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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Celebrating the Summer!

Coming together at this year’s summer events By Rachel Kelly

Congratulations! You did it. Whatever happened this year, and whatever you’re doing, Fourth of July and all the summer sunshine is just around the corner. For Washingtonians everywhere, it’s time to celebrate our successes. Whatever you feel most comfortable participating in, whether it’s a masked Fourth of July event or a socially distanced picnic, this summer’s list of events has something for you.

For celebrations in the summer with just your immediate family, consider going to a local park or beach with a blanket in hand. During the day, pack a lunch! Dust off your propane barbecues and settle in. Kayak rentals and lessons are also still available this summer until October, which is a naturally socially distant event. If you end up on the water or at the park all day, don’t pack up. At night, download a star app. Use your device to explore the constellations, or pick a family movie to snuggle up to under the stars. For a socially distanced movie experience with the community, PenMet parks presents Movies in the Parks on the warm August weekends. However, there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy our parks now as soon as the weather perks up. I’m no forecaster, but it’s looking lovely out there.

For kids’ activities throughout the summer, there are a variety of camps. For every age and every interest, there’s something for your family. For little campers, there’s paw patrol, dance and dragon summer camps. For children older than 5, the activities open up even more. There are STEM camps, a variety of sport camps, art, dance and more. Many of these camps begin right after the Fourth of July, so sign up soon! For more information on camp costs, dates, and details check out for their summer events guide.

For adults looking for some safe community fun, there is always the outdoors. It’s time to play like the mountain is out! Also, because the mountain is out. So is the water, the wildlife and the trees. Those are out too. The trails are always open, as well as the parks with all their amenities. Parks can still be reserved for small outdoor events. For those who want to hike with others, PenMet Parks is also offering a 10-week-long walking club. Every week is a different trail. This event kicked off in late May and continues on through late July. Throughout summer, PenMet Parks is also offering a variety of adult classes. For more information, feel free to check out their summer events guide. For those of you who are wondering, all events will follow state guidelines.

For families and individuals who are ready to get out and about to participate in events that resemble traditional celebrations, July will also be host to two major events—the kind of events that went sorely missed last year. Presented by Freedom Fair on July 3 and 4 we have the 10th Annual Gig Harbor Wings and Wheels at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. Due to COVID-19 concerns and state mandates, this will be a drive-in event.

However, things are changing on a regular basis as information changes, so flexibility is recommended. Keep a close watch on this event online. Drive-in tickets will go on sale soon! Check out their Facebook or online at to stay up to date.

Also coming in July (on the 10th) is the Party in the Park at Sehmel Homestead Park. There will be live music, food trucks and yard games so come ready to play! This event is hosted by PenMet Parks, Kiwanis Club of Gig Harbor, and Gig Harbor Young Professionals. This event is for adults 21 and older, and reservations are required. Social distancing will also be expected. Things are looking a little different this year, but they are happening. So sign up soon and don’t miss out!

As we move forward together this year, we might find ourselves looking back. Every holiday from Halloween to Easter has come regardless of the circumstances. Last July, fireworks could still be seen throughout the city as neighbors celebrated with those closest to them. Through the love and support of our neighbors, everything was made possible. This summer will be no different. With the arrival of beautiful weather and this year’s long-missed community events, this summer seems to be one of promise and contentment. And so the docket is out! What will you do first? Whatever it is, we hope to see you there!

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