Submitted by Olympia Harbor Days
Only at Olympia Harbor Days, an Olympia Kiwanis Event this weekend August 30 – September 1, will you find over 20 vintage tugboats of the Puget Sound for a climb aboard show Saturday and races on Sunday. Final plans for this free and family friendly festival are headed for the finish line, making way for the 46th Annual Edition of Olympia Harbor Days Vintage Tugboat Festival and Races, South Sound’s largest maritime festival at the Olympia waterfront. Over 55,000 are expected to attend. The award winning event is presented by the Olympia Kiwanis Club with title sponsor the Squaxin Island Tribe. “46 years and we keep growing – bringing new and exciting features and landside activities as well as increasing the tugboat and harbor ship participation.” says Executive Director Carol Riley.
By Sea: Tugboats and Ships of the Harbor ships of all shapes and sizes will join Tug Sand Man and start filling the docks at Percival Landing starting Thursday. Expected are 20 tugboats which are open for dockside touring Saturday, August 31 and racing in the channel of Budd Inlet on Sunday, September 1. One tug will also be hosting live music on deck on Saturday. Joining the tugs will be retired Coast Guard Cutter and WWII floating museum Tug Comanche. On Tuesday of this week the Tall Ship Lady Washington will arrive at the Port Plaza dock and is open for touring and excursion sailings. One of the last remaining historic Mosquito Fleet ships, the Virginia V will arrive Friday with 120 passengers on board, most of whom will spend the weekend in Olympia. The Kiwanis want to thank Capital Heating & Cooling, the Ships of the Harbor sponsor.
By Land: Kick off Friday, August 30 with a Walk-About the Harbor with the Capitol Volkssport Club. Registration starts a 2pm at Batdorf and Bronson Tasting Room on Market Street. Olympia Harbor Days officially opens at 5pm with a tribal blessing followed by a great show by Rich Wetzel and his Groovin Higher band and some fun circus performers nearby. A great assortment of vendor booths line the boardwalks and Columbia Street. Seafood lovers will enjoy the offerings of salmon, oysters, lobster, fish tacos and more at the Percival Landing Food G’Alley . On Saturday starting at 10am find the 2-day Harbor Display built of Legos and create your own tug, train, plane or pirate ship, thanks to sponsor Heritage Bank. Kids will love Olympia’s award winning Hands On Children’s Museum’s Rumble Tug make, race and take activity. Also find remote control model tugboats and robotics displays. The festival is offering for the first time a maritime sea school for teens.
Sand at the Harbor continues its third year with a giant sand carved display created by the professional sand carvers of Form Finders. Watch them compete in a quick carve contest Sunday at the Midway Stage near the Marinas.
The Squaxin Island Tribe, title sponsor, will again offer tribal arts and cultural activities at the Port Plaza. Come learn about the culture and tribal history of the South Sound, watch tribal carvers and shop the Native American arts booths, all weekend at the Squaxin Island Salish Seaport at the Port Plaza. The area also hosts a beer/wine/cider garden, roasted corn and the famous Kiwanis Hot Dog Stand.
A wide array of music will be found on Washington’s Lottery Main Stage and Midway Stage at Percival Landing. Enjoy Sea Shanties, the Army’s First Corps Jazz Band, and many of Olympia’s classic rock bands. Kids will enjoy nearby Pirates, Balloon Artists, Face Painters, Caricatures, and so much more. There is even a Treasure Chest at the Harbor House for those kids that come to the festival dressed like a pirate.
“We have enjoyed our many years at Olympia Harbor Days (OHD). We started doing OHD because our daughter lived down that way and she helped us every year. Now they have their own business so we have passed the torch.” Randy Yaple, Yaple Kettle Corn.
Riley wants to thank the many community businesses and maritime partners for continued and new sponsorship to keep the tugs and ships coming to Olympia and allowing the expansion of land side offerings. “Without the support of the community and sponsors, this festival would not have been able to become what it is today” says Riley.
For a complete schedule and all festival details or for more information, please visit www.HarborDays.com. While the festival is free, they do ask for a suggested donation of $5 per person or $10 per family. Net proceeds and donations support Kiwanis scholarships and activities that benefit kids and their families.