PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Maritime Festival returns this weekend with old and new attractions on the Port Angeles waterfront.
Festivities will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
All events are open and free to the public, except for purchasing food and beverages or to pay competition registration fees.
The 2023 two-day celebration of maritime industries and activities will kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday with the inaugural Orca Bait Swim from the boat ramp area of Ediz Hook to Pebble Beach in Port Angeles.
The 1.5-mile swim will be followed by an awards ceremony at Pebble Beach Park at 10 a.m. Registration for the swim is available on the event website at www. MaritimeFestival.org.
The event, sponsored by the Port Angeles Nor’Wester Rotary Club, had a dozen people signed up as of Tuesday evening with more expected, said Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce, which is producing the festival along with the Port of Port Angeles and the Port Angeles Yacht Club.
This will be the third maritime festival, which was put on in 2018 and 2019 but was paused during 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“I’m really excited that it’s back,” Abshire said. “It’s an important part of our community. We are after all a port town and with an incredible maritime history and, I think, equally exciting maritime future.”
Abshire noted that the Port of Port Angeles is celebrating its 100th year “and they are excited to be a part of the maritime festival team.”
New this year will be a Maritime Industries Tent, located at the Port Angeles City Pier, and housing maritime-related organizations such as Brix Marine, Platypus Marine, Black Ball Ferry, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, StabiCraft, Peninsula College, the Port of Port Angeles, Motive, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlifeand Hull Scrubber.
Among the activities will be:
• The U.S. Coast Guard will moor the 87-foot cutter Wahoo at City Pier for tours and demonstrations, and will provide search and rescue (SAR) demonstrations both afternoons.
• Food trucks will be at both the Boat Haven Marina and on City Pier. The Port of Port Angeles commissioners will host narrated driven shuttle tours of the port’s properties and activities, departing from in front of the Port Angeles Visitor Center.
• Static trailered boats, new and renewed, will be on display at the Boat Haven Marina, and the Port Angeles Yacht Club,1305 Marine Drive, will host an open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday night.
• Music both days will be provided by the Navy Northwest Band and Panessence Steel Drum Band on the City Pier Stage.
• The Naval Elks Lodge, 131 E. First St., will host an historical maritime open house at the lodge on Saturday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The event website is at www.MaritimeFestival.org.