Federal Way is nestled just 25 minutes from Seattle and 10 minutes from Tacoma and is the state´s eighth-largest city (with a population of 88,000).Today, the Federal Way community is residential and commercial with a population employed locally and in neighboring cities such as Sea Tac, Kent, Tacoma, Bellevue and Seattle. An estimated 22,485 people are employed within the city limits.
Federal Way is also home to Weyerhaeuser, the largest private owner of softwood timberland in the world. Two botanical gardens: the Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden and the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, featuring an Olympic-sized swimming pool that was used for the 1990 Goodwill Games. There are 28 developed parks and 19 open-space parks on approximately 82 acres of land, including Steel Lake Park, a large lakefront park with picnic areas and a boat launch; Dumas Bay Centre, a beautiful 12-acre park with on-site conference and retreat facilities, along with a beautiful theatre that features local productions and is home to the Centerstage Theatre Company; Dash Point State Park, the city´s only developed waterfront park; Celebration Park with sports fields and wooded trails; and West Hylebos Wetlands Park with its many scenic hiking trails through wetlands. The city features the BPA and West Campus Trails totaling nearly 3.5 miles, as well as over 4 miles of gorgeous coastline, with the charming Redondo Beach community as its centerpiece.
History of Federal Way
Federal Way began in the late 1800s as a logging settlement. By the 1920s, Federal Highway 99 was complete, linking the community to the economic centers of Seattle and Tacoma, and suggesting a name for the young community. The name Federal Way was first used in 1929 when five existing schools consolidated operations into School District #210 and planned construction of Federal Way High School next to Highway 99.By the end of the 1950s, the community featured a number of housing areas and a 10-block commercial district with a shopping center and family-oriented theme park. During the 1960s, residential development continued, providing homes to Boeing engineers and Weyerhaeuser executives. Retail growth followed, including the construction of SeaTac Mall (now The Commons at Federal Way) in the mid-1970s.
Rapid retail and residential growth created significant changes in the community during the 1970s and 1980s. Desiring controlled, quality growth and community identity, Federal Way citizens organized to form what was then Washington’s sixth largest city, incorporating in February of 1990. In November 2010 Federal Way citizens decided to change from a council-manager form of government to a mayor-council form.
In the years since incorporation, Federal Way has fostered quality commercial and residential growth, and enhanced the quality of life for its residents with infrastructure improvements, diverse recreational opportunities and high-quality parks. The city’s Comprehensive plan looks to Federal Way’s future and includes plans for a vibrant City Center, with mixed-use commercial and residential development in the downtown business area and access to public transportation.
Federal Way’s rich cultural offerings include an award-winning theatre group, a professional symphony orchestra, two dance troops, male and female choruses and quartets.
Sand Sculpting Tournament of Champions
August 18th – September 5th; Mon – Sat 10am – 9pm & Sun 10am – 6pm
World master sculptors will produce works of art out of sand for competition. See artists at work. All proceeds benefit local Federal Way charities.
Former Target/Toys R Us site, 31510 20th Avenue South
Admission: $8.50 adults, $6.50 children & seniors, Free for ages 4 & under
Han Woo-Ri – Northwest Korean Sports and Cultural Festival
September 16th – 18th; Friday 6:30pm – Opening Night Gala; Saturday starting at 11am; Sunday starting at 12pm The largest Korean festival in the Northwest features traditional and contemporary music, dance, arts, crafts, hands-on activities, food, and sports that honor and originate from Korea and the Korean-American experience. Saturday evening will feature a Han Woo-Ri Idol karaoke competition, while Sunday evening features the now-famous Han Woo-Ri B-Boy Battle, starring a B-Boy troupe from Korea. Continuing a tradition from the last festival, Han Woo-Ri 2011 will also showcase a companion Asian culture to contrast and compare with the Korean culture.
The Commons at Federal Way Mall, south parking lot.
Centerstage Theatre Presents “Late Nite Catechism”
September 23rd – October 9th; 12 performances w/Saturday matinees; see website for dates & times.
You don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy this hilarious, interactive comedy. It was Seattle’s longest-running show ever!
Knutzen Family Theatre, Dumas Bay Centre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road
Admission: $26 general; $23 seniors; $12 youth
Federal Way Performing Arts Organizations
Aria Dance Company / Showstoppers Dance Group / 9th Avenue School of Dance
9th Avenue School of Dance is the home of Aria Dance Company and the Showstoppers Dance Group. In addition to classes and recitals, the company puts on its annual Nutcracker production.
Winner of BEST SEASON, BEST NEW PLAY, BEST ACTRESS, BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY OR MUSICAL, BEST DIRECTOR OF COMEDY OR MUSICAL from the Tacoma Newspaper in 2008 and 2009. Centerstage’s production of Always Patsy Cline moved to ACT Theatre in Seattle and was invited by the Seattle Theatre Group to produce its Christmas Show at Seattle’s downtown Moore Theatre.
Federal Way Chorale
A premier regional choir in the Puget Sound. Each season, the Chorale strives for musical excellence and performs for diverse audiences with a wide variety of musical pieces and styles. The group distinguishes itself with dynamic performances and professional presentation of demanding choral literature from the masters to the light music of today.
Federal Way Symphony Orchestra
A 60 professional member orchestra based in Federal Way. The Federal Way Symphony opened the Goodwill Games with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It’s season include concerts with special guests, outdoor luncheon concerts and New Year’s Eve dance.
Jet Cities Chorus
The all women chorus won the 2009 Second Place medalists and 2009 First Place Division A in the three-state North Pacific Region #13 area.This group of talented ladies sings a wide range of music – from Broadway classics to barbershop to pop hits all in four-part, a cappella harmony.
Local AttractionsFederal Way is the ideal location for taking advantage of the beauty throughout the Puget Sound Region, with many family activities to take advantage of here.
The Northwest’s premier amusement and water park. Featuring “The Wild Thing” and “Ring of Fire” roller coasters along with waterslides, the “Wave Pool” and many more attractions to accommodate its wide variety of customers. Open all summer long with select days during holiday seasons, the fun doesn’t have to stop when summer ends.
Dash Point State Park
With over 3,301 feet of saltwater shoreline and 397 acres of property and near by
trails for hiking, walking and running, Dash Point State Park is the ideal location for fun in the sun. Activities include camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, beachcombing, unguarded swimming and marine life.
Rhododendron Species Botanical Gardens
One of the largest and finest collections of Rhododendron species in the world. Over 10,000 rhododendrons grow in a beautiful woodland setting covering 22 acres.
Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection
An outdoor museum of living art, with more than 50 outstanding bonsai elegantly displayed in a beautiful woodland setting. Bonsai from six Pacific Rim nations — Canada,
China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States — grace the tropical conservatory and outdoor exhibit area. The Collection is temporary closed until 2012.
A testament to the pride Federal Way and Pacific Northwest residents take in the natural beauty of their city and region. A former location for unused and discarded construction debris, PowellsWood Garden, through the love and care of Monte and Diane Powell has been transformed to a paradise featuring many of the northwest’s native flora and fauna.
The Weyerhaeuser/King County Aquatic Center
A legacy venue of the 1990 Seattle Goodwill Games and remains one of the fastest
competitive swim times in the country. The Aquatic Center hosts on average of 200 events annually. It has been the site of Olympic Trials, top national and international swimming, synchronized-swimming and diving competitions. In 2012 the Center will host the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship and the 2012 Olympic Dive Trials ahead of the London Olympics. The Aquatic Center is open to the public for recreational swim, lessons and other non-competitive activities. The recreation pool features a pirate ship and sloping entry. Stop by just for a visit to learn about world class aquatic events or to practice your “Olympic” skills.
Celebration Park Sports Complex
Whether you want to watch the city’s budding athletes in action or see top-notch national baseball and soccer championships, this Park hosts them all. The facility includes: batting fields with evening lights, bleachers, restroom and concession building, total of eight soccer and baseball fields with evening lights, children’s play structure, trails and pathways connecting to the BPA Trails System and parking for (493) vehicles.
Steel Lake Park
Steel Lake Park offers fun for all ages — from a giant wooden play set and horseshoes pits to a skateboard park, boat launch, fishing, swimming beach and picnic shelters.
Located on the Puget Sound with public and boater access. If combing the beach is not your style, there is a nice wooden board walk perfect for jogging and taking in the scenery as well as a couple restaurants near by.
West Hylebos Wetlands Park
Located at 411 S 348th St, Federal Way, this former State Park features a large trail network through 120 acres of unique old-growth forest and wetlands area in the heart of the city.
Federal Way Community Center
Central Puget Sound’s premiere fitness and community center. Visitors can enjoy the largest public recreational pool complex in the state, with a six-lane lap pool, a leisure pool with a two-story water slide, and a 110-foot current channel. There are also three athletic gyms, fitness center, climbing pinnacle and indoor track. Contemporary, light-filled rooms that open to a garden setting are popular rental spots for weddings, birthdays, business luncheons and other special events. With a full array of classes, programs and events, the facility provides a welcoming place for individuals of all ages and abilities to gather, socialize and strengthen bodies and minds. Affordable daily passes available.
Dumas Bay Centre
A spectacular natural setting, comfortable accommodations, home-cooked meals and reasonable rates make Dumas Bay Centre a favorite meeting and special events venue.
A high-tech game combing the best components of tag and hide-and-go seek. Laser tag can be played by anyone from age 5 to 85. Open six days a week it is the perfect activity for all ages.
If bowling is your cup of tea or if you are in need of a fun group activity, Secoma Lanes can accommodate you. With over 32 lanes and league play on weeknights, you’ll sure to find the spin up your alley.
Pattison’s West Skate or roller blade where skating’s greatest began. The rink that trained Apollo Ohno and JR Celski, Pattison’s West offers lessons, a speed skating team and rink time for skating novices and professionals four nights a week.