Viva Tacoma!

Girls gone wild, deck openings and other Cinco de Mayo events in the South Sound

By Jessica Corey-Butler on May 3, 2007

Once upon a time in Tacoma, Cinco de Mayo meant heading down to the local Mexican establishment and quaffing a grande margarita, on the rocks, no salt, while munching on stale tortilla chips.

By now, those stale chips may be a stale memory amid all the other, better activities to choose from.

Some of these activities have a decidedly Latin flair, others, not so much.

Here’s the rundown of five fun things to do for Cinco, with a bonus five thrown in because we care (and want to see you leave your house).

Viva Plant Exhange!

This Cinco de Mayo, you don’t have to wait until the sun goes down to start doing things.  

While not traditionally Cinco-festive, the Plant Exchange at the parking lot of Immanuel Presbyterian Church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. offers a chance to share those extra plants in your garden that you just don’t want to throw away.  Garden looking sparse? Go to Immanuel Presbyterian and pick some greenery up for free.

[Immanuel Presbyterian Church, no cover, North Ninth and J streets, Tacoma, 253.759.9348]

Viva Sun Deck!

Adding to the action on Sixth Avenue, Masa plans to heat up the dining scene (or cool it down some) with their sun deck grand opening, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, if the weather permits, at noon. Regardless of weather, Centro Latino is working with Masa to bring family-friendly activities to a tent set up in the back lot, where a live DJ will spin Latin flair.  Vicci Martinez will also show up and perform at 8 p.m., and possibly the best part of it all — it’s free.

[Masa Comida Mexicana, 2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7770]

Viva Puppets!

Don’t want to get your fingernails dirty, but looking for a family friendly activity earlier in the day?  Broadway Center for the Performing Arts offers up “Out of the Mist … A Dragon,” a Japanese story told with puppets, at the Pantages starting at 1 p.m.

[Pantages Theater, $11-$28, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5894]

Viva Bingo!

No puppets included in “The Queen of Bingo,” showing at 2 p.m. and 7:30 at the Theatre on the Square. Becky Allen and Sandy Bravender return as the chattering duo of aging, set on spending another evening at St. Joseph’s Bingo Hall. You’ll laugh your taco up.

[Theatre on the Square, $29, 910 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5894]

Viva Roller Derby!

“Crazy gals” will also feature prominently in what is, quite possibly, the most heavily anticipated event ever in Tacoma — roller derby! Season number one, bout number one of the Dockyard Derby Dames pits the Marauding Mollys against the Trampires, and follows that up with the Hellbound Homewreckers skating against Femme Fianna.  Doors open at 5 p.m.

[The Soccer Center, $15 at, $17 door, $10 kids and military members, 2610 Bay St. E. by Tacoma Dome, Tacoma,]

Viva Artrageous!

Also on the artistic side, but not free (though proceeds go to a great cause: supporting Tacoma’s School of the Arts), the Artrageous auction at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center will provide an evening of entertainment and an opportunity to help foster arts education.  Online ticket purchase through is required, and entertainment begins at 5:30 p.m.

[Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, $90, online ticket purchase required, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, www.artrageoustacoma. com]

Viva AC/DC!

If you want to get your rock on, AC/DC chick-style, head to Hell’s Kitchen to see female AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles with Fall From Grace and the Pete Moss Band. Empowering, inspiring and downright entertaining —  Hell’s Belles is a must see — twice!  An all-ages show at 5 p.m. with Fall From Grace and the Pete Moss Band will be followed with a 21-and-older show featuring Kaskadia and Artimus Maximus at 9 p.m.

[Hell’s Kitchen, $12 each, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

Viva Art Party!

Want an evening on the artistic end of things? Jason Gutz will bring “Sequence” a multimedia exhibit and artist’s reception to Rampart gallery.  Starting at 7 p.m., the reception will feature film, experimental music and spoken word, with special live performances by Devon Damonte, Bridget Irish, Bloodclot, and Skie Bender.

[Rampart, 712 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.223.6300]

Viva Outdoor Drinking!

Yet another outdoor drinking spot will open up in high fiesta style, as Syren Lounge celebrates its brand new patio bar/lounge. Dancing with special guest DJ Supa Sam from KUBE will kick up at 9 p.m., with $2 Coronas and Cuervo shots until 11 p.m. keeping spirits bright.

[Syren Lounge, 1117 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, loungenightclub]

Viva Reggae!

Another type of fiesta flair will get dancers shaking at Jazzbones, when Alex Duncan brings reggaeton dance sounds to the space with Talismen at 9 p.m.  Not feeling danceish? Check out the newly remodeled upstairs while you eat some of the tastiest sushi in town.  Sushi and reggaeton — nice.

[Jazzbones, $10, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

Viva Drunk Roller Chicks!

Can’t get enough of the roller girls?  Link up with them after the bout at O’Malley’s for the “Cinco de Drinko” Bout After-Party, starting at 10 p.m.

[O’Malley’s, 2403 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.9403]

As always most Mexican restaurants will be celebrating their gloriously tanned brothers to the south all day Saturday. And as you’re hoisting up your eight-hundredth Corona that day, remember to say a little prayer for the feisty Mexicans who lost their lives so we could get drunk and stupid.