Being mayor of Gig Harbor has been an honor and privilege. I care deeply about my hometown. This year has been no different. Even cities with the most beauty and charm were not immune from the impacts of COVID, and yet where else would you want to isolate than one of the most beautiful places on earth—Gig Harbor
I continue to be impressed by our community spirit and the volunteers who have come forward to help anyone in need. I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers and organizations who have helped us weather this pandemic. Though we have not gotten through this unscathed, we have barely seen a dip in city revenue, and our building permits are up 30 percent, which means we have to be all that more protective to keep the reason people call Gig Harbor home or visit here and continue to come back to visit.
We have a great community which encompasses all of the greater Gig Harbor area. As mayor, I came up with a vision for our city, with goals and objectives to improve Gig Harbor. Some of these accomplishments are very noticeable while others are not—but they’re all equally important. We were able to preserve a 100-year-old forest at the entrance of our bay. In 2018, it was set to be clear-cut; now it is preserved forever as Soundview Forest Park.
We constructed critical road infrastructure projects that our citizens and visitors can take advantage of, adding crosswalks, roundabouts and improvements.
You’ll notice it’s easier to find public parking downtown these days. We freed up spots that had been encroached on and revised many codes to protect our city’s character, including regulations on critical wetlands, buffers and clearcutting.
We changed our funding for tourism-focused grants for local organizations, increasing it to $125,000 a year, so if you attend the Waterfront Farmers Market or the Harbor History Museum, you’ll see some of those funds in action.
We’ve improved City of Gig Harbor parks and recognized Ancestral Homelands of the Puyallup Tribe through renaming Austin Estuary to Austin Park at the txʷaalqəł Estuary, along with adding educational signage. We also celebrate the heritage of our working waterfront while embracing the recreational sailboats, paddleboards, kayaks and pleasure craft that call our modern harbor home, all in the shadow of Mount Rainier.
In this guide, we list events current as of publication. We’ll have them updated as things change in our digital edition, located at VisitGigHarborWA.com. In the summer, concerts and events downtown, along with being out on the water, can’t be beat. When it gets cooler in the fall and winter, Gig Harbor is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most cozy and romantic waterfront destinations.
You can settle into a fine dining experience, explore art galleries or take a self-guided tour of downtown’s independent breweries and distilleries.
Experiencing our city goes beyond just the waterfront. Check out our 22 unique parks set over 6 square miles, enjoy 8 miles of trails to see a different side of the city by foot or bicycle, and our business districts: the West Side, Gig Harbor North, Uptown and the Olympic Towne Center.
Whether you arrive by land, air or sea, we’re glad you’re here and look forward to welcoming you back often. You’ll make some fantastic memories here, just like I have.
Thank you, Gig Harbor, for the opportunity to represent you, the people, as your City mayor.
Mayor Kit Kuhn, City of Gig Harbor