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Be a part of the Port Townsend Orca Festival June 24 with a jam-packed day filled with fun and educational events to celebrate the start of summer and reinforce our connection to the Salish Sea.

Port Townsend Marine Science Center, 11am-5pm
Discover Pass Required for Fort Worden State Park; free admission to PTMSC

June is Orca Awareness Month in Washington State, and Port Townsend is wrapping up the month with a summer-kickoff and beach party on June 24th at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, at Fort Worden State Park. Running from 11am-5pm, guests can expect a day full of fun and educational activities to celebrate the start of summer and reinforce our connection to the Salish Sea.

2017 marks the 11th annual Orca Awareness Month, dedicated to promoting education about the endangered Southern Resident orca population—but this party is the first of its kind for Port Townsend. “Port Townsend’s central location in the Salish Sea makes it one of the nation’s finest destinations for learning about orcas,” says Executive Director of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center Janine Boire.

The Marine Science Center will be opening its doors to the public, where visitors can listen to whales over hydrophones, explore the touch tanks and learn about the marine ecosystems for the Salish Sea. Local artist Jesse Watson will facilitate sand sculpture making down on the beach, and Locust Street Taxi will raise spirits—and feet—with a concert on the pier! Guests will also have the opportunity to take a free boat tour with family-run whale watching company Puget Sound Express, and view the Hope skeleton Natural History Exhibit—one of only eight fully articulated orca skeletons in the world.

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition’s involvement in the Orca Festival is important, since salmon are an important part of an orca’s diet and there is a strong relationship between the health of each endangered population. Many Chinook salmon runs within the Southern Residents’ range have been listed on the Endangered Species Act for almost two decades, and the Southern Residents themselves have been listed for over a decade—yet both species remain in dire straits. This festival is an important opportunity to engage with the local organizations that are working to restore these populations, and learn how we can contribute, as individuals and a community, to promoting the health of these two beloved northwest icons.

The event is free and open to the public, however Discovery Passes will still be required to park down by the beach at Fort Worden.

The celebration is sponsored the Marine Science Center, Puget Sound Express, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, NOAA and Thunderbull Productions.

Schedule

On the Beach
– 11AM – Opening Ceremony
– 11AM – 3PM – Sand sculpture making with Jesse Watson
– 3:00 PM – Community Portrait
– Beach games with Jeff. Co. Parks and Rec.

On the Pier
– Free entrance to the Marine Science Center
– Listen to whales using a hydrophone
– 1PM -3PM- Locust Street Taxi performance
– 3PM – 5PM – Free boat tours with Puget Sound Express

Natural History Exhibit
– Hope skeleton viewing
– Climb inside of NOSC’s larger-than-life Fin the Salmon
– Art projects with NOSC
– Life-size Inflatable orca on display

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver sailed the ocean blue.  What he found was not the famed Northwest Passage but the stunning inland sea of Puget Sound.  On June 4th, his ships Discovery and Chatham sailed into Saratoga Passage near Mukilteo, where Vancouver took possession of the the Pacific Northwest – “New Georgia” – as a birthday present for King George III.  Charting our shorelines with impressive accuracy, Vancouver literally put our region on the world map.

Happily, this 225th anniversary of Vancouver’s historic exploring expedition coincides with the 2017 Festival of Sail in Tacoma (June 15-18), which brings a grand fleet of tall ships into the Peter Puget’s Sound. Many of these vessels will rendezvous for a commemorative parade of sail on June 13, celebrating the first tall ships in our waters during the administration of George Washington.


San Juan Island National Historical Park invites you to join us in honoring Britain’s famed navigator and his epic voyage of discovery.  You can witness this rare event – a flotilla of tall ships parading into Admiralty Inlet from three Washington State Parks. The vessels will leave McCurdy Point, east of Protection Island, as close to 2:00 p.m. as possible, and will sail by Point Wilson, Admiralty Head, and Marrowstone Point before continuing on towards Tacoma.

Where and When to View:
Fort Worden State Park at Point Wilson, approximately 2:20 – 3:00
Fort Casey State Park at Admiralty Head (Whidbey Island), approximately 2:45 – 3:30
Fort Flagler State Park at Marrowstone Point, approximately 3:20 – 4:00

Please note that all times are dependent on conditions.

Sample ~ Sip ~ Mingle – It’s going to be delicious!

The 2017 Taste of Port Townsend takes place Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 5-8 pm at the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St. Join us for an Evening of Local Tastes of Port Townsend Food, Beer, Wine, Cider and Desserts. This is an amazingly tasty fundraiser for the Port Townsend Main Street Program, a 501c3 nonprofit.

$50 for Food & Alcohol Tastes or $35 for Food Only Tastes.
Tickets purchased by June 12th get early entry at 5 pm. Tickets sold at the door beginning at 6 pm (space available basis).

Buy Tickets
Tickets are also available at Safeway-442 W Sims Way, Aldrich’s Market-940 Lawrence St. and Glow Natural Skincare- 244 Monroe St. 

This is a 21+ event, please bring your ID.

Tasty Samples from:

  • Aldrich’s Market
  • Silverwater Café
  • The Belmont
  • Taps at The Guardhouse
  • Sirens Seafood Bar
  • The OId Whiskey Mill
  • The Tin Brick
  • Cable House Beach Canteen
  • Dogs-A-Foot
  • Pane d’Amore
  • Jane Dough Shortbread
  • Port Townsend Fudge Co.
  • The Boiler Room

And Select Sips from:

  • Alpenfire Cider
  • Finnriver Cider
  • Eaglemount Wine and Cider
  • FairWinds Winery
  • Marrowstone Winery
  • Port Townsend Brewing Company
  • Propolis Brewing
  • Sunrise Coffee Company
  • The Spice and Tea Exchange

(subject to change)

Photo by Elizabeth Becker/Seaport Photography