The city of Blaine is gearing up for next weekend’s annual Drayton Harbor Days.
The two-day event, held Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, is packed with fun activities for the entire family: tall ship tours and sailings, Plover ferry rides, a sailing regatta, the Prestigious George Raft race, a pirate costume contest, children’s games and crafts, arts/crafts and food vendors, live music and outdoor movie night.
The highlight of this year’s festival is the tall ships. The Lady Washington, the ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Hawaiian Chieftain will arrive the afternoon of August 2 and depart on August 8. Take a dockside tour of the ship, or better yet, sign up for one of six sails. Two are battle sails, featuring a recreation of a typical late-18th century naval skirmish, complete with booming cannons. Tickets are $25 for a two-hour evening sail or $40 - $60 for a three-hour battle sail.
If the tall ships are, well, too tall, visitors can take a ride on the historic Plover Ferry to the Semiahmoo Spit both Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no charge for the ferry rides, but donations are accepted. For those who prefer to look at boats, there will be an array of wooden, classic plastic, steam boats and a model boat collection on display.
On Saturday, runners can start the festival early with the 5K Run to the Border, then stop at the community center to enjoy a pancake breakfast served between 8 and 11 a.m.
The Blaine Harbor Boating Center will have live music throughout the day, along with arts and crafts booths from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and prize drawings including a chance to win tickets to the Birch Bay Waterslides.
The annual Drayton Harbor Maritime Sailing School’s West Marine Community Sailing Regatta starts at 11 a.m. Sailors will be using 3-meter Clancy sailboats to sail around Monkey Island in the inner harbor of the Blaine Marina west of Gate 3.
NW Park and Recreation District 2 has Pirate Daze activities for children ages 7-12. For a $10 registration, kids can tour the tall ships, join in a treasure hunt, listen to pirate stories and sea shantey songs and make a pirate costume.
At 2 p.m., kids and adults dressed in their pirate best have a chance to win fabulous prizes at the Pirate Costume Contest. Kids games and crafts are offered throughout the day at the Boating Center.
The 10th annual Prestigious George Raft Race will begin at 1 p.m. at the Blaine Harbor public boat launch and will conclude at Gate 2. Participants paddle homemade rafts built from recycled floatable materials. This event is modeled in part from Devonshire’s River Lyn annual raft race that has taken place in England since the middle ages. All are welcome to join in the raft race or just watch the excitement as spectators. The first place winner will take home bragging rights and a one-year ownership of the coveted Prestigious George Raft Race Trophy.
Festival goers can finish the day by enjoying a movie under the stars. Keeping with the pirates theme, “The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” will start at about 9:15 p.m. at G-street plaza. Bring something comfortable to sit on, a warm blanket, snacks and water, and a flashlight.
The fun continues on Sunday with more arts and crafts vendors, Plover ferry rides, and boat displays. Bring your pets, dressed up in costume or to show off their latest tricks, for a chance to win a prize in the pet contest at the Blaine Boating Center at 1 p.m.
The events this year will be held at Blaine Harbor. For more information, call 360/ 332-4544 or visit www.blainechamber.com.