McKinley Hill Street Fair to give away 1,200 backpacks stuffed with school supplies

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The McKinley Hill Street Fair will take place Saturday, Aug. 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the intersection of S. 35th St. and McKinley Ave., just up from the Tacoma Dome.

The McKinley Hill Street Fair is a full day of family fun in East Tacoma. The event is a partnership between the Dometop Neighborhood Alliance and the Tacoma Christian Center. Together they provide 1200 free stuffed backpacks, a free huge youth carnival, a 90-foot, live aerosol art wall, a food truck alley, live music all day, four beer gardens, Artisans Avenue (handcrafted vendors), awesome general vendors, Disney princesses, Superheroes and more. There is also free skateboarding with Alchemy Skateboarding.

The priority is for all youth to have fun in the sun and it all begins with the giving away of 1200 free backpacks stuffed with traditional school supplies. The backpacks are given away free to youth K-12th grade. At the huge carnival for youth, the games and prizes are all free. The health fair offers free school physicals, dental checkups and lots of info and freebies for everyone.

Don’t miss out on the general vendors giving away loads of great items between the performances of the bands. Items given away on stage include bikes, craft parties, leggings, sports items, gift cards, food and t-shirts. There’s a great chance you will leave this street fair with some free swag.

The McKinley Hill Street Fair doubles as the official Food Truck Festival of East Tacoma with loads of seating in Food Truck Alley, so bring your appetite. In the heart of the street fair sits eleven food trucks and specialty foods vendors. The amazing smell of burgers, BBQ, pizza, catfish, baked potatoes and sweet treats is enough to make any foodie smile. Deciding what to sample is the hard part.

The McKinley Hill Street Fair features crafters and artists selling their goods in Artisans Avenue. You’ll walk away from this diverse street full of vendors with unique items you can’t find anywhere else. Many amazing new vendors have been added to the 2018 street fair line up.

The street fair’s Chalk Art Zone transforms a section of pavement into a giant canvas for artists of all ages. Please feel free to grab a handful of chalk and share your artwork. This is a fun artistic landscape for young and old. Street doodling is for all.

Take a walk down Graffiti Alley to watch a 90-foot mural go up. Chat with the artists and watch them work. Graffiti Alley is tucked away next to Fergie’s on the Ave. The Duenas crew and friends tackle the massive wall with live aerosol art. The neighborhood is gifted every year with a huge piece of amazing art to enjoy. Swing by and say hello while they paint.

Four outdoor beer gardens with full bar menus have something for everyone. The Top of Tacoma, Parky’s, Fergie’s and the VFW 969 will host adult fairgoers. The cold drinks never run out and the gardens are great places to stay cool while listening to the bands.

Band lineup:

  • 10 a.m. Hearts for Kids (dancers)
  • 10:30 a.m. Unified Culture (reggae, Island reggae, groove)
  • 12 p.m. Peacemaker Nation (Island soul, R&B, hip hop, pop rock)
  • 1:30 p.m. Bryson Foster Band (pop-soul, hip hop, R&B, blues)
  • 3 p.m. Two-story Zori (rock, reggae, ska)

For more information, go to McKinley253.com.

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