Arts & Entertainment Community

Harbor Happenings: Chum Fest, music and more

Posted on November 15th, 2022 By:

The calendar is filling fast as we move into the holiday season.

This week’s special events include the return of the Chum Festival, music concerts, theater performances, book signings and more.

Get chummy with the fish

Presented by Harbor WildWatch, the Chum Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20 at Harbor History Museum.

The festival pays tribute to the annual return of chum salmon to Donkey Creek. Art-making activities, information booths, boat races, a Junior Naturalist workshop, walking tours and the ever-popular chum burgers are just a few of the highlights of the free, family friendly event.

chum salmon under water in a stream

Chum salmon’s silvery ocean bodies turn to maroon and olive vertical stripes when they spawn.


  • The Gig Harbor High School band presents its Fall Jazz Night concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the school auditorium. Admission is free.

  • The Tacoma Youth Symphony Orchestra opens its 60th season with “Symphonic Fanfare and Celebrations” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St. in downtown Tacoma. The program features works by Elgar, Dvorak, Saint-Saëns and John Philip Sousa. A dozen Gig Harbor-area musicians play in the TYS orchestra. Click here for ticket information.
  • The Gig Harbor High School concert band plays a fundraiser concert – “As American as Apple Pie” – at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in the school commons. Funds from pie sales and a raffle will benefit the school’s band programs.

‘Little Women’

The Gig Harbor High School drama club presents Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” Nov. 16 through 19.

The play tells the story of the four March girls as they struggle to conform to society’s strict ideals of femininity in the midst of poverty. It’s based on Alcott’s own childhood. General admission tickets cost $15; students, military and seniors get in for $12. Click here for tickets.

Arts events

  • Photographs by Edward Curtis are on display at Harbor History Museum through Feb. 4. The exhibition, titled “Tinted Light: Edward Curtis’ Picture Opera,” features hand-tinted slides Curtis made to promote his life work, the 200-volume “North American Indian.” Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The museum is located at 4121 Harborvew Drive. Museum admission is free.
  • Meet authors Anna Bremner and Doug Bremner at Olalla Bay Landing for a book signing at 6 p.m. Nov. 19. They’ll sell and sign copies of their book “Justice in the Age of Judgement.”  The Landing is located at 13965 Crescent Valley Road S.E. Space is limited; purchase tickets here.
  • This week’s Flashback Cinema at Galaxy Uptown Theaters are “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 12:30 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16; and “The Polar Express,” at noon and 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov 20. Tickets cost $5 at the theater in the Uptown shopping center.


  • The 29th annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade is collecting donations of food and cash for this year’s baskets through Nov. 22. Baskets will be packed and delivered to approximately 1,500 families throughout the Gig Harbor area on Nov. 22 and 23. Click here to contribute or to volunteer.

Volunteers at a previous Basket Brigade campaign.

  • The “Rock the Box” Santa’s Castle toy drive is back this year, collecting new, unwrapped toys at locations throughout the Gig Harbor area. The toy drive is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and continues through Nov. 28. Click here for details.
  • Harbor WildWatch’s salmon viewing station is set up on Donkey Creek. If you see salmon as you walk along the creek – or even if you don’t – please make a note in the log book in Donkey Creek Park.

Looking ahead

  •  Nov. 24: The 20th annual Turkey Trot fun run. The 5K race starts on Judson Street at 8 a.m. Registration is $15 per person; kids 12 & under are free. Proceeds to go FISH food bank and Food Backpacks 4 Kids. Click here to register.

  • Nov 26 and 27: Winterfest at Peninsula High School. Held every Thanksgiving weekend, Winterfest brings together artists and crafters from around the state to show and sell their creations. Students and staff of Peninsula High School Leadership class organize the event to help fund after-school clubs, athletics, assembly speakers and ASB supplies. $5 admission. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. PHS is located at 14105 Purdy Drive.

  • Nov 26: Join the salmon walking tour at Donkey Creek. View spawning salmon and learn about the struggles they face on their epic journey from Gig Harbor to the Pacific Ocean and back. Meet at 10 a.m. near the Our Fisherman, Our Guardian statue in txʷaalqəł Estuary Park. Sponsored by Harbor WildWatch.
  • Dec. 3: Christmas tree lighting at Skansie Park. According to Mayor Tracie Markley, this year there will be “a lot of surprises. It will be a lot different than in years past.”
  • Dec. 3 and 4: Tidefest at Gig Harbor High School. Another popular arts and crafts fair returns featuring artists from throughout the Northwest.