Boat festival canceled


September 9, 2021

The Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, originally planned for September 10-12, 2021, has been canceled due to the shifting COVID-19 landscape. On August 20, the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC), the non-profit organization that puts on the Wooden Boat Festival, put in place requirements that all attendees provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test in an effort to address community concerns and to host the safest event possible. This decision was met with widespread positive feedback from the community and support from Jefferson County Public Health. However, even with the new measures put in place, cancellations continued to roll in from vendors, presenters, and wooden boat owners who remained uncomfortable with the potential health risk.

“We stand by the ‘vaccinated/negative-test-only’ protocols that we established, and continue to trust the guidance and support of public health officials who validated our approach. I am also incredibly proud of the staff and volunteers who performed absolute heroics to establish and operationalize those recommendations,” said Northwest Maritime Center Executive Director Jake Beattie. “We were confident that we could run a festival in accordance with these safety protocols, but in the end we weren’t certain that the festival experience would be able to live up to the spirit of celebration and community that has been its hallmark for 45 years. Yes, our decision to cancel is a big shift since last week’s announcement of our advanced protocols, but this is a rapidly shifting world and cancelling is the only responsible thing.”

NWMC has also canceled the annual Blazer Party, which takes place each year at the Wooden Boat Festival to celebrate the adventure races: Race to Alaska, SEVENTY48, and WA360.

The NWMC will refund all ticket purchases and entry fees.

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