Tacoma Light Trail announcement.
Tacoma, WA: Like many things this week, the Tacoma Light Trail Live events are taking a snow day. But the light art and sound Trail will open as planned Dec. 31, with opening night parade and performances rescheduled to Jan. 7.
Over 45 venues will host light art from illuminated sculpture and painting to video projection and installations. Highlights include giant frames of stars, projected marine bioluminescence, glowing “planets”, a wildfire window and a big orange Trashoctopus.
As with last year’s Trail, each light art location can be found on an interactive map on the website, as well as in printed form available at libraries and museums. Each light art spot is also paired with local music or poetry, accessible via QR codes at each spot. Light art will be visible 5-9 p.m. every night, and is walkable/rideable/drivable within the downtown core between Dock Street, South 21st Street, Yakima Avenue and 6th Avenue.
“The Tacoma Light Trail was so incredibly successful last year in lighting up a very dark time,” said founding director Rosemary Ponnekanti. “So we’re bringing it back bigger and better than ever, with more artists, more locations and live outdoor events.”
New this year, live performances of music, spoken word, circus and projection art will flow through Tollefson Plaza from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 7, 8, 14 & 15. Performers include Up Up Up crane truck circus, Lelavision musical circus, musicians Jim Meck and Tacoma Fuji Taiko, Tacoma Poet Laureate Lydia K. Valentine and dance from Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center and Asia Pacific Cultural Center. Ulysses Martin returns with live light projection mapping around the plaza. Tinkertopia will offer community light art-making, YogaWild will build a candle labyrinth, and there will be free hot tea.
All attendees age 5+ are asked to wear masks and keep a 6-foot social distance.
Finally, the whole Trail kicks off with a magnificent Light Parade led by the fiery dragon from Puget Sound Revels which appeared in the Pantages lobby last year. Giant First Night illuminated puppets and a brass band will join the parade, and everyone is invited to bring light and be a part. The parade will depart at 5 p.m. on Jan. 7 from the University of Washington, Tacoma steps, and finishing at Tollefson Plaza for the live performances.
Make sure to bring your LED umbrellas, fairy light tutus and flashing shoes to the rest of the Trail as well.
“This year, we invite everyone to ‘be the light’ on the Light Trail,” explains Ponnekanti. “It’s so powerful when the whole community comes together as part of the light. The goal of the Tacoma Light Trail is to bring light to dark times, and to unify our community through things we all need – hope, truth, understanding, justice, peace – that are symbolized by light.”
Added to the fun: A Lighted Bike Ride & Decoration workshop is planned for 5-8 p.m. Jan. 5, co-hosted by Downtown on the Go on the outside patio at Alma Tacoma. Food and drink will be available, light freebies are on offer (though people are encouraged to bring their own) and after decorating your bike with lights you can go on a guided ride through the Trail. Razor Scooters is offering discounted rides.
The Tacoma Light Trail is co-produced by Michelle Matlock of Circle Up Productions and Lisa Fruichantie of Alma Mater. Other support comes from Tacoma Creates, City of Tacoma Special Events, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Tacoma Public Utilities, Tacoma Sunrise Rotary, NW Stage & Design and MultiCare. Tacoma Light Trail is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike, a 501c3 nonprofit.
ART: Light art 5-9 p.m. Dec. 31-Jan. 16 around downtown Tacoma
PARADE: 5 p.m. Jan. 7 from UWT to Tollefson Plaza
PERFORMANCES: 6-8 p.m. Jan. 7, 8, 14, 15 at Tollefson Plaza, 1548 Commerce St, Tacoma
INFORMATION and MAP: www.tacomalighttrail.org