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Organizers Hire Freedom Fair Planners For UP Festival

University Place City Councilwoman Denise McCluskey, one of the main organizers and longtime supporter of the festival, wanted people to "know we are back in force."

Organizers of this year's University Place festival have hired the Tacoma Events Commission to help plan and produce the Aug. 6 event.

The nonprofit festival organizers - who put together one of the state's biggest celebrations in Tacoma's Freedom Fair - signed a deal with the University Place Festival's organizers Monday.

University Place City Councilwoman , longtime supporter and advocate for UPFest, said organizers want to throw a party that is memorable and announces to everyone that the annual community tradition is one of the best around.

UPFest has been a summertime tradition and community birthday party for the city, which incorporated in 1995. University Place paid for the celebration until last year, when the cash-strapped municipality had to cut the event from its budget.

Private donors and fund-raisers stepped in to continue the tradition, which last year was called the University Place Community Picnic and took place in conjunction with the annual Pups in the Park event on rain-filled day.

This year, organizers want to make a memorable event so people "would know we are back in force," McCluskey said.

She said the event commission's lead on the event will be Doug Miller, who has extensive experience planning festivals.

McCluskey said the city again won't pay for UPFest, but organizers will ask it to provide things like trash receptacles, police and other small services.

UPFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at  

She says the reason she's pushing hard to make this year's event special is simple.

"I have a passion for our community," McCluskey said. "It's our city's birthday. We should do it right."

Matt Garry April 19, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Brent, you just made my day. This event was truly missed. Matt Garry- Sand Dollar Spa & Massage
It's on my calendar. Wonder how my Rotary club could be a part of the party. Scott Seitz, Tacoma Narrows Rotary

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