Penn Cove Water Festival
"The Mission of the Penn Cove Water Festival Association is to continue an annual revival of the historic Coupeville Water Festival by bringing families together to enjoy Native American canoe racing, entertainment, crafts and culture, and by giving them a chance to learn about, appreciate, and protect the environment in which we all live."
This festival includes Native American canoe racing, as well as various types of entertainment...great for the whole family.
This festival celebrates the Native American Influence in historic Coupeville. The festival was started in 1930 by three men who wanted to draw tourists to Coupeville. The first year they had only 3 canoes participating. The event grew to 22 tribes being represented in the races. Over the years they added sack races, contests, a parade and other events to the festivities.Locals baked fresh bread as gifts to the Native Americans attending the festivities.
The canoe races were inspired by Native American fisherman. Originally, tribes would gather to do fish runs from several portages in the area. Naturally, the tribes competed and the races began.
In 2004 the non-profit Penn Cove Water Festival was established. The festival takes place on one Saturday in May and is dependent on the tides. Todays festival includes tribal dancing, music and storytelling. Local artists and craftsmen display their work. There is food and fun for the whole family. Enjoy alder baked salmon and fry bread. This is a great way to learn more about the rich Native American heritage of the Pacific Northwest.
Coupeville is located on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle. You can get to Coupeville by taking I-5 north and crossing through Oak Harbor and over Deception Pass. You can also take the Mukilteo - Clinton Ferry to Whidbey Island and travel north, up the island. Take the time to stop by Langley, another great small town, know for their excellent whale watching.