Puyallup is holding one of Pierce County’s first events after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered large gatherings.
Following Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement of the state’s reopening on June 30, the Puyallup Main Street Association has brought back Meeker Days.
Meeker Days is a heritage festival that started in 1939 to commemorate the city’s founder, Ezra Meeker. It has since become a summer celebration that includes live music, bounce houses, face painting, vendors and a beer garden.
From Aug. 13 to 15, Main Street from Second Street Southwest to Second Street Southeast will be shut down and Pioneer Park will be full.
The events will be outside, and masks will not be required for those vaccinated. Admission is free.
Historically, a 15-block radius of downtown Puyallup is shut down for three days on Father’s Day weekend.
The event was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the coronavirus pushed back the date two months.
Puyallup Main Street executive director Kerry Yanasak estimated that 40,000 people usually attend. He isn’t sure how the pandemic will affect turnout.
“It could be a lot less. It could be twice as many because it’s the only thing going on,” he said.
This year, the nonprofit has planned for bands like Pearl Django playing on three stages beginning early each afternoon.
The schedule includes two car shows: Ford retractable hardtops, Edsels and Model Ts on Friday and a Buick car show on Sunday. Main Street will be lined with vendors in an antique sale on Saturday.
Throughout the weekend, there will be a beer garden and an art show. Yanasak said there will be a sand pit, inflatable bounce houses and a climbing wall for kids.
An estimated 150 vendors are expected to sell crafts and art, Yanasak said. The Puyallup Farmers Market will still be planned for Saturday.