PORT TOWNSEND — The Wooden Boat Festival, billed as North America’s largest wooden boat gathering, will offer presentations, entertainment and, of course, wooden boats, through Sunday at Point Hudson.
The celebration, now in its 42nd year, will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at and around the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St.
Tickets cost $20 for a one-day pass and $40 for access through Sunday, with discounts for seniors, students and active-duty military; children 12 and younger are admitted free. Northwest Maritime Center members get free admission.
The end of Water Street and Jackson Street will be accessible only by foot. Bike racks are available at the entrance. No dogs are allowed, except for service animals.
Parking can be found at the Haines St. Park & Ride near Safeway. Shuttles will run throughout the festival for $1 for an all-day pass. Paid parking is available at Memorial Field with proceeds supporting Jefferson County Memorial Athletic Field through Jefferson County Parks & Recreation.
Pre-festival events on Thursday included the awarding of lifetime achievement awards to yacht designer Bob Perry and boat builder and restorer Marty Loken.
Tall ships, paddleboards, kayaks, tugboats, row boats and all types of wooden boats will dot Port Townsend Bay this weekend.
Anika Colvin, communications director for the Northwest Maritime Center, said there are plenty of opportunities to catch a ride on one of these vessels; some offer free entry.
“There are 104 presentations scheduled throughout the event on seven stages around the festival campus: adventure, technical, discovery, explorer, boatyard, woodworking and boat building,” Colvin said. “There’s something for everyone, with fun activities for the kids.”
A whole slate of children’s activities includes making fish print T-shirts, storytelling, a scavenger hunt, boat rides and a play about Capt. Cloud’s latest adventure.
Colvin said Point Hudson Marina will be buzzing with activities including music, dancing and plenty of food options.
An art exhibit by this year’s poster artist Jesse Joshua Watson is upstairs at the Northwest Maritime Center’s offices. Posters may be purchased at the Wooden Boat Chandlery.
Colvin said there are many featured events during the festival that provide a taste of mariner life.
Documentary filmmaker Steve Wystrach will premiere his film “Manry at Sea: In the Wake of a Dream” about Robert Manry’s solo sail across the Atlantic in 1965 in a 13½-foot sailboat, at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Northwest Maritime Center.
Wystrach was inspired by Manry’s book and undertook the solo sail himself in 1997.
The sixth annual Boat Building Challenge, sponsored by Edensaw Woods, gets underway today. Teams will compete to build a boat in three days and awards will be presented at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Author and sailor Kaci Cronkhite will sign her book “Finding Pax, One Woman’s Journey for the Love of Her Wooden Boat,” from 11 a.m. to noon today through Sunday in the Merchandise Tent.
Sailmaker, open ocean sailor, instructor and writer Carol Hasse will be celebrating her 40th year as a maritime tradesperson in Port Townsend. Her sail loft is open from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for an anniversary celebration.
She’ll also present “The Essentials of Sailmaking” a 90-minute lecture about types of rigs, tools, materials and design, sewing and handwork at her loft on 315 Jackson St., within the festival grounds.
Hasse will join Cronkhite, Nancy Erley, Behan Gifford, Wendy Hinman, Leslie Linkkila and Pam Wall for the “Women’s Offshore Panel” Saturday beginning at 3:45 p.m. The women are all seasoned navigators and advocates for women’s sailing.
Team Sail Like A Girl, this year’s Race to Alaska (R2AK) winners, will talk about their experiences at 4 p.m. today on the Adventure Stage. Crew members will recount their history-making journey this summer.
In addition, more than 30 R2AK recent competitors and alumni will gather in Racer’s Alley for informal conversation, with some of the racers’ boats on display. Participants in the inaugural Seventy/48 Race also will also take part in the talks.
Shelly Randall will present the history of the Felicity Ann, the community boat project used as an on-the-water training platform for women, youth and the community to encourage women to consider the marine trades as a career, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sunday on the Technical Stage.
At 2:30 p.m. today, the 26-foot and under boat race will get underway. At 10 a.m. Saturday will be a rowing race; at 3 p.m. Saturday, the Schooner Cup will be held.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, the final sail-by will conclude the festival.
For more information and a complete schedule, see www.woodenboat.org.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected] news.com.