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.
- Christmas Tree Lighting
- Parks Appreciation Day
- Volunteer Appreciation Day
- Duck Daze
- Concerts in the Park
- Music on the Square
- Twisted Cider 5K
- National Night Out
- Movie in the Park
- Community Harvest Day
- Make a Difference Day
Join us for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Market Square on Friday, Dec. 1. The City of University Place will celebrate the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Market Square with food, music, children’s activities and much, much more.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the fun will begin at 5 p.m. with holiday music by the Stacy Jones Band who will welcome Santa to U.P. for the festivities. The man in red will be available for pictures in the beautifully decorated Civic Building Atrium from 5-7:30 p.m. and will take a brief break to help us flip the switch to light the tree at 6 p.m.
Before and after the lighting ceremony, Market Square will be bustling with family-friendly attractions, including:
- Live reindeer from Rainier Reindeer Ranch
- Magic in the PNW live character performers
- Warm gatherings by Market Square’s outdoor fireplace
- Stilt dancer Janet Rayor
- Outdoor children’s games and activities (bundle up!)
- Popular food trucks including Boss Mama’s Kitchen, The Corndoggery, Jack’s Savory Pie Co. and Tasty’s Kettle Corn
When the festivities end at 7:30 p.m., be sure to warm up with additional bites and cocktails from U.P.’s many eateries. Don’t miss this beloved holiday tradition in University Place. Visit the City website at www.CityofUP.com for updates about this year's event! See you on Dec. 1!
As the details are determined, check back here for updates. But be assured, Santa will be riding the fire engine into Market Square and the U.P. City Council members will be on hand to count down to the lighting of the tree at 6 p.m. sharp!
It promises to be another memorable holiday in U.P. and we hope you will be a part of it!
2023 Parks Appreciation Day
U.P. residents can show their love of Mother Earth and the City’s wonderful parks by participating in Parks Appreciation Day on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.
This year's event will take place on April 22, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Paradise Pond Park! The park is located at 3124 67th Avenue West.
Volunteers are asked to come out to Paradise Pond Park (67th Avenue West, just north of 35th Street) to help spread wood chips on the trails, pick up trash and do some minor brush clearing. A tree will also be planted in observance of Arbor Day. The event will run from 9 a.m. until noon, rain or shine.
Thanks to the event’s co-sponsor, University Place Refuse and Recycling, volunteers will be treated to free coffee, donuts, water and t-shirts. Participants are encouraged to bring their own tools and gloves (make sure they are labeled with owner information). U.P. Parks will provide additional rakes and shovels for those who do not have their own.
Parents and guardians, if you have a high school student who needs to earn some community service hours, this offers three hours of volunteer time to include on college applications. For more information or questions, please contact Tony West, Operations Manager, at 253.460.6493.
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.
Duck Daze 2023
Saturday, June 3
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.
In addition to scores of floats from community groups, school groups and local businesses, this year’s parade will also feature the 15-piece Clan Gordon bagpipers.
The parade will end at the Village at Chambers Bay where more fun awaits, including food trucks, music by country rocker Joel Gibson, Jr., and scores of children’s attractions, including stilt walkers, face painting, games and popular costumed characters such as Elsa, Anna, Snow White and Spider Man performed by members of Magic in the Pacific Northwest.
There will a performance by Keeth Apgar, the Harmonica Pocket, from 1:30-2:30 in the library atrium, a Pierce County Sheriff's Department Special Response Unit display, and West Pierce Fire & Rescue Station #31 will host an Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free hot dogs, refreshments and close-up looks at their equipment.
Would your group like to participate in the Parade? All participants must pre-register. Download the registration packet, fill it out, and return it to City Hall, 3609 Market Place West, Suite 200, University Place WA 98466.
Parade registration application deadline is May 25, 2023.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 253.460.2517.
Come Back to the Orchard Concerts in 2023
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 6 - Billy Shew Band
- July 20 - Hook Me Up
- August 3 - King Kom Beaux
- August 17 - FarmStrong
- August 31 - Pacific Beat Jazz Combo
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.
2023 Music on the Square!
Make plans to have “dinner out” on Market Square on specific Wednesday evenings this summer as Music on the Square takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy a different band each week, accompanied by a different food truck vendor as well!
- July 19 - Flor de Luna with Tacos Mirrey
- July 26 - Darelle Holden and DHQ with Boss Mama
- August 2 - Mark Hurwitz and Gin Creek with The Mann BBQ
- August 9 - Billy Stoops and the Dirt Angels with Seoul Bowl
- August 16 - Blues Night Double Header: Rafael Tranquilino and Heather Jones and the Groove Masters with Starvin Marvin
- August 23 - Conjunto Caribe with Manic Meatballs
- August 30 - Stacy Jones Band with Tacos Mirrey
Don’t miss this chance to gather together again with friends and neighbors while enjoying great food and music.
Music on the Square is located in Market Square, just in front of the City's Civic Building at 3609 Market Place West.
A huge success in 2022, the Twisted Cider 5K is back this year for another race through U.P.! With a 5K and a 1K for the kids, there's something for everyone. Sign up today!
The second annual Twisted Cider 5K run and walk is coming to the City of University Place on Saturday, July 29, 2023. How ‘bout them apples!
We hope you’ll join us for the Twisted Cider 5K event! Runners and walkers will start and finish from the Curran Apple Orchard Park meandering through a 3.1 mile loop around the quiet neighborhoods of University Place with glimpses of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the Puget Sound. With gentle rolling hills along with flat and fast sections, you’re going to enjoy this 5K course.
Bring the whole family! The Kids 1K is a fun way to get the kids (12 and under) to participate! Parents can run with their kids and do not have to register for this distance. The course will be an out-and-back along Sound View Drive.
After the race, enjoy some snacks and wander the beautiful grounds of the park. (But please do not pick the apples. We need to save these juicy treats for the Annual Cider Squeeze!)
A TCMA (Tacoma City Marathon Association) event, more information about the Twisted Cider 5K can be found at the TCMA website.
Registration is open, sign up today!
All runners will receive a finisher medal and t-shirt.
Register Your Group/Neighborhood by July 27
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 27.
To register your neighborhood or for more information, email Jennifer Hales, Public Safety Administrator.
2023 Movie in the Park
Grab your picnic dinner, blanket and chairs and head out to Cirque Park (7250 Cirque Drive W.) on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 5 for "Movie in the Park," this year featuring Disney's "Tangled."
The movie begins at dusk in Cirque Park, located at 7250 Cirque Drive West in University Place.
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!
On site for the evening will be the Corndoggery food truck and Bliss Ice Cream!
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.
Community Harvest Day
The Curran Apple Orchard Cider Squeeze scheduled for Sunday, August 27, is cancelled due to a lack of volunteers and an inadequate number of cider presses. Instead, the public is invited to a Community Harvest Day on Sunday, August 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The community is welcome to pick from untaped trees. (People who have adopted trees will harvest their apples at a later date. Please do NOT pick apples from the trees that are taped off).
Please bring picking bags from home and limit yourself to two bags to enable enough apples for everyone to enjoy. There will be NO other activities scheduled on this day (no pressings available). The Community Harvest Day is simply an opportunity for people to come and enjoy the park. If you are unable to attend, you may also pick apples AFTER this date from UNTAPED TREES.
Tree Adopters will also receive email notices about additional options available to them.
CORE meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall as well as via zoom.
Please visit curranappleorchard.com for more info along with future volunteer opportunities.
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.
U.P.’s newest community celebration, Oktoberfest, is typically held on a Friday evening in October. This year finds the event on Friday, Oct. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. in Market Square.
Don’t let the date scare you off: Friday, Oct. 13 is going to be a lucky night for all those who attend U.P.’s Oktoberfest celebration in Market Square.
They are in for a night of great fun with friends and family alike. Come out from 5-9 p.m. to enjoy live authentic polka music from the Lyle Schaefer Band and a lively beer garden hosted by E9 Brewing Co. for those 21 and older. Enjoy great food from the Jack’s Savory Pie Co., Tornado Potato and Manic Meatballs food trucks, as well as lots of goodies to snack on, including fresh-popped sweet kettle corn and big, salty Bavarian pretzels.
There will also be loads of fun for the kids, including children’s activities in the Civic Building atrium, strolling princesses courtesy of Magic in the PNW and stilt dancer Janet Rayor.
This event regularly draws a big crowd. U.P. businesses or organizations that want to raise their visibility with this large audience are encouraged to consider one of several sponsorship opportunities that are available for this event. Please email Marian Holloway or call her at 253.460.2500 to learn more.