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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

The Maritime Gig Festival: Gig Harbor’s Biggest Celebration!

Updated: May 1

The Maritime Gig Festival is back June 1 and 2



Gig Harbor Maritime Festival at Gig Harbor

 

By Jillian Chandler


As preparations are already well underway for the annual Maritime Gig Festival, Gig Harbor Living Local had the chance to interview the president and CEO of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Miriam Battson, in which she had a lot to share about the excitement of this year’s two-day festival, the celebrations to be had, and the importance of this incredible maritime event.


Q. Why do you believe the Maritime Gig Festival continues to be such a beloved community event year after year?


A. It’s a wonderful family friendly experience steeped in rich tradition. There are families who run in the 5k Fun Run each year. After the race, the parade holds all the fun things that kids enjoy in parades, fire trucks and personnel in turn-out gear, police vehicles, marching bands, businesses with super fun floats/displays and the crowd favorite librarian drill team.


Each year we find food options (that open AFTER the parade — for safety reasons) that will please even the pickiest of eaters. NEW in the food vendors you’ll find Fischer Scones! You’ll be able to wander through the booths in the afternoon munching on scones.


The Kid’s Zone area is a blast for children, where they can play games, burn off some energy in bounce houses, and put their painted hands on a T-shirt (thank you Harbor Graphics!). This year the YMCA will be partnering with us in the Kid’s Zone, so look for some fun new games in the park!


Each year, the Knights of Columbus bring the Blessing of the Fleet to the Sunday celebration and car show. During the Blessing, we pause our event while the priest’s procession comes down Rosedale from St. Nicholas Catholic Church. This beautiful ceremony culminates with the priest heading to a boat to circle the fishing boats [where he shoots] holy water at the boats as a blessing for a bountiful and safe fishing season. After the priest leaves the park, the festival entertainment resumes.


Q. What is the importance of this event to this maritime city?


A. The theme this year for the parade is ‘Come Together.’ In a world that has become divisive, this event is designed as a way for the community to come together and enjoy a fun shared experience that will surprise and delight the kids and those who are young at heart.


Q. What is the highlight of the annual festivities for you?

A. We LOVE the entertainment, as it is a mix of local favorites along with favorites from around the Puget Sound. Kalimba (Earth Wind & Fire tribute band) will once again close out Saturday evening, which gets most everyone up on their feet dancing, along with the closing band for Sunday, a local favorite, The Shy Boys.


Q. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?


A. Plan ahead, as there will be traffic congestion, pack your patience and plan for a fun day! We ask that you do not walk in the street between the hours of 8:30 and 11:45am for the safety of the runners and the parade entries. For breakfast, we encourage you to visit the local restaurants downtown and the Kiwanis pancake breakfast at Skansie Brothers Park.Find out more about this year’s Maritime Gig Festival at GigHarborChamber.net




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