The Olympia Yacht Club Celebrates Opening Day of Boating Season

May 14, 2016 marks opening day of boating season on Puget Sound and is celebrated by the Olympia Yacht Club with the Decorated Boat Parade.

Submitted by The Olympia Yacht Club

Saturday May 14 is the annual Sound Sound Opening Day of Boating Season Celebration held in downtown Olympia at points along Percival Landing and the Port Plaza Park. All area residents are invited to attend. Sponsored by the Olympia Yacht Club (OYC) and supported by Olympia’s South Sound Sailing Society and Shelton Yacht Club, Opening Day is a ceremony and celebration that marks the traditional start of the boating season in the South Sound. 

The Decorated Boat Parade with the theme of “Anchors Aweigh” is the day’s main event and is open to all south sound boats. Opening Day has been held for decades and similar ceremonies happen in other marine cities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Key elements of South Sound Opening Day include live music, the Ceremony and Blessing of the Fleet and a Decorated Boats Parade along the downtown Olympia shoreline. 

Opening-Day-2014-pic-3Opening Day activities starts at 9:30 a.m. when the American Legion Band begins playing on the deck of the Olympia Yacht Club located at 201 Simmons Street.  At 10:00 a.m. a short ceremony gets underway at OYC and includes the Blessing of the Fleet.  Attendees at the annual ceremony are the Olympia Lakefair Queen and Court along with local dignitaries. The best vantage point to watch the American Legion Band and Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony is the Percival Landing boardwalk near Olympia Yacht Club or on the deck outside Bayview Thriftway.  

The South Sound Opening Day Parade of Decorated Boats begins at noon and features both power and sail boats as small as 20 feet and as large as 55 feet from throughout the South Sound.  Somewhere between 45 to 50 boats are expected to participate including boats from the South Sound Sailing Society and Shelton Yacht Club. The Lakefair Court will embark on the judge’s boat and help award prizes for categories such as Best Sailboat and Best Themed Boat. 

Additionally, the Sea Scouts are supporting the event with their cannon that provides a booming kickoff for the parade. An ideal place to watch the start of the Parade of Boats is the Port Plaza Park near Anthony’s Restaurant.   After starting near Port Plaza Park the boats head further into West Bay before circling back to return to the Port Plaza Park and Percival Landing.

South Sound residents and families interested in Olympia’s beautiful marine environment, a great local event and decorated boats should make the time to attend this long standing maritime tradition on Saturday May 14.

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