It’s with a heavy heart that, despite our best efforts, we are cancelling this year’s Wooden Boat Festival. It’s a big shift since last week’s announcement of our advanced safety protocols, but this is a rapidly shifting world, and we’ve decided cancelling is the only responsible way forward.
We stand by the “vaccinated/negative-test-only” protocols we established which received widespread support, and trust the guidance of public health officials who validated this approach. We are also incredibly proud of the staff and volunteers who performed absolute heroics to establish and operationalize these protocols in short order.
The decision to cancel was due to the increasing volatility of the public health environment, as well as increasing COVID anxiety in our participants, exhibitors, and community. Even with the measures we put in place, every day has brought new cancellations from vendors, presenters, and wooden boat owners who remained uncomfortable with the potential risk. We respect and support everyone’s decision to do what’s right for themselves.
We were confident that we could run a festival in accordance with these safety protocols, but in the end we weren’t certain that the festival experience would live up to the spirit of celebration and community that has been its hallmark for 45 years. Rather than conduct a festival with a reduced scale and less than full spirit, we have made the decision to cancel. The Blazer Party and Lifetime Achievement Awards will be rescheduled for some time in the future—stay tuned.
We will contact those who have purchased tickets or paid to participate soon to process refunds. Please bear with us as we work through these challenging times.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers, presenters, vendors, boaters, and sponsors who work with us to make Wooden Boat Festival one of Port Townsend’s most beloved events—we look forward to gathering together again in the future. We also thank everyone in our community for your support and understanding.
The Northwest Maritime Center & Wooden Boat Festival Team