Maritime festival to take place August 4-5

By Stefanie Donahue

Seafaring folk from all around are set to attend Drayton Harbor Days this weekend.

The annual maritime festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5, at the Blaine Harbor Boating Center, located at 235 Marine Drive.

From 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, volunteers at the Blaine Senior Center, 763 G Street, will serve up a pancake breakfast.

The breakfast will include a selection of pancakes, French toast, waffles, scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee and orange juice. The cost to attend is $6 for adults and $4 for children under the age of 6.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Blaine Marine Park, nonprofit Let’s Move! Blaine will sponsor the 18th annual Run to the Border 5K. A 1-mile Kids Marina Fun Run and Walk, for children age 10 and under, will precede the race at 8:30 a.m.

Day-of registration is available for racers and costs $16 for adults, $10 for age 7 to 12 and $6 for children age 6 and under.

All proceeds will go toward the construction of a new playground at Blaine Elementary School.

This year, volunteers from Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 are promising a slew of pirate-themed activities at ‘Pirate Daze’ between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday at Blaine Marine Park.

Pirates from all around – including the Shady Isle Pirates from Steveston, B.C. – will sing sea chanteys, perform
historical reenactments and even shoot a real cannon.

To boot, a parade will take place at noon on Saturday at the Blaine Harbor Boating Center. Participants are encouraged to don their best pirate garb for a costume contest.

Also on Saturday is the Prestigious George Raft Race, which will begin at 1 p.m. at the Blaine Harbor public boat launch. To participate, racers are asked to sign a release form and wear a flotation device.

Rafts can be made from household items and building supplies can be purchased from the store (such as screws, tape or other small-value items) but an entire watercraft cannot be purchased for use in the race, said race committee member Richard Sturgill. The first place winner will take home the Prestigious George Raft Race Trophy.

“I don’t think people realize what a hoot that is,” said Blaine Chamber of Commerce director Carroll Solomon. “There have been some pretty bizarre rafts […] It’s really funny to watch.”

Promptly at 2 p.m. on Saturday, all ages will have the chance to take part in an epic water fight at Blaine Marine Park. The park district will provide water balloons and buckets, program manager Heidi Holmes said.

Just after sunset at 9 p.m. on Saturday, the public can view an outdoor showing of the newly released fantasy adventure film, ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ at Blaine Marine Park.

On both days, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., anyone can drop by the Blaine Harbor Boating Center to view a lineup of vintage steamboats, participate in games, crafts and a scavenger hunt or peruse an estimated 50 vendor booths, selling handmade goods in addition to food and drinks.

All ages will also have the chance to hop aboard tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, which will be docked at Blaine Harbor on Saturday and Sunday. Vessel tours and a variety of sailing excursions will be offered on both days.

To see the full schedule, visit: bit.ly/2NJnpmJ.

The historic Plover Ferry will offer rides out of Blaine Harbor gate 2 from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday for a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $1 for children.

Across the way in Semiahmoo is the Alaska Packers Association Cannery Museum, which will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 9261 Semiahmoo Parkway.

To wrap up the event, the Blaine Chamber of Commerce will host a pet contest at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Blaine Harbor Boating Center. Pets of all kinds are invited to participate and are encouraged to wear a costume, Solomon said. Contest categories are determined on the day of the event and a trophy is awarded to the best in show.

Learn more about Drayton Harbor Days at blainechamber.com.

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