Tour de Terrace organizers looking forward to event’s return July 22-24

Tour de Terrace organizers Scott, Tisa and Judi Smith along with family member Samantha Costello (Photo courtesy the Smith family.)

Tour de Terrace, the three-day Seafair-sanctioned summer festival held in Mountlake Terrace, returns July 22-24 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said they are excited to once again be hosting the community event.

The traditional festivities include a Friday parade with Seafair pirates and clowns, live music, a beer garden, carnival, fireworks show, street fair with vendor booths, classic car show, 5K fun run/walk and pancake breakfast.

It is organized and presented by a small group of dedicated volunteers and typically draws thousands of visitors to Mountlake Terrace. The family-oriented festival was first celebrated in 1994 when residents Jerry and Judi Smith decided to establish an event to commemorate the city’s 40th birthday along with generating community spirit and pride. Jerry Smith, who died in 2018, was later elected to serve on the Mountlake Terrace City Council starting in 2001 and was the city’s mayor for 16 years.

Organizing the festival still remains a family affair for the Smiths, who note they want the Tour de Terrace “to carry on in the memory of Mayor Jerry E. Smith,” and continue “his legacy of community service and giving back to the community of Mountlake Terrace.”

Scott Smith, who was born and raised in Mountlake Terrace, said he’s been helping out with and volunteering at the event since it was first established by his parents nearly 30 years ago. He added that after marrying wife Tisa 10 years ago “she kind of got pushed into it with me.”

“We actually started to get a little more involved probably a couple of years before Jerry passed away,” Tisa said, “because they figured they were getting a little older and they wanted to pass it down. It was going to stay within the family, so he started kind of teaching us the little ins and outs of it.”

After the past two years of cancellations, the Smiths noted that this year’s Tour de Terrace will feature all of its traditional community activities and events. “We’re just trying to see how everyone starts to come back after the two years of the pandemic,” Scott Smith noted. “We’re really hoping for a good crowd and good weather.”

Tisa Smith said the event’s return has a personal meaning “that we’re carrying on the tradition for the Smith family. We did hold Tour de Terrace (in 2019) just after Jerry passed away and we were all in a bit of shock at the time and then after that COVID hit. So having it after two years, for me it’s a little nerve-racking because you never know what to expect, but it is tradition…for the community.”

Scott Smith said holding the event is particularly meaningful to him because it represents “keeping the memory of my dad back in the light, the legacy and to carry on something that he had taken a lot of great pride in.” He added his father “was just proud to say he was from Mountlake Terrace, so I think it’s good to see this event still go on.”

Tour de Terrace founders Jerry and Judi Smith (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

“I’m just hoping all goes well and I’m excited,” Tisa Smith said. “I have my fingers crossed, and I just want to do Jerry proud and we still have Judi helping us along and she’s still very much involved.” Scott Smith added that his mother Judi Smith will “be there Saturday and Sunday doing the pancake breakfast and she’s the one that helps organize and run the food vendor area.”

Scott Smith said he’s looking forward to the event’s traditional parade and noted, “I’m a Mason, part of the Shriners group, so I have multiple roles during that event. If I have a chance, I always get to join my clubs and go up the parade route.”

He particularly enjoys the social aspects of the festival. “I graduated from Mountlake Terrace High School and you see a lot of the kids and friends that you grew up with and their kids coming out,” Smith added. “So it’s kind of a real nice way to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while.”

Tisa Smith noted that she is looking forward to the fireworks show, which is traditionally one of her favorite activities at Tour de Terrace. Although, she added, “Basically, I like the whole vibe,” of the three-day event and watching the people walk around enjoying themselves.

“We normally sit at the putt-putt golf course, which our niece Samantha runs for us every year, and we just watch everybody,” Tisa Smith said. “That way we have a great view of the beer garden, the live music, people dancing, people eating, walking back and forth through the vendor booths. I just like to see the smiles on people’s faces and their reactions to things.”

Friday’s parade kicks off at 6:45 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m. Its route will begin at 234th Street Southwest and travel northbound along 56th Avenue West before ending at the Evergreen Playfield Complex located at 222nd Street Southwest. The local parade also traditionally serves as a warmup event for many of the groups and organizations that participate afterward in the Seafair Torchlight Parade.

A Seafair clown entertains crowds at the Tour de Terrace parade. (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

Live music from from at least nine different bands and artists will be featured onstage throughout all three days of Tour de Terrace. The live music lineup and schedule for this year’s event has not been finalized at this time.

The street fair includes food booths, a beer garden and arts and craft booths. It will feature a variety of food boothsalong with arts and crafts booths, although this year’s vendors have not yet been finalized. The event also has a beer garden, open to people ages 21 and over, that will be operated by and feature local handcrafted beers from Hemlock State Brewing Company. No pets are allowed in the food booth or beer garden areas, although documented service animals will be accepted.

The carnival will be provided by Davis Shows Northwest and features rides along with a midway full of games. Carnival rides include the Ali Baba, the Orbiter, the Zipper, Vertigo, Zendar and the Starship 2000. Featured games will include balloon darts, basketball hoop shots, water balloons, Paradise Place and more. Tickets are expected to cost $3.75 each for rides, with all day wristbands available for $26. Prices will be finalized before the festival and more information about the carnival including its hours of operation can be viewed here.

The 27th Annual Tour de Terrace Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show is being held Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and vehicles will be parked on the field next to the festival’s carnival located at the Evergreen Playfield Complex. Classic vehicles will compete for trophies in sixteen classes and the Best of Show trophy is awarded to the overall favorite that is selected by a people’s choice vote. It also features live music by Maltby Crew and organizers note that no pets are allowed in the car show area.

A community pancake breakfast will be served outdoors both Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. The annual breakfast takes place at the south end of the main field located at the Evergreen Playfield Complex and the cost per person is $6. In addition to pancakes, the menu will also include bacon, juice and coffee.

The Mountlake Terrace 5K Fun Run and Walk starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. It features an out-and-back 5K course that starts and ends at Mountlake Terrace High School. The route will wind through local neighborhoods and also a wooded trail located in Terrace Creek Park. Organizers note the terrain is good for a range of ages and abilities, including families with jogging strollers, the young, the old and even the competitive.”

Cost is $30 for adults, $15 for students ages 6-17, and kids ages 5 and under can participate for free. An event t-shirt is also included for those who register by July 1 and all participants will have a chance to win a raffle prize from community sponsors. Those who register after July 1 will have the option to pick up a t-shirt at the event, supplies permitting. Registration will also be available at Tour de Terrace and on the day of race for $35 per adult and $25 per youth.

Registration, a map of the race route and more information can be viewed here.

The fun run/walk is hosted by the Cedar Way Elementary Parent Teacher Organization and proceeds help benefit Cedar Way Elementary students along with students at Mountlake Terrace Elementary, Brier Elementary and Terrace Park Elementary. Organizers note that over the past several years, it has raised thousands of dollars for student activities such as field trips and assemblies, as well as materials for school art, music, library and physical education programs.

A fireworks show takes place Saturday night at 10 p.m. It is located at the Evergreen Playfield Complex soccer field and will be presented by Alpha Pyrotechnics.

A carnival ride elevates and swings people around at the Tour de Terrace. (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

Scott Smith said “probably the funniest question we ever get” is people asking if the event is a bicycle race. To which he replies: “No, it’s a community event – it’s not a bicycle race.” He added, “It’s a small group of good tight-knit volunteers that work closely and really well together that put on this great event every year. And I want to say thank you to those volunteers that help us out because that makes our job a lot easier.”

Tisa Smith recommended that people make sure to “put their chairs out early as they normally do for the parade” on Friday.

“We just want everyone to come back out, come outside, come down to Tour de Terrace, come enjoy yourself,” she added. “Just bring your family, bring your friends, bring your children have a great time, walk around, listen to some good music, go ride carnival rides, walk around our vendor booths, eat some food and we just hope the community has a good time.”

Organizers note that there will be a zero-crime tolerance at Tour de Terrace. Backpacks may be subject to search and seizure. In addition to being operated by the Smith family and volunteers, the City of Mountlake Terrace also helps with the festival by providing police, parks, public works and publicity assistance.

More information about this year’s event can be viewed here.

The Evergreen Playfield Complex is located at 22205 56th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace.

Fireworks light up the night sky behind the Ferris wheel during the 2015 Tour de Terrace festival. (Photo by David Carlos)

— By Nathan Blackwell

  1. I’m so glad that Jerry’s family is continuing this event. I’ve been friends with Jerry and Judy for many years and it’s wonderful that we can celebrate what they’ve accomplished and what the family means to Mountlake Terrace.

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