Submitted by Port of Olympia

Vintage, working and retired tugboats return to the southernmost tip of Puget Sound for three days of fun at Harbor Days, September 1-3. Experience it all at Percival Landing and Port Plaza on Olympia’s downtown waterfront.

Harbor Days Maritime Festival
One of the many vintage boats awaiting visitors at Harbor Days. Photo courtesy: Harbor Days

The tugs leave shore on Sunday at noon for the annual Tugboat Races in the deep channel of Budd Inlet. Many of the tugs offer tours on Saturday.

The Festival includes some new and updated 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.

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.

harbor days
Vendors from across the region will be on hand at Olympia Harbor Days. Photo courtesy: Olympia Harbor Days

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.

This year 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 Harbor Days website.

Free Port Tours on Saturday, Sept. 2

Learn how Thurston County is connected with the global trade network, and how various modes of transportation move goods to their final destination. See the mobile harbor crane, a locomotive brought in by Olympia & Belmore Railroad, Inc., and other operational equipment, which are impressive by size alone. Hear maritime stories told by Olympia’s longshoremen from ILWU Local #47, representatives from local forestry businesses, and Port of Olympia’s international maritime terminal staff. Join them for a tour of your working waterfront!

Meet from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Port of Olympia Booth on the northwest corner of the Port Plaza, just north of Percival Landing on Budd Inlet in downtown Olympia. Tours begin every hour, on the hour.

Port of Olympia partners in Harbor Days to celebrate the maritime heritage of our community. For more information visit the Harbor Days website.

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