This year represents a big change for the Wooden Boat crew, the most noticeable of which is the move to holding the Festival in September instead of in May, as in years past. The change was made for a variety of reasons, but the most important one has to do with trying to reach more of the community by holding the Festival at a time when more people want to come out.
In the past, when more of us were actively engaged in commercial fishing ventures, it made sense to have an early spring party before salmon season began. Even now, one of the things we’ll miss about the May Festival is that sense of emerging from winter and kicking off the year on the water. However, we’ve had to admit that as much as we love the light in May, the weather has often left a lot to be desired. Many are the tales of huddling around the giant wood stove at one end of the tent while marveling at how much fun could be had in a thirty knot breeze...
With the passage of time, though, we’ve found that there’s something to be said for the warmer days of late summer, and the hope is that by moving the Festival to the weekend after Labor Day, we’ll keep the “local” feeling intact and have a chance at some summer weather as well, and the greater turnout that such weather could bring. The Pederson Rowboat races are just more fun when we can hold them in nicer weather (despite claims by some that tiny boats in six foot seas are what really separate the water rats from the lubbers!)
Fear not, though, we’ll still have that giant woodstove out and roaring. Some things are just too good to change. Have a great summer, and we’ll see you in the fall.