The summer season has arrived and sailboats are on the water near Commencement Bay.
Those wind-powered wonders will be a bit larger than usual during the 2017 Festival of Sail.
The June 15-18 festival returns to Tacoma, promising all things nautical with pier-side tours of more than 20 vessels and family entertainment up and down the Foss Waterway - including roving seafarers singing sea shanties, exhibits and presentations at the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, and activities stretching along the Esplanade to the Museum of Glass.
One of the most notable attractions will be the world's largest rubber duckie, a 61-foot inflatable duck that is just screaming for a selfie – bathtub not included.
It's a fitting symbol of what is being promoted as the largest event in the history of the Tacoma waterfront.
The official start of the four-day event will be the "Parade of Sails" as the vessels arrive into Commencement Bay at 2 p.m. on June 15.
This festival offers a rare chance to catch a glimpse, step aboard and set sail on some of the grandest ships of yore.
The four-day celebration will include a fleet of globally renowned historic ships with ticket prices ranging from $9 to $150.
Tacoma will also feature the Evergreen State's own Lady Washington, a 112-foot replica of an 18th century warship that has appeared in several motion pictures and television shows, including "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Star Trek: Generations," "Once Upon A Time," and "Revolution."
The North Star of Hershel Island, a three-master that is the last of the Arctic fur-trading sailing ships and the only fully rigged ship in Canada, is also set to arrive at Tacoma's docks.
Another highlight will be the Virginia V, the last of the steam-powered ferries that once made up Puget Sound's "Mosquito Fleet" serving as water taxis around Puget Sound in the days before the Washington State Ferry System.
The Thane is a replica of the vessel Joshua Slocum used during his three-year voyage to circumnavigate the world alone.
His odyssey spanned 46,000 miles and became the basis of his 1900 book Sailing Alone Around the World, a book that remains in print to this day.
Other activities will include live music, entertainment, locally curated craft beer, educational programming, local food, and fun for the entire family - including a performance by the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra.
Festival of Sail marks the first time the historic ships and schooners have visited Tacoma since 2008.Bad weather that year led to a lower- than-expected turnout and a debt of about $500,000.
Organizers have since negotiated down that debt, reformulating the event from the waterline up, most notably contracting with the national festival company, Draw Events, which has experience with large festivals that include ship festivals in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Lake Eerie.
A win for the festival would be a big win for the local economy, which is increasingly becoming reliant on tourist dollars, more specifically wallets from day trippers from other areas of the state.