Fly kites and skimboard during Birch Bay celebration


Waterfront activities like skimboarding and kite flying are the focus of the first International Sea and Sky Festival this weekend in Birch Bay.

Skimboarding lessons and kite-building instruction are featured from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17. Kite-building activities will be in the Worldmark Resort, 4810 Beachcomber Drive, just off Birch Bay Drive.

"They'll be showing how to build kites," said John Ellis, a volunteer with Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce. "If you want to learn, they are people who really know what they're doing."

The kite-building events are sponsored by Northwest Park and Recreation District No. 2, with kits and materials provided.

Skimboarding, paddle-boarding and kayaking activities will be nearby, along the shore in the area of the 7800 block of Birch Bay Drive, Ellis said.

Skimboarding competitor Jeff Blotsky and several of his friends will give demonstrations and instruction.

Skimboarding, a popular California sport, is gaining fans in the Northwest, Ellis said. He said Birch Bay's flat sand, especially at ebb tide, is perfect for skimboarding.

"It's sort of like snowboarding, when it first started - nobody knew how to do it," he said.

From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, the festival turns from instruction to competition, with races featuring skimboarding, paddle boarding and kayaking. There is no charge to enter the competition, but participants must bring their own equipment.

Nearby restaurants will be open during the events, and there will be several food vendors and a few arts and crafts booths.


Climb inside a fire engine and see a working firehouse during the Marietta Firefighter's Association Pancake Feed from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 24, at Fire Station No. 31, 2913 Bennett Drive, just north of Marine Drive.

Admission is $5 per person; children under 10 eat free. The event is a fundraiser for the Firefighters in Need Fund. Details: 360-733-6612 or the Marietta Firefighter's Association Pancake Feed page on Facebook.

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