Hope is in the air for an in-person Wooden Boat Festival come September.

Of all the events that got canceled in the past year due to Covid-19, the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend was one of the most disappointing for us here at 48° North and for boating enthusiasts from around the region and world.

Now, longing for the event’s return, it’s with a glimmer of hope that we can see the potential comeback of an in-person festival in September 2021. Surely, they’re will be precautions and guidelines put in place to keep festival-goers safe, but that seems like a small price to pay to sip a beer while watching live music in Bar Harbor, to climb aboard wooden boats and chat with their owners in a socially distant manner, and to take in a seminar or two. With that, here’s to hoping we can have it back this year.

Announcement from Wooden Boat Festival Director Barb Trailer.

Let’s Plan on a Festival!

Vaccinations are up and cases are down, we are moving into Phase 3 and there is talk of normalcy by July 4th. The sun even came out. We are not in the clear yet, but things are looking better and better. If the pandemic takes a turn for the worse we’ll alter our course, but we are going to lead with optimism and community spirit. Let’s plan on a Festival!

Big boats, small boats, demonstrations, presentations, products for sale, kids building toy boats, longboats going out, sailboats coming in, races, music, food… I can almost hear the kids hammering on toy boats and the sound of sea shanties. Let’s plan to get together and celebrate all the best things about wooden boats and our community this September.

There is no crystal ball to tell us what things will look like in September, but after a year of living with a pandemic, we know that the wooden boat community and Port Townsend need something to look forward to, something to celebrate. We believe the Wooden Boat Festival can be that thing.

We have talked to Public Health, City officials, County officials, the Police Department, the Port of Port Townsend, my astrologist and psychic—no one knows for sure what the future holds, but everyone hopes we can have the Wooden Boat Festival.

We have to be prepared for anything, so we will be. We will have a COVID safety plan to meet the guidelines in September. We have contingency plans for things we don’t know about yet, and strategies to meet the unknowns. There are several months for more vaccinations to be administered, and for things to evolve and continue to improve. And if we need to cancel the Festival again, we will—your safety is our first priority.

Wooden Boat Festival is the biggest celebration in the country and has been the signature Northwest Maritime Center event for 45 years. The weekend draws more visitors to the region than any other time of year, and is the busiest time for most businesses, restaurants, and hotels in town. In addition, it is the showcase of everything that Port Townsend and the NWMC represent: craftsmanship, education, adventure, bringing people together, and getting people on the water. People come to be inspired, to get away, to dream, and to celebrate together.

We believe that this year, we all need this more than ever.

We are looking forward to working with our community of volunteers, sponsors, boaters, exhibitors, presenters, musicians, food vendors; each and every one of you is an important ingredient that makes the Wooden Boat Festival so magical.

I look forward to seeing YOU at the Wooden Boat Festival—September 10th, 11th and 12th, 2021.

Barb Trailer | Wooden Boat Festival Director

Participant applications will open April 21, and the volunteer application is open now!