PORT ANGELES — The inaugural Port Angeles Maritime Festival is planned Saturday and Sunday along the Port Angeles waterfront.
Produced by a consortium of organizations — including the Port of Port Angeles, the Port Angeles Yacht Club, the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the North Olympic History Center — the Port Angeles Maritime Festival aims to attract both locals and visitors for what organizers hope will be an annual celebration of the history and future of maritime industries and activities around Port Angeles and on the North Olympic Peninsula.
The festival will bring a sight to Port Angeles’s waterfront that hasn’t been seen in years: the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain.
The tall ships, owned by the Aberdeen-based nonprofit Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, sail the waters of the Pacific each year offering educational programs, deck tours and sailing excursions.
Today through Sunday, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will be docked at City Pier.
The tall ships will be open to the general public for ticketed sailing events. For the seasickness-prone but curious, stationary dockside Vessel Tours are available through Sunday for a $5 suggested donation.
Launched in 1989 in Aberdeen, Lady Washington is the official ambassador of the state of Washington and a replica of the original vessel of the same name, the first American ship to make landfall on the West Coast.
The steel-hulled Hawaiian Chieftain was launched in 1988 in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Together they are among the most active tall ships in America, visiting approximately 40 ports each year.
Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday on City Pier at the north end of Lincoln Street, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city’s new marina floats at City Pier, followed by the U.S. Navy Band Northwest’s Brass Band performing on the City Pier Pavilion stage.
Other music to be performed at City Pier pavilion throughout the day includes sea shanties sung by the band Nelson’s Blood and the Caribe Steel Band performing at the Port Angeles Farmers Market in The Gateway transit center.
A variety of vendors will be set up around City Pier, including Adventures Through Kayaking, which will provide kayaking tours from Hollywood Beach, and Sound Bikes and Kayaks, which will rent bicycles for participants to enjoy riding along the waterfront.
At 2 p.m., a U.S. Coast Guard HH-64 Dolphin crew from Air Station Port Angeles will provide a sea rescue demonstration in Port Angeles Harbor.
Also on Saturday, several exhibits will be offered, including a temporary maritime heritage display in the Port Angeles Visitor Center provided by the North Olympic History Center, a newly painted mural of U.S. Navy ships in Port Angeles Harbor temporarily on display upstairs in Studio Bob at 118½ E. Front St. and special displays in Feiro Marine Life Center at City Pier and NOAA’s Olympic Coast Discovery Center in The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave.
On Sunday, the events will move to the east parking lot of the Port Angeles Boat Haven from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday’s festivities will include narrated driving tours through the Port of Port Angeles’ log yard, marine terminals and boat manufacturing facility.
The Puget Sound Pilots, the Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, the Coast Guard Museum Ship Comanche, USCG Maritime Force Protection boats and Port Angeles Yacht Club members’ private boats will be open for tours in the marina.
Tribal canoes, a Wicked Racing sprint boat, the Clallam County Sheriff’s boat and two Coast Guard vessels will be available for up-close viewing in the parking lot.
Food trucks, live music, face painting and a kids’ scavenger hunt will highlight Sunday.
Both Saturday and Sunday will feature a giant slide for kids representing a huge octopus, “The Kraken,” breaking a ship in two.
For more information, including event schedules, go to https://portangeles maritimefestival.org.