Winter ended more than a month ago, though you can’t always tell by the weather.
Nonetheless, the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance’s sixth annual Winter Sip & Stroll is happening on Saturday.
The event is usually held in February, in an attempt to get people downtown during a slow season. It was rescheduled this year due to (of course) Covid-19.
“We renamed it the Winter-ish Sip and Stroll,” said Josh Sherwin, special projects coordinator for the Alliance.
Thanks to (again) Covid, this will be the first Sip & Stroll since February 2020. The alliance stages the event with the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor.
Pouring wine at Ebb Tide Gallery on Pioneer Way in Gig Harbor during the 2020 Winter Sip & Stroll. The sipping and strolling returns for the first time post-pandemic on Saturday, April 30. Downtown Gig Harbor Waterfront Alliance
“Our businesses downtown need the support of the community. No doubt, things are tough,” Sherwin said, referring to Covid and the traffic disruptions brought on by the Harborview Drive construction work. “But we know there’s a strong desire for people to get out and have fun.”
The sold-out event runs from noon to 4 p.m. and more than 20 downtown Gig Harbor businesses are participating. Participants will sample Northwest wines, beers and spirits, as well as small bites at each of the “Stroll Stops.”
Construction at the Harborview Drive-Stinson Avenue intersection could make it harder than usual to do the Stroll part of Sip & Stroll. So this year, a sail component was added.
Destiny Harbor Tours will provide two complimentary water taxis to take sippers between Jerisich Dock and the dock at Anthony’s restaurant.
Boats will leave every 30 minutes from each location, with the first run departing Jerisich Dock at 12:15 p.m. and the final run leaving the Anthony’s dock at approximately 4:15 p.m. The boats are only partially covered, so if you plan to ride one come prepared to brave the conditions.
“I think people will love it,” Sherwin said.
Sipping, strolling and snacking all occured during the 2020 event. Downtown Gig Harbor Waterfront Alliance
As usual, shuttle buses will also ferry people from one end of downtown to the other. However, those buses will have to contend with the Harborview detour, adding about 15 minutes to the southbound trip. The Alliance notes that it might be more efficient to walk from Stroll stops on North Harborview to those on Harborview — or to catch the water taxi.
The 500 people who bought tickets to the sold-out event register at 3110 Judson St., the former 7 Seas Brewing location. They get 15 sip tickets to redeem for drinks. Those who want more sipping can buy additional tickets at registration.
To avoid crowds that can gather at the registration location, the Alliance suggests starting out by catching a shuttle or the water taxi to start the stroll on North Harborview. Participating businesses on that end of town include Sip & Stroll sponsor Anthony’s, Morso and Hawkins-Poe.
Sherwin said previous editions of the event have helped attendees discover new spots in town.
“One of the most common things we hear from people is, ‘Wow, I never knew this place was here!'” Sherwin said. “When we can introduce people to a new business or new store, that’s a great thing.”
A scene from the 2020 Winter Sip & Stroll in downtown Gig Harbor. The event returns on Saturday, April 30, following a two-year Covid hiatus. Downtown Gig Harbor Waterfront Alliance
The 2022 Tacoma City Marathon is also Saturday, and despite the name it starts on the west side of the Narrows Bridge.
The courses for the full and half marathon start at the Tacoma Narrows Airport before crossing the bridge into Tacoma. It’s the first time the marathon has been staged since before (have we mentioned?) the Covid pandemic.
Both the half and full marathons start at 7:30 a.m. in the airport parking lot, so watch out for runners first thing in the morning.
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