The annual Maritime Gig Festival will flood Gig Harbor with more events than ever Saturday and Sunday.
Among the events for the two-day festival are live music performers, including Heart by Heart, a spinoff of the original Seattle rock band Heart. A yacht festival will occur on both days. Sunday features The Wheels on the Water Car Show with cars, trucks and vintage tractors on display from 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in front of Skansie Brothers Park on Harborview Drive between Pioneer Way and Rosedale Street.
There also will be the re-opening of the Skansie Netshed, a Coast Guard search-and-rescue demonstration and Saturday’s grand parade.
“The parade is so much fun,” said Pat Schmidt, chairman of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “We have businesses, nonprofits and schools all come to get in line and walk about a mile to show off who they are, and what they are. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the people of Gig Harbor and those in the surrounding areas to enjoy themselves downtown.”
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Warren Zimmerman, Gig Harbor chamber president, sees the festival as an invaluable opportunity to strengthen bonds within the community.
“We feel that there needs to be a strong connection between the businesses in our community and the community at large,” he said. “We have always had a close-knit community and as it’s grown, people started to feel a little bit of separation from their local merchants. … This is just another way for our businesses and people in the community to reconnect and just have a fun day.”
The festival also marks the beginning of the summer festival season.
“By the time July Fourth comes around, there’s lots of parades that have gone on,” Schmidt said, “This is like the kickoff to the summer and we find that a lot of people get excited about our parade.”
Another important aspect to the festival is the regular blessing of the fleet before they depart for fishing season in Alaska.
“We incorporated, five or six years ago, the blessing of the fleet with this festival so that they go together,” Zimmerman said. “We feel it’s important to recognize the tradition of the maritime city.”
Maritime Gig Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday
Where: Harborview Drive, downtown Gig Harbor
8 a.m. Kiwanis Pancake breakfast
9 a.m. U.S. Bank Family Fun Run
10 a.m. Yo Ho Harbor Grande Parade
10 a.m. Skansie Netshed activities
10 a.m. Classic Yacht Festival
Noon Business booths, food vendors, and children’s fair open
12:30 p.m. Northwest Chill performs (Pavilion Mainstage)
2 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration
2:30 p.m. Skansie Netshed ribbon cutting
2:45 p.m. Kopachuck Middle School Jazz Band (Pavilion Mainstage)
3:45 p.m. Harbor Winds Concert Band (Pavilion Mainstage)
4:30 p.m. Minter Creek Elementary Choir (Jerisich Dock Stage)
5 p.m. Alex Zerbe “The Zaniac” (Pavilion Mainstage)
5:45 p.m. Steve Stefanowicz (Jerisich Dock Stage)
7 p.m. Heart by Heart (Pavilion Mainstage)
10 a.m. Farmers Market opens
10 a.m. Children’s activities
10 a.m. Classic Yacht Festival
10:30 a.m. Harbor Dance Performs (Pavilion Mainstage)
11 a.m. Wheels on the Water Car Show
Noon Peninsula Youth Orchestra Performs (Pavilion Mainstage)
1 p.m. Blessing of the Fleet
2 p.m. Car Show Awards Ceremony
3 p.m. The Shy Boys