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It’s time for SummerFEST!

Lakewood hosts popular annual extravaganza

A summer classic, the 2019 Lakewood SummerFEST offers a wide variety of fun-filled attractions. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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It's summertime, which means there are great festivals to attend. One of the biggest and best in the Puget Sound region is the Lakewood SummerFEST.

Situated in the city's Fort Steilacoom Park, this summer extravaganza hosted nearly 45,000 in 2018, and it is poised to surpass that number this year.

Kicking off the festivities Saturday, July 13, will be the eighth annual Lakewood SummerFEST Triathlon. Presented by St. Clare Hospital, the race is a fun and competitive sprint event open to participants 15 years of age and older.

The triathlon begins at 9 a.m. from the shore of American Lake Park with a half-mile swim; followed by a 14-mile bike ride through the streets of Lakewood, Steilacoom and Pierce County; and ends with a 3.1-mile run in Fort Steilacoom Park.

For more information about the triathlon, visit lakewoodsummerfesttriathlon.com.

Then the show really gets on the road at 11 a.m. and continues for the next 12 hours.

The one-day exhibition features civic pride, diversity and creativity in various forms of entertainment and exhibitions sure to please everyone.

Visitors can sample delicious cuisine from over 30 food trucks and enjoy cold brews from a beer garden while watching extreme trampoline acts, stilt walkers, an aerial motocross show and roving circus acts.

If that is not enough, kids can explore the hands-on art activities, multi-sporting events and bubble soccer, and a Kids Zone with inflatables and pony rides.

Browse the classic car show, shop at over 150 unique market vendors, and listen to live music featuring Washed in Black (a Pearl Jam tribute band), The Infinity Project (a Journey tribute band), Chapter 5, and the Aphrodisiacs from the Pavilion Stage.

After the sun sets, stay for the movie, The Greatest Showman, a 105-minute musical drama starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron.

"Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, and they improve our general psychological well-being," producer and director David Binder once wrote.

"In short, they make cities better places to live."

Come, enjoy, and be a part of the Lakewood SummerFEST!

Lakewood SummerFEST, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Fort Steilacoom Park, 8714 87th Ave. SW, Lakewood, Free, cityoflakewood.us/summerfest

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