The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday means a long weekend for many and more opportunities to get out and do something in Tacoma from January 17-20. You could start the weekend with the Emerald Queen Casino's first Friday Night Boxing event of 2020. Meanwhile, Alma Mater will host a Tacoma Night Market on Saturday, and some exotic pets will be on display (and looking for a new home) at the Pacific NW Reptile & Exotic Animal Show on Sunday. We've rounded up the biggest and best events for the holiday weekend below.
Note: Events may be canceled or rescheduled due to snow. Double-check to be sure.
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FRIDAY, JANUARY 17
SPORTS & RECREATION
Battle at the Boat
Friday night boxing at the Emerald Queen Casino in 2020 is set to begin with Niko McFarland (4-5-2) vs. Antonio Neal (5-12) as the semi-main event. Be sure to stick around, though, as the main event will see 10 rounds (or less) of featherweight division boxing when Andre Keys (12-1-0) takes on Dannie Williams (23-3).
Emerald Queen Casino
SATURDAY & SUNDAY, JANUARY 18-19
Great Train Show
Train enthusiasts, modelers, hobbyists, and those who just want to appreciate some miniature craftsmanship can attend this coast-to-coast model train show. There'll be tons of vendors on hand offering trains and other model accessories for sale.
Western Washington Fairgrounds
The Pacific NW Reptile & Exotic Animal Show
Hundreds of scaly, cold-blooded creatures will be on display and for sale at the largest show of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The show will also have educational displays and events geared toward teaching novice reptile owners how to care for their new friends.
Washington State Fair Events Center
SATURDAY JANUARY 18
The Princess Bride - Quote Friendly
Quote along with Rob Reiner's 1987 fantasy-romance classic at this participation-friendly event. Cosplay is encouraged and there'll even be inflatable swords available (until they run out) for in-aisle duels.
The Grand Cinema
FOOD & DRINK
Heritage Skills Workshops - Butchering & Curing
It may not be an Arby's, but this butchering and curing workshop still has the meats. Learn to reduce waste through traditional butchering methods focused on making bacon, prosciutto, and guanciale (jowl bacon). It's a celebration of meat candy, basically.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
Tacoma Night Market at Alma Mater
Tacoma's Alma Mater isn't just a live-music venue. This all-ages night market will welcome local artists and vendors, and there'll be plenty of food, beer, and, of course, live music to enjoy as well.
SPORTS & RECREATION
UFC 246: McGregor vs Cowboy—Viewing Party
Can't make it to Las Vegas to watch as mixed martial arts bad boy (aren't they all?) Connor McGregor takes on Cowboy at UFC 246? You can watch the fight at this viewing party with some like-minded individuals and drink specials, regardless of how long the fight lasts.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 19
Recording for respected labels such as K and Burger, Portland's the Shivas write easy-rolling, reverb-laden rock tunes that adhere to traditional psych- and garage-rock moves with the devotion of an Ugly Things magazine writer. True, there's no innovation going on in a Shivas song, but the compositional panache is so strong and the instrumentation so tantalizing that the music's familiarity leads to "yeahs" not yawns. Shiva is the Hindu deity of destruction, but the Shivas are more apt to pacify you than prod you into a violent rampage. DAVE SEGAL
MONDAY, JANUARY 20
Celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King with this free event that includes a community outreach fair and will be televised on TV Tacoma.
Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Enjoy free admission to the Men of Change: Power. Triumph, Truth exhibition at the Washington State History Museum. Tacoma Arts Live will also be on hand to provide live performances throughout the day.
Washington State History Museum