2021 was a year that many of us might remember for its challenges. We experienced sweltering heat and shivering cold. Construction and a sewer collapse restricted traffic on two of our most-traveled roads. The pandemic dragged on.
Despite the difficulties of the year, there was much to celebrate. 2021 was a step towards a return to normal. Events, art, gatherings, music, and celebrations returned to Lakewood after a year deprived of those joys.
Hints of Lakewood’s bright future glimmer on the horizon. Your parks continue to grow and beautify. Your roads improve with each passing year. The City continues to experiment and invest in solutions in response to difficult issues like homelessness and veteran wellness.
Let’s look back at some photos and bid a fond farewell to 2021. Happy New Year, Lakewood!
Airborne troops leap from a Chinook helicopter and plunge into American Lake during a training exercise as kids play in the shallows and adults relax on the sandy beach – only in Lakewood. Exciting Events
Lakewood celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a street festival on a gorgeous September day.
Onlookers enjoy an outdoor concert at the Fort Steilacoom Park Pavilion
This young singer had the crowd rocking to her rendition of an Imagine Dragons hit during an outdoor karaoke concert.
The Farmers Market moved to Fort Steilacoom Park – the grassy outfield was a great place to enjoy food truck treats.
Kids loved the fun games and activities set up at the Friday Farmers Markets every week
The Farmers Market featured an expanded variety of food trucks this year – visitors were spoiled for choice.
These teenagers had a nice setup for our Drive-In Movie Night showing of “The Goonies”
The City’s 25th Anniversary celebration was an unforgettable cultural experience
Entertainers at the 25th Anniversary event represented many of the global cultures thriving in Lakewood.
A blue sky and waving flag were beautiful backgrounds to a fantastic foreground of international entertainment.
The 25th Anniversary event was postponed by a week due to stormy weather – that turned out to be the smart choice.
The 25th Anniversary concluded with fantastic live music from local performers as a colorful sunset shone.
Families enjoyed Truck & Tractor Day in October
Kids loved the pumpkin slingshot during Truck & Tractor Day
We gave away free pumpkins at Truck & Tractor Day
Soldiers from SBCT 2-2 Lancer Brigade give out goodie bags at the Holiday Light Parade
The Grinch greets visitors at the Holiday Light Parade. The youngster on the right must be familiar with his reputation.
Our youth volunteers were a steady, joyful presence at Lakewood events this year. Pristine Parks
A relaxing summer day at American Lake Park
A new bathroom was built at Fort Steilacoom Park
The improved waterfront at Harry Todd Park opened in the summer.
These two were the first to enjoy Harry Todd Park the day it reopened – the young lady couldn’t help but smile when told she would be the first to play on the new playground.
Siblings splash and play at Harry Todd Park
A mom pushes her gleeful daughter on the swings
Muralist Phil Jensen works on his vibrant “Live Like the Mountain is Out” mural at American Lake Park.
A new bridge connects University Place and Lakewood by trail in the Chambers Creek Canyon
Fall foliage brightens the trail down to the Chambers Creek Canyon in the fall.
A woman and her caretaker enjoy a spring lap around Waughop Lake in Fort Steilacoom Park
Father & son fish Waughop Lake under a summer sunset.
Fort Steilacoom Park’s dog park is a favorite among pups
Kids play on the new accessible playground at Fort Steilacoom Park
A couple cross-country skis through the oak grove trails at Fort Steilacoom Park Smoother Streets
The City’s Public Works department ticked off project after project. Veterans Drive, 108th Street, 111th & 112th Streets, Onyx Drive, Steilacoom Boulevard, Lakewood Drive, Gravelly Lake Drive, Maple Street, and other locations benefitted from street and sewer improvements.
Crews resurface 112th Street as part of a road improvement project upgrading vehicle and pedestrian access to the Sounder Station.
Gravelly Lake Drive is paved and connected to a new roundabout at its southern intersection with Nyanza Road.
Striping is applied on Veterans Drive in the Spring, the final step in a long construction project.
Pierce County crews repair a sewer main beneath Steilacoom Boulevard over 25′ below the road surface. Community Figures
Lakewood is populated by great people. Throughout the year, stories came to us about citizens doing good in the community and making a difference.
Local service clubs and students banded together on a cleanup day of the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area, removing invasive weeds and repairing this valuable sanctuary for endangered species.
Michael Farley’s personal stewardship of JBLM’s Boulevard of Remembrance Oaks preserved a memory of WWI.
The 2-2 SBCT Lancer Brigade was led by the inspirational Col. Jonathan Chung before his promotion to Brigade Commander, 5th SFAB.
Larry Turk and his Pierce County Veterans Resource Van are often stationed at Lakewood City Hall, connecting veterans to services.
On MLK Day 2021, L. Denice Randle delivered a gorgeous speech about “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.
Jim Endicott managed to keep the Lakewood Community Garden running during the pandemic, donating thousands of pounds of produce to local food banks when it was most needed.
Parkland Post #2 Commander Tom Silva organizes an annual Veterans Day breakfast – many Lakewood vets belong to his post.
Inge Ivey, one of our Knotty Knitters, made and donated many blankets to local hospitals for newborns. Responding to Issues
The City of Lakewood’s exclusive intent is to serve you – the community of Lakewood. Part of that is responding to problems. From acute issues like weather to broad issues like homelessness, the City responded to challenges head-on in 2021.
The weather outside was frightful during the December snowstorm, but Lakewood’s plows and salt trucks worked 24/7 to keep your roads safe.
Heat parched us this summer, so City Hall was opened as a cooling center to residents in need of relief.
A sewer bypass ran along Steilacoom Boulevard diverting millions of gallons of sewage daily while the main was repaired.
Local vaccine clinics immunized thousands of residents to COVID-19, working extended hours and weekends.
Lakewood participated in the purchase of the Aspen Court facility, a hotel converted into an emergency homeless shelter.
Lakewood’s canopy of trees is a valuable asset – one that we intend to preserve. The City adopted a new Energy & Climate Change Chapter into its comprehensive plan and is taking steps to advance tree protections in 2022. Your City Government
The employees of the City of Lakewood are motivated by the belief that we contribute to the betterment of this community. We work with the exclusive goal to serve you, and to make life better.
City Manager John Caulfield took a pie to the face to raise money for the United Way during a recent charity drive.
Chief Zaro also joined in to raise money for the United Way, but benefitted from a slightly less messy pie.
Public Works employees gather for their winter prep training before the first snow hit in December.
City employees gather for a barbeque and pep talk from City Manager John Caulfield.
Our Senior Activity Center has been closed since the pandemic hit, but our staff organized countless activities to stay connected with local seniors.