Raft race returns to Drayton Harbor Maritime Festival


It’s that time of year for Blaine residents to uncover their pirate swords and eye patches: Drayton Harbor Maritime Festival returns Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 in Blaine Harbor. Among festival highlights, the Prestigious George Raft Race will make a comeback this year.

The maritime-themed festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 6 and August 7 at Blaine Harbor Boating Center, 235 Marine Drive. Pirate Daze will take place alongside the festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 6 at Blaine Marine Park.

“It’s back. That’s such a big deal after being two years gone,” said Carroll Solomon, this year’s festival event coordinator, when asked what she’s most excited about. “It’s been a struggle to connect with people. But now that we’re up and running, it will be easier for next year.”

The family-friendly weekend will kick off with arts, crafts, a scavenger hunt, a model boat display and food vendors all day at the boating center. 

The Prestigious George Raft Race will start at 12 p.m. August 6 outside of the boating center. Participants are invited to put together a homemade raft out of anything that floats such as lumber or empty milk jugs. More than one person can be on a raft but everyone should wear a lifejacket, Solomon said. Winners will be honored with a perpetual trophy. 

At Pirate Daze, Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) will host a mermaid booth, face painting, arts and crafts, and pirate sword playing before ending with a balloon fight around 1:45 p.m., BBBPRD2 director Heather Lindsay said. Festival participants are encouraged to wear their best pirate costume to the free events. Hot dogs, chips and a drink can be purchased for $1 each. 

Pirate Daze will also feature a 30-minute Blaine Community Theater “Pirates of Penzance” performance and water balloon show. “I’m looking forward to seeing the community theater performance,” Lindsay said. “The energy they bring to the event is fantastic.”

The Historic Plover ferry will offer passengers rides between Blaine Harbor and Semiahmoo Spit 12-8 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The ferry costs $5 for adults, $1 for youth 12 years old and over and is free for children under 12. 

Once on the Semiahmoo Spit, people can visit the Alaska Packers Association Museum in the old cannery building. The free maritime museum accepts donations and will be open 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

On Sunday, festival attendees can enjoy arts, crafts, food vendors, scavenger hunt and the model boat display. A pet contest starts 1 p.m. at the boating center. People can present their pet by having the animal do tricks, tell stories about the pet or dress it up, Solomon said.

Buskers will perform old sea shanties around noon during the festival, Solomon said. 

Tall ship Lady Washington will not return to the festival this year, according to the chamber’s website. For more information about the events, visit blainechamber.com and


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