Foofaraw: Ready….Set….Sail!

After cheering military guests, participants gather near the new harbor security vessel.


Submitted by the Thurston County Chamber

Port of Olympia FoofarawFor over five decades, the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce has been honored to partner with the Olympia Yacht Club to host local military personnel, at Foofaraw, an event unmatched anywhere else in the world.  Always the first Friday after Labor Day, we will be shoving off from the Olympia Yacht Club main station for the fifty-second year on Friday, September 5.

One dictionary defines Foofaraw as “much ado about nothing” and, at one point in history the official “purpose” of the day, claimed that a “Foofarite [military attendee] has earned the right to say ‘Foof’ to all duties and responsibilities for one day each year.”

Foofaraw has grown to be well known throughout the United States armed forces including the 62nd & 446th Air Force divisions, the Western Air Defense Sector, Bangor Naval Station, Madigan Army Medical Center, the Washington National Guard and among many others from Joint Base Lewis McChord. Guests are transported by yacht club members to Island Home, where they are treated to a full day of games, served a terrific salmon BBQ lunch, and honored by local dignitaries.  We average two service members to every one civilian.

For the last several years, the Port of Olympia has shown their gratitude of service to our military by arranging an unofficial sendoff including representatives from local police, medic, and fire departments and always hanging a large American flag from one of their cranes.

Sponsor tickets for this year’s event are accounted for; however, we are collecting donations for the free military raffle that takes place throughout the day.

For more information about Foofaraw or other Chamber events, please call the Chamber at 360.357.3362.

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