Skip to content

2011 Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival is NEXT WEEKEND!

June 24, 2011

A brand new vantage point for Seattle fireworks launches this year at The Center for Wooden Boats 35th annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival.  A Fourth of July tradition in the Emerald City, the festival running July 2, 3, and 4 at the South end of Lake Union, features some 200 wooden boats: from rowing dinghies to the 133-foot classic schooner Adventuress.

The FREE public festival is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3 and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday July 4.  On Independence Day, Lake Union Park will remain open to the public for viewing of the Lake Union Fireworks show which gets underway around 10 p.m.

During the festival, visitors will be able to board dozens of historic sailing and rowing vessels from the CWB collection, and board many of the historic private vessels brought to the show by their proud owners.  Classic rowboats can be rented, and free steam and sail rides will be running non-stop.  Festival attendees can explore the many styles of boatbuilding in the Northwest, ranging from modern skiffs and cedar strip kayaks to traditional Native-American cedar canoes by Master Haida carver and CWB artist in residence Sāādūūts (Robert Peele).  On Sunday, July 2, the canoe currently being carved at CWB will undergo a “steaming”, part of the traditional construction process. Attendees can also learn to steer by the stars, sharpen their chisels or tie a “turks head” knot in our skills classes and booths.

Activities for the kids include Toy Boat Building where they can to build and decorate their own model boats and Pirate Storytime aboard the historic tug boat Arthur Foss; featuring the nautical yarns of Pirate Lou. Kids will also be able to build a kite and fly it from the festival grounds, and sail model boats in the park’s new boat pond.

Come see the Quick and Daring Boat Building contest, sponsored by Everett’s Thain Boatworks/Earthwise Ventures.  In this longtime festival favorite, teams have just 24-hours to construct a boat and then race it; sailing a leg, paddling the next and anything goes on the homeward leg, in this inventive and hilarious contest that rewards the first boat still floating at the finish line.

Local music talent will be featured on our stage all three days. New in 2011 is an expanded beer garden run by Jillian’s Billiards where people will be able to wet their whistle with four different beers while they play nautical trivia. Nearby food venders will fill a growling stomach.  And they’ll be open leading up to the fireworks on Lake Union Monday night, the 4th of July.

Download a press release about the event, including a full schedule of activities.


Free Public Rides: Take a trip on Lake Union by sail, row, paddle, steam, electric or power boat.  Boats available vary but they all fill up fast!  Sign up on the City Wharf.

Boat Building Demonstrations: Watch master craftspeople as they build kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and more.

Quick and Daring Race: Are they amazing, or just crazy?  Watch teams built a boat in 24 hours and cheer them on as they launch and race on Monday.

NW Seaport: Tour 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss.  The NWS gift shop has maritime music CDs, t-shirts and more!

Carving Cultural Connections: CWB Artist-in-Residence Sāādūūts (Robert Peele) is a Master Haida Carver who enjoys sharing the canoe building journey with people of all ages.  Visit the canoe by the Pavilion entrance to take part in the journey, and see a canoe “steaming” (part of the construction process) on Sunday, July 2nd.

Storage Tours: For the third year, CWB will offer tours through our storage facility.  This is where we keep historic wooden boats that are too valuable or fragile to put back into the water.


Toy Boat Building: We supply the hull, mast, sails and tools you need.  Bring your imagination and build the boat of your dreams!  Located in the Kids’ Activities area.

Pirate Pond Boats: Race models of the sailboat Pirate in our model pond.

Treasure Hunt: Kids can partake in a hunt for treasure around the festival.  There are five clues that lead you all over the park.  The first clue is in the Festival Shavings newsletter.

Sidewalk Chalk Art: Help decorate the Festival.  Draw a boat, a mermaid, or anything that comes to your imagination.

Kite Making:  Expanded in 2011, our kite building program moves into Lake Union Park. You and your child can build, decorate and fly a kite at the festival.

The Center for Wooden Boats gratefully acknowledges the support of our sponsors in making it possible to bring so many wonderful boats and boat lovers together over the holiday weekend. Sponsors include: Vulcan Real Estate, Holland American Line, Jillian’s Billiards, KPLU-FM, KUOW-FM, Classic KING-FM, West Marine, The Shelton Mason County Journal, Port Townsend Foundry, Orca Creative, The Drachen Foundation, Seafair, 4Culture, The City of Seattle office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Parks and Recreation,  Pilgrim Media Services, @ Lake Union Park and The New Belgian Brewing Company.


Over 200 wooden boats from dinghies to sailing schooners over 130 feet in length are on public display throughout the festival.

Zodiac  160-foot two-masted gaff rig schooner built in 1924 that competed in the 1928 Trans Atlantic Sailing Race.

Adventuress  133-foot National Historical Landmark schooner built in 1913 for the founder of the Yellow Cab Company.

Spike Africa  79-foot gaff rig schooner won honors throughout her racing career and has starred in films such as Joe vs. the Volcano with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, TV shows including Baywatch and Hotel, and numerous national advertising campaigns.

Norwester 76-foot power yacht originally owned by actor John Wayne.

Mycia  73-foot schooner designed and lofted in 1997 by local boatbuilding students at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend.

Flying Cloud   52-foot locally designed Monk motor yacht originally built for the President of First Seattle Bank and later served as a sub-chaser during World War II.

Mistral 39-foot Seaborn sloop built in 1929 and local regatta standout which has two Swiftsure International Yacht Race titles to her credit.

Learn more about the Festival on our website.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: