use sustainable transportation options to arrive at the Opening Celebration (walk, carpool, bicycle or ride transit).
Thank you to the City of Tacoma Environmental Services for providing recycling and other support.