PORT TOWNSEND — The Wooden Boat Festival — featuring more than 300 boats on land and in the water, live music, local food and 120 presentations from maritime experts — will celebrate its 41st year in Port Townsend, starting with a workshop today.
The festival — the largest wooden boat festival in North America — will start this morning at 8:30 with the presentation “Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your Boat’s Diesel Engine System” at the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St., but it really kicks off Thursday with a number of presentations, dockside tours and live music starting at 5:30 p.m., offering a variety of events through Sunday.
The festival entrance will be in front of the maritime center.
For adults, one-day tickets are $20, or $40 allows you to attend all three days of the festival. For seniors, students and active military, one-day tickets are $15, while multi-day are $30. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.
The end of Water Street will be blocked off and accessible only on foot. Bike racks will be available at the entrance. No dogs are allowed at the Wooden Boat Festival with the exception of service dogs.
The paddleboard pool, which offers wooden boards from local businesses, will be open for young children, and adults can test out paddleboards just off the beach from the Northwest Maritime Center. The paddle pool also will offer bumblebee sailboat rides for children 5 and younger.
Rowboats will be available to rent or, for those seeking a larger vessel, the tall ships Pacific Grace and Pacific Swift and schooners Zodiac and Adventuress will be available to charter for sails around Port Townsend Bay.
At the Northwest Maritime Center dock, divers from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center will be bringing up some local sea life for children and adults to see and learn about. Also at the dock will be lessons on oceanography and Sunday a pirate-themed treasure hunt will start at noon.
Plenty of boats will be on display, including the Community Boat Project’s historic Felicity Ann, a vessel recently restored by the Wooden Boat School in Port Hadlock.
The boat shop in the Northwest Maritime Center will put on demonstrations, and local vendors will sell kits to build a paddleboard, rowboat or small sailboat.
The festival caters to the whole family.
This year’s Kids’ Cove will feature activities such as boatbuilding, puppet theater and face painting.
The festival also will feature local wine, beer and food served around town and in the festival. Also keep an eye out for the three pop-up bars throughout the festival.
Mariners will offer a number of presentations. For instance, Matt Rutherford will present a movie of his solo circumnavigation of the Americas and Howard Rice will discuss his time in Tierra del Fuego in a modified SCAMP (Small Craft Advisor Magazine Project) sailboat.
As always, there will be plenty of live music all weekend long, the kids’ tent will be open with activities to entertain young children and the whole weekend will culminate Sunday with a sail-by, which is expected to bring more than 300 boats to Port Townsend Bay.
Tickets can be purchased at the festival or online at nwmaritime.org. A schedule of festival events also is available.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected]