The following community events have been generally recognized as being valuable in promoting and preserving the City’s identity, supporting a high quality of life for its residents, and promoting economic development and tourism. View the general information about each event below, posted in order they typically fall yearly; details specific to each year will be posted on the City Calendar.
- Volunteer Appreciation Day
- Parks Appreciation Day
- Duck Daze
- Concerts in the Park
- Music on the Square
- National Night Out
- Movie in the Park
- Cider Squeeze
- Make a Difference Day
- Christmas Tree Lighting
University Place Loves Its Volunteers!
In the early spring the community comes together for an annual dinner to honor the hundreds of University Place volunteers who made a difference in our city by giving of themselves and their time in the previous year.
Past honorees have brought a wealth of energy, participating at events such as Parks Appreciation Day, the Barn Restoration, the Holiday Tree Lighting, and much more.
University Place is lucky and grateful to be teeming with so many active and energetic residents willing to share their time and expertise to give back to our community, and we look forward to a celebration in their honor.
2022 Parks Appreciation Day is at Paradise Pond
Get down and dirty with your friends and neighbors during Parks Appreciation Day atParadise Pond Park (67th Avenue West, just north of 35th Street) on Saturday, April 23.
Beginning at 9 a.m., volunteers will help City of U.P. Parks department staff maintain the park’s trails by spreading new wood chips and removing overgrowth. The work should wrap up by noon.
University Place Refuse and Recycling is co-sponsoring the event with the City of U.P. and will provide coffee, donuts and water for the volunteers. Participants are invited to bring their own tools and gloves. U.P. Parks will provide additional rakes and shovels for those who do not have their own.
For more information or questions, please contact Tony West, Parks maintenance supervisor, at 253.460.6493.
We celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Parks Week and your local parks in one fun event. This spring-time event is a part of a major county-wide effort with nearly 2,000 other people working in their local parks at the same time.
- Individuals, families, businesses, and neighborhood and community groups are invited to help lend a hand in keeping one of our parks clean and well maintained as part of our annual Parks Appreciation Day activities.
- Plans typically call for a general spruce up, flower planting, mulch spreading, weeding, or more, in one of our local parks.
- Volunteers bring their own rakes, gloves, etc., and dress to get dirty!
So show your U.P. parks some love and come out for a few hours of fun and help “cultivate” our U.P. community spirit at the next Parks Appreciation Day event!
Duck Daze is on for 2022!
Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Duck Daze, always the first Saturday in June, kicks off at 10 a.m. with the popular Duck Daze parade. Be sure to secure your spot along the parade route, which starts at the corner of 29th Street and Bridgeport Way and continues south to 37th Street, ending at West Pierce Fire & Rescue's Fire Station 31.
Standard features of the event include, but are not limited to:
- Local vendors in Market Square
- Pierce County Sheriff's vehicle display
- West Pierce's Open House, which features:
- Water balloon toss competition (start time: 11:30 a.m.)
- Refreshments: hot dogs, chips, cookies, drinks
- Engine tours, games, safety information
- Helmet and life jacket sales (same info as below!)
- Non-perishable food donations to support Families Unlimited Network
A community favorite, be sure to plan your yellow attire or pick up a Duck Daze hat along the parade route to show your Duck-y spirit!
Would your group like to walk in the Parade? Register by May 20, 2022 at 4 p.m. using the Duck Daze Registration Packet.
Come Back to the Orchard Concerts in 2022
Join your friends and community for great music, food and fun during the Curran Apple Orchard Summer Concert Series!
All concerts are FREE and take place on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. Bring the whole family, blankets and picnics to enjoy while you listen! (Note: No alcohol allowed in City Parks).
- July 7 - The Thunderbirds
- The Thunderbirds is an all-star band of veteran Puget Sound area musicians that plays classic rock, soul, and blues. Lead vocalist Bobby Hoffman has fronted many bands and is known for his dynamic performing style.
- July 21 - Maia Santell and House Blend
- Maia Santell and House Blend are known around the Northwest as a premier dance band. They perform swing, jump blues, big band, rhythm and blues, Latin, variety, jazz 50s, 60s and 70s. They are sure to connect with the audience with their wide variety of tempos, rhythms, and styles for swing and ballroom.
- August 4 - Clave con Jazz
- Clave con Jazz is a five piece Latin jazz ensemble comprised of bass piano drums congas and a singer. The band plays Latin and Brazilian jazz. It’s not everyday that you get to hear these ultra groovy 1960s Brazilian chord progressions and syncopated beats.
- August 18 - Joint Base Lewis McChord New Orleans Brass Band (1Corp Army Band)
- Joint Base Lewis McChord New Orleans Brass Band (1Corp Army Band) will play the final concert of the season. This concert should not be missed for its upbeat and funky brassy goodness. Always ready and willing to play for our community, this band is sure not to disappoint.
Concerts in the Park occur at the Curran Apple Orchard, 3920 Grandview Dr. W., from 6:30 to 8 p.m. In case of inclement weather, concerts will relocate to the Curtis High School Cafeteria, 8425 40th St. West in University Place.
Thank you to CORE for bringing us this concert series! For more information, visit the Curran Orchard Resource Enthusiasts (CORE) website.
2022 Brings Back MOTS!
Make plans to have “dinner out” on Market Square every Wednesday from July 20 to Aug. 31 at Music on the Square from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy a different band each week, accompanied by a different food truck vendor as well!
- July 20 - Mambo Cadillac - salsa - with Ruca (Tacos, Mexican)
- Mambo Cadillac is an all-star group of some of the leading salsa musicians in the Northwest, including Grammy winning vocalist Carlos Cascante from Costa Rica, Mexican pianist Julio Jauregui, and percussionist Tor Dietrichson. They performed at last summer's Music in the Square series and were a big hit.
- July 27 - Jerry Miller Band - rock, blues - with Tacoma Wiener (Gourmet Hotdogs & More)
- Jerry Miller, a Tacoma native, is a legendary figure in contemporary American music. In 1966 he co-founded the well-known San Francisco rock band Moby Grape. Rolling Stone included Miller in its list of 100 Greatest Guitarists, and Eric Clapton called him "the greatest guitarist in the world." His songs have been performed by Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, and Three Dog Night, among others. His music spans blues, jazz, rock, and country.
- August 3 - File Gumbo - zydeco - with Velvet's Big Easy (Cajun/Creole)
- File Gumbo has been playing zydeco and their own unique blend of Louisiana music since 1988. They have recorded multiple albums, performed weekly at Seattle's famous New Orleans Creole Restaurant for 15 years, and played at Bumbershoot, among many other music festivals.
- August 10 - Jacqueline Tabor - jazz vocals - with Tacoma Wiener (Gourmet Hotdogs & More)
- Jacqueline Tabor is a Seattle-based jazz vocalist known for her bluesy style and improvisational abilities. Jacqueline has three times been named jazz vocalist of the year by the Earshot Jazz Foundation. She's released several CDs and performs frequently with the Seattle Jazz Repertory Orchestra.
- August 17 - Mark Hurwitz and Gin Creek - blues, roots rock - with Boss Mama (Burgers, American)
- Local favorites Mark Hurwitz and Gin Creek play a busy schedule of clubs and festivals, most recently this summer at the Gorge Blues and Brews Festival. The band features the driving piano, rocking saxophone, and multiple lead vocalists. Their repertoire covers a variety of blues styles, old time rock'n'roll, and Americana.
- August 24 - Danny Godinez Trio - funk, jazz - with Ruca (Tacos, Mexican)
- Danny Godinez is considered one of the northwest's finest guitarists and is also an accomplished singer and songwriter. His music spans a wide range of influences. For several years he co-led a band with Santana drummer Michael Shrieve. For this MOTS show he'll be joined by well-known Seattle jazz-funk organist Joe Doria, who has played on over 30 albums.
- August 31 - Bayou Boyz - New Orleans blues and R&B - with Velvet's Big Easy (Cajun/Creole)
- Bayou Boyz, based in Portland, plays blues and R&B accented with the swampy rhythms of Louisiana. Pianist/singer Steve Kerin is a Louisiana native steeped in the New Orleans piano tradition. The band has performed at major musical festivals across the country, including multiple appearances at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, one of the nation's largest blues events.
Don’t miss this chance to gather together again with friends and neighbors while enjoying great food and music.
Register Your Group/Neighborhood by July 28
The first Tuesday in August, in the evening, is the time for University Place citizens to turn on outside lights, lock their doors and step outside to join their neighbors in the fight against crime by participating in National Night Out!
National Night Out is designed to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back
University Place Police will be caravanning all around the City in police vehicles visiting all University Place neighborhoods that register by Thursday, July 28.
To register your neighborhood or for more information, email Jennifer Hales, Public Safety Administrator.
Encanto! will Delight Kids and Parents Alike!
Grab your picnic dinner, blanket and chairs and head out to Cirque Park (7250 Cirque Drive W.) on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. for "Movie in the Park."
This evening's movie will be Encanto! Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.
The evening’s fun swings into action at 7:30 p.m. with a special Magic in the Pacific Northwest performance of an Encanto group dance with the kids! Plus a follow up meet and greet with the performers.
- 7:30-7:45: Encanto dance performance, including group dance with the children
- 7:45-8:15: Meet & Greet with the Encanto performers
In addition, during the evening there will be local food options and entertainment, including:
- Bliss Small Batch Creamery - ice cream!
- Ruca's Food Truck - with authentic Mexican food choices
- MAGIC in the PNW - with characters to entertain
- Merry Makers Inc. - bringing bounce houses and kids activities
- Janet Rayor - our favorite Stilt Walker Performer
- Arthur Murray School of Dance - who will provide the gift of free dance lessons
The movie begins at dusk in Cirque Park, located at 7250 Cirque Drive West in University Place.
So make plans to pack up the kids, a blanket or chairs and get ready for a memorable evening of free family fun courtesy of the City of University Place!
Please note: The event venue is lawn seating. As a courtesy to all viewers, those with taller lawn chairs are asked to set up their seats toward the back of the viewing area so that everyone can see the movie.
Something for Everyone!
Crunchy red apples and delicious golden cider are among the highlights at the annual squeeze. Toss apples into old fashioned cider presses, meet The Big Apple and Johnny Appleseed and enjoy bluegrass music at this long-time free University Place tradition.
Typically held on a Sunday in late August or early September, this year the event is scheduled for Sunday, August 28 from noon to 4 p.m.
One of the best-loved events in the City, here are some details to keep in mind if coming:
- Admission to the Squeeze is free.
- Please do NOT bring HOME GROWN apples, to prevent the spread of disease.
- Do bring clean jugs and picking bags from home or purchase jugs at the event.
- Pressings are limited to two milk crates per family.
No alcohol is allowed in the park, which is located at 3920 Grandview Drive West. The public is allowed to pick apples after a specific time, which will be set as the event grows closer. Apples will also be available for sale, along with apple pie and ice cream.
For more information or for the tip list from the Curran Apple Resource Enthusiasts (CORE!), email them or visit the Curran Apple Orchard website.
U.P.’s newest community celebration, Oktoberfest, is typically held on a Friday evening in October. This year finds the event on Friday, Oct. 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. in Market Square.
Be sure to invite your neighbors and friends to join you for a special fall evening filled with food, drink, entertainment and fun for all. In addition to genuine German fare and polka-inspiring oompah music and entertainment, plus children’s activities and games, event-goers will be able to enjoy a refreshing pint from a locally-sponsored beer garden.
Join your friends and neighbors and “Make A Difference” in University Place by pitching in to help improve one of our city’s community parks.
What to Bring
Parks Staff will have all tools needed; volunteers should bring sturdy gloves and wear your boots! This event takes place rain or shine.
The work begins at 9 a.m. and go until noon, but as the old saying goes, “Many hands make for light work” so encourage as many people as you can – family, friends, scout groups, co-workers, etc. – to help out and make a difference in our community.
About the Event
Make A Difference Day is one of the largest annual days of service nationwide. It is a national day of neighbors helping neighbors, citizens helping their community. It is estimated that in 2009 over 9 million volunteers came out and made a difference in their communities. Whether you prefer to volunteer as an individual or as a group, it is a great way to become involved with your community. Since 1992, volunteers from communities across the country have participated in Make A Difference Day activities with the singular purpose of improving the lives of others.
Each year the City of University Place Parks Department coordinates work parties and cleanups at various park properties.
For more information, contact the Parks Maintenance Department at 253.460.5432 or 253.460.6493.
This in-person event is cancelled for 2021. But check out the virtual lighting of the City’s Christmas Tree in Market Square, which will be available on our YouTube channel for the entire month of December.
To ensure the public’s safety, City leaders decided to hold the annual tree lighting virtually again this year. And although it may be another year before we can celebrate this annual tradition together again in person, this video reminds us of all that we have to be grateful for in U.P. this holiday season.