Submitted by Olympia Harbor Days
Every year Labor Day approaches, and so does the annual Olympia Harbor Days Tugboat Races and Festival, an Olympia Kiwanis free community event held at the downtown Olympia waterfront. The 3-day family friendly festival hosts the World’s Largest Vintage Tugboat Show on Saturday at Percival Landing and Tugboat Races out in Budd Inlet on Sunday, this year sponsored by Lucky Eagle Casino.
The Squaxin Island Tribe, the title sponsor, presents an opening blessing on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and closing prayer on Saturday at 6:00 p.m., at the Washington’s Lottery Main Stage at Percival Landing, where you will find all the traditional festival favorites including hundreds of arts & crafts vendors, community businesses and non-profits, and amazing food booth chiefs. This year be sure to look for new features and activities including Sand Sculpting by Form Finders, live bands on stage from opening to closing daily, the high flying antics of some of Olympia’s best aerialists 25 feet up in the air.
And for the kids – thanks to support by Heritage Bank, the award winning Hands on Children’s Museum will be under the large shelter with supplies galore to help kids build boats for a “Cork Boat Regatta”. Nearby kids can learn about marine life through activities and play with the Puget Sound Estuarium experts. More rides are offered next to the fire truck on Columbia Street. Saturday offers kids story time with activities and free book giveaways.
Olympia Kiwanis will be at the Harbor House with some historic festival artifacts and can answer questions and will be selling $5 Raffle tickets to help fund high school scholarships. Be sure to enter the Mixx 96 Giveaway Contest on the boardwalk and win a weekend getaway aboard the Virginia V.
North at the Port Plaza, find the Squaxin Island Salish Seaport, presenting tribal activities, arts, artists, and cultural history through stories and dance. Little Creek Casino will be cooking up a storm with a tribal salmon bake and beer garden, proceeds of which will go to the Squaxin Island Tribe Museum.
2017 marks the long awaited return of the Tall Ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain whom will be sharing the Port Plaza docks with the historic Mosquito Fleet Steam Ship Virginia V. All ships, sponsored by WFSE, and are open for touring (donations appreciated) and offer cruises. Find information on schedules, pricing and securing your tickets go to the Olympia Harbor Days website.
Other major support for the festival comes from the City of Olympia, the Port of Olympia and community sponsors. Festival proceeds and donations help support the Olympia Kiwanis Club’s mission to help children and their families in the area.
Whether you are a cultural or history nut, a boating enthusiast, a landlubber, shopper or simply in search of a tasty bite to eat, Olympia Harbor Days always has something for everyone!
Olympia Harbor Days and Hours
Friday, September 1, 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 2, 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 3, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.