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Beer and Blues festival

Tacoma's block party of the summer

Washington state craft beer, live blues music, great food trucks, all in a community celebration. Photo credit: Elizabeth Morrow

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The most cleverly-named beer festival in the South Sound is right around the corner. Brew Five Three is Tacoma's beer and blues festival, and in its 3rd year, is well on its way to becoming tradition.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, from 1-8 p.m., Broadway, between 9th and 11th, will turn into a block party for those 21 and older, with live blues entertainment, food trucks, and of course, beer.

More than thirty breweries will be represented, including T-town favorites like Odd Otter, Pacific and Wingman Brewing companies. Breweries from across the state are also joining; Spokane's No-Li Brewing, Seattle Cider, and Lacey's Top Rung Brewing are just a few more getting in on the action.

"I love blues music, and when you add great Pacific Northwest craft beer, what could be better?" asks Mike Besser, Top Rung's beer ambassador and blogger at Brewdad.com. "Oh, and add some great food, and it's all for a good cause - Broadway Center."

The music line-up for the event features four different acts including Duffy Bishop, a powerful blues and soul singer. Bishop currently stars as Madame ZinZanni with Teatro ZinZanni in Seattle.

Market Street Dixieland Jazz Band brings New Orleans style Jazz, Ragtime, Stomps, and Blues at its best - representing the Southern music of the 1900s to 1930s.

Dean Reichert Band is described as "blues fusion," with a varied sound that reflects the influences of his wide-ranging collaborators.

And former "Best Blues Harmonica" winner and member of the Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame, Paul Green Blues Band, plays a hard-riding blues, R&B and funk style.

Broadway Center for the Performing Arts is proud to be hosting the event, and Lacey Wright, associate executive director, says Brew Five Three is downtown Tacoma's "block party of the summer" because it combines so many elements that make our Northwest summers memorable: Washington state craft beer, live blues music, great food trucks, all in a community celebration.

Below, she shares a few tips for festival goers.

For the music; Plan to sit on the lawn and enjoy the music, you can bring a low-profile lawn chair or a blanket, and remember to bring plenty of sunscreen.

For craft beer enthusiasts: Check out the list of brewers at BroadwayCenter.org in advance, so you don't miss a stop at your favorite booth.

New this year: Introducing the People's Choice Award for 2015. All paid admission will have a chance to cast their vote for their favorite brewer.

Dog friendly: Be sure to bring your well-mannered pup on a leash; there will be fresh water available for furry friends.

"Above all," reminds Wright, "enjoy the Brew Five Three experience and make sure you have a plan for getting home safely."

Admission is $30, military admission is $25. Includes pint glass and six sampling tokens. Designated Drivers admission is $10.

Brew Five Three, Saturday, Aug. 8, 1-8 p.m., Broadway, downtown Tacoma

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