Grand Opening of “First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People”

Photo of Puyallup People dance

The Puyallup Canoe Family members drum and dance during the grand opening ceremony.

Photo of Foss Waterway Seaport and water

The Foss Waterway Seaport.

The Foss Waterway Seaport opened an exhibit about the Puyallup People — “The First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People” on Feb. 15. The grand opening featured a traditional Puyallup tribal blessing and song and dance.

Many Puyallup Tribal members spoke, saying that this exhibit is the first that tells the story of the Puyallup People on their terms, in their way. “Our story has not been told by our people in this manner,” says Connie McCloud, Puyallup Tribal Culture Director. “We’ve been here since the beginning of time.”

The exhibit tells the story of the Puyallup People and their connection to the waterways. Learn from artifacts, hands-on activities,  multi-media displays and more.

Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey

In summer 2018, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians will host the 2018 Canoe Journey — exciting! At the grand opening of the “Puyallup People” exhibit, Puyallup tribal members talked about hosting the Canoe Journey. Tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest will paddle along the shores of the Salish Sea to make their way to Puyallup. Thousands are expected to make this spiritual journey. The museum’s exhibit includes a section about Canoe Journeys. Tribal members also carved paddles during the grand opening ceremony. The Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey is planned to be open to the public.

Learn more about the Puyallup People and the Canoe Journey at the museum!


To experience some of the grand opening, please take a look at this short video of the Puyallup Tribe’s Canoe Family members drumming and dancing in the opening song:


These pictures show some of the people who worked on this important exhibit and spoke at the grand opening:

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If you couldn’t attend the grand opening, you can still see the “First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People” exhibit! It’s now part of the Seaport’s permanent displays.

For more information about the “Puyallup People”exhibit and Puyallup Canoe Journey

  • Foss Waterway Seaport’s website about the exhibit.
  • Puyallup Tribe of Indian’s website about the Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey.
  • Tacoma Weekly’s article “First on the Waterway” about the exhibit.
  • Video of Puyallup Culture Director Connie McCloud giving the blessing at the grand opening.
  • Attend the Tacoma Waterfront Association’s meeting on March 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Tacoma Youth Marine Center. Puyallup Tribal Councilmember James Rideout will discuss the Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey and related topics. Free!

— Liz Satterthwaite, Engage Northwest.

** Disclaimer: Engage Northwest provides communications support for the Tacoma Waterfront Association. **

Tacoma waterfront calendars

Do you enjoy the views of ships, bridges, wildlife, lighthouses, ports and mountains? Consider getting a 2018 Tacoma Waterfront calendar! Liz Satterthwaite of Engage Northwest took these pictures to showcase the beauty of our region. Coasters and other promotional items are available and can be customized for you.

If you’d like to find out more about the calendars or Liz’s photography and communications, please contact Liz at or 253.208.0586. Thank you for supporting this small business and happy holidays!

**Update** — You can find the Tacoma Waterfront calendars at Point Defiance Marina, Foss Harbor Marina and Foss Waterway Seaport. Point Defiance Marina also carries some of the coasters. Thank you to these wonderful partners!

Reaching boat riders through social media

Who would like to see beautiful Puget Sound by boat in the summer? Many people would enjoy it, but not everyone is available during the work week. Working with Destiny Harbor Tours and Riviera Cruises, Engage Northwest created Facebook ads to reach potential boat tour customers in King, Pierce and Thurston counties.

The ads target different audiences and consider their interests, location, age and if they are residents or travelers. I developed five different ads. Some ads include video with music and captions, and others consist of a set of still images. Ads were placed on Facebook and Instagram for both desktops and mobile devices. These previews show three image ads in mobile device view for Destiny Harbor Tours:

Most customers saw the ads on their mobile devices. For example, people traveling in Tacoma primarily saw the ads on mobile devices with about 1/4th placed on Instagram and 3/4ths on Facebook. The ads also reached a younger audience.

For Riviera, I created a slideshow using still images, music and captions. These previews show some of the content:

Photo of Liz Satterthwaite on Riviera

Taking pictures on the Riviera


The Facebook ads increased the businesses’ reach substantially, reaching over 70,000 targeted customers. People engaged with the ads with likes, comments and shares. For example, one person commented on Instagram, “I’m in. Can you text me the price.” Importantly, business is increasing due partly to the increased visibility on social media. The boat tours are a great experience!

About Destiny Harbor Tours

Destiny Harbor Tours offers guided boat tours and charters. During the summer, they run regular two-hour tours from Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Their sister company, Riviera Cruises, offers longer tours and charters, including a 4-hour Puget Sound tour and 3-hour sunset cruise. You’ll see wildlife, waterfronts, the mountain and more!

Note — Liz Satterthwaite took the pictures included in the ads shown in this blog.

Relax on a sunset cruise with Riviera

Photo of Captain Tom steering the boat“This is a dream come true,” said Captain Tom as he took Riviera out on its first-ever sunset cruise earlier this week. A Korean family gave permission for us to take pictures while they enjoyed the boat ride. I was honored to go with the group and capture some of the moments!

Riviera now offers regular sunset cruises in the summer. It’s an affordable and comfortable way to experience  Puget Sound! See Mt. Rainier, the Narrows Bridge, Henderson Bay into Horsehead Bay and more! Return during twilight as the sun sets on Gig Harbor.

This three-hour cruise takes place from 6 – 9 p.m., departing from Maritime Pier in Gig Harbor. You’re welcome to bring food and drink on board. Tickets cost $60 for adult, $50 for seniors and $40 for kids ages 5 – 12. Kids 4 and under are free. Contact Riviera at  253-225-6306 or for information and reservations.

This video shows some of the fun during Riviera’s first sunset cruise:

Riviera also offers a four-hour Puget Sound day tour and private charters. Check out their website to see some of the types of charters, including weddings, memorials and events such as Seafair. Riviera’s sister company, Destiny Harbor Tours, offers two-hour boat tours from Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Thank you! — Liz

**Disclaimer: Engage Northwest helps Riviera with photography and social media.**

Enjoy the Tacoma waterfront this summer!

Photo of the captain of Freda BDid the Festival of Sail inspire you to set sail or explore the restaurants, businesses and recreational opportunities along Tacoma’s waterfront? Here are some water-related activities and events so you can get more involved:

  • Go on a cruise with Destiny Harbor Tours. They offer two-hour boat tours from the waterside at the Museum of Glass as well as tours from Gig Harbor and charters.
  • Learn about the Port of Tacoma on their free boat tours. July 16.
  • Volunteer to clean up beaches and restore habitat with Citizens for a Healthy Bay.
  • Rent and ride a surrey along Ruston Way through Wheel Fun Rentals at Point Ruston.
  • Run with South Sound Running and Tacoma Runners. Many runs go along the waterfront or in Pt. Defiance Park.
  • Join the Tacoma Waterfront Association. Support clean water, recreational opportunities and businesses along Tacoma’s waterfront. Great monthly meetings, network opportunities and events!

Community Events

Photo of the 4th of July air showHere are some fun community events located along Tacoma’s waterfront:

Downtown to Defiance Trolley

Pierce Transit and Metro Parks Tacoma offer bus service from downtown Tacoma to Point Defiance Park along Ruston Way on weekends during the summer. More information about the Downtown to Defiance Trolley here.

Let’s get out and enjoy the fun opportunities to explore and support our waterfront!