“Bribe early and bribe often.”
That’s the judges’ mantra at the Quick and Dirty Boat Building and demonstration at the Anacortes Waterfront Festival. As to whether the boats actually will pass the crucial “float” test is another matter, entirely.
This wild and crazy event pleases not only the judges, but boat builders and audience alike.
Sawdust flies, drills whine, paint splatters, and teammates frantically confer as teams scramble to convert a specified stack of materials into a (hopefully) seaworthy vessel. Waterfront Festival-goers can monitor progress over the six-hour span as they stroll the festivals exhibits and vendors along the Fidalgo Bay shoreline.
Finished or not, construction stops for the 4pm demonstration. Teams parade their unique vessels through throngs of fans to the site. Bribery aside, it’s the boat that actually makes it to the end of the pier and back first that wins the coveted cardboard cup. (It didn’t hurt that one year’s winners had a bit of practice building the BMW Oracle America’s Cup trimaran!). Festival attendees are encouraged to buy a nail and vote for their favorites – at only $1 each, it’s worth having your opinion heard! Team Entry Fees help support the Anacortes Waterfront Alliance, and proceeds from The People’s Choice Award help support the non-profit of your choice.
During the two-day festival, the shoreline is filled with a multitude of free, family-friendly activities, vendors, food, live music, an open class car show, boat show, marine swap meet, radio-controlled and model boats, and several U.S. Coast Guard and other shoreline work and monitoring boats to tour. Local yacht club members even provide free, hour-long power and sailboat excursions from Cap Sante Marina into Fidalgo Bay and environs! Signup at the main pier.
Kids’ activities include constructing and sailing wooden boats, tile painting, flag making, coloring, and a magician. Beach and sea critter exhibits are among the educational booths that are fun for all ages.
JUST THE FACTS:
Anacortes Waterfront Festival
Happening the first full weekend in June
Cap Sante Marina on the downtown waterfront (“Q” Avenue).
Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm.