Annual event features human slug races, games and activities for kids of all ages

It’s Slug Fest time at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

That means a celebration of sliminess and silliness with lots of activities for kids and families – and adults, too. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 27 and 28.

Oh, and the guest of honor. Well, of course, it’s a slug. A Pacific banana slug, to be exact.

Some would call it lowly, but the banana slug has an important role to play in the forests and their ecosystems.

So what’s there to do at Slug Fest?

Well imagine large trams equipped with tentacles as they make their way through the wildlife park’s 435-acre Free-Roaming
Area on an animal-watching journey.

Or think about tentacle headbands for people.

And human slug races? Yep, those too. Contestants can inch their way down a soapy, slimy track to victory. They’ll get gear to help protect their clothes while they’re in the race. But the track is wet, so some good, clean “sliminess” could wear off on contestants.

What else is in store? How about these fun activities?

• Slug tentacle crafts
• Slug “art projects”
• Slug story time and Slug Tots play area
• Photo booth with props
• Slug Bingo

In addition, Master Gardeners will be on hand to talk about slugs and gardens.

Slug Fest 2015 is sponsored by BECU.

All activities are free with admission or membership to Northwest Trek.

And, as always, each admission to Northwest Trek comes with a 50-minute, naturalist-narrated tour on a tram through the Free-Roaming Area, which is home to American bison, Roosevelt elk, woodland caribou, moose, deer and other animals.

Summer is a wonderful time to visit. There are bison and elk calves and bighorn sheep lambs in the meadows and forests of the Free-Roaming Area.

Plus, visitors can walk the paved paths through forests of tall evergreens to natural exhibits of wolves, coyotes, Canada lynx, black bears, grizzly bears and a wetlands exhibit that includes beavers, otters and other small animals.

For more information, go to www.nwtrek.org.

Northwest Trek, accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, is a 725-acre zoological park dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and their natural habitats. The wildlife park, a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. It’s located 35 miles southeast of Tacoma off State Highway 161.