Drayton Harbor Days festival this weekend

Published on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 by Jack Kintner

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Drayton Harbor Days festival this weekend

By Jack Kintner

Blaine’s active summer, highlighted by a Fourth of July and a Jazz Festival week that both saw record attendance, continues this weekend with Drayton Harbor Days.

Downtown will once again be given over to an arts and crafts fair on Peace Portal between G and Martin streets with about 40 vendors. There will also be a motorcycle show and shine, a merchants’ sidewalk sale and kids games and activities, including a treasure hunt.
The map for the kids’ treasure hunt can be picked up at the H Street Plaza and returned to the same location upon completion). A pirate costume contest is also open to adults.

In addition, the 105-mile loop “Tour de Whatcom,” a benefit bicycle ride for Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom County, will cruise through town in the afternoon. Riders are expected to stop as they will have put more than 70 miles behind them, by the time they arrive on their way back to Fairhaven.

Be sure and pick up one of the blue “Be Our Guest” flyers that feature discounts and deals from nearly 20 Blaine merchants. The coupons are good through September 30.

The heart of the action will be down on the water for the weekend, and will include the prestigious George Raft Race, a return visit from the Northwest Steam Society’s fleet of steam launches complete with Don Stagg splitting ears all over the harbor with his steam calliope, a sailboat race featuring graduates of the first year of Blaine’s new sailing academy, and, on Sunday, an impressive rescue demonstration by Coast Guard personnel from Blaine, Bellingham and Port Angeles.
According to Paul Greenough of Blaine’s Flotilla 19 of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Sunday demonstration will include a number of vessels from all three locales as well as visiting boats from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

“On Sunday a helicopter from the Port Angeles Coast Guard station will arrive to do a high speed rescue drill in the bay just north of Marine Park,” Greenough said, “Which is fun to watch. There will also be a 41-foot patrol boat and the smaller, high-speed Sea Ark from Bellingham and a number of local boats certified to participate in Coast Guard Auxiliary patrols. In addition, we will have several vessel examiners on hand to do courtesy inspections of recreational boats as requested by their owners and the Coast Guard Auxiliary picnic in the park from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with demonstrations, contests, and so on.”

The popular steam launches operated by members of the Northwest Steam Society will be available for public viewing along the Blaine Harbor Marina visitor’s dock below gate two on both Saturday and Sunday, with parades each day scheduled for 2 p.m. Local keyboard collector and all-around impressario Don Stagg will again send his selection of show tunes, classical themes, opera overtures and the occasional Beatles tune tundering around the bay as he plays a calliope custom-built by Custer’s Gordon Sullivan.

Drayton Harbor Maritime’s Community sailing program will be holding the first annual West Marine Sailing Regatta near Gate three at 11 a.m. Sailors in the program’s 3-meter Clancy sail boats will sail around “Monkey Island” in the inner harbor at the Blaine Harbor and can be watched from a variety of vantage points near gate three.
The Prestigious George Raft Race Will commence at 1 p.m. at the Blaine Harbor boat launching ramp at the south end of Milhollin Avenue off Marine Drive. Participants are asked to be there at 12:30 to register. Anything you’ve assembled and constructed yourself, and is human powered, is eligible, as are dogs but not cats. “You’d be very, very sorry if you tried to bring a cat along,” said race organizer Bob Knapp. The finish line is again under the main ramp inside gate two at the marina.

Downtown, the theme this year is piracy, and should not be taken to mean that people should act like pirates, just look like them. Visitor Information Center director Carroll Solomon suggests using your imagination for the dress-up contest with halloween costumes and even some of your mother’s make-up, especially if she like to look like a sea-farin’ lady, too.

The Plover, Captain Sam Clemens at the helm, will run all weekend and the maritime-themed Semiahmoo Park Museum will be open all weekend as well. For more information call the visitor Information Center at 332-6484 or go to www.blainechamber.com.