Arts and Entertainment

Canoe races, art show highlight this year’s Penn Cove Water Festival

The Penn Cove Water Festival returns to Coupeville this weekend.

The fresh but now-famous festival — in its 19th year — features tribal canoe races, storytelling, native arts and crafts, children’s activities, music and dance performances, environmental displays and Pacific Northwest foods.

The free festival is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. Once again, Coupeville’s Front Street is the place for the festival’s entertainment, food, arts and crafts.

There is a free shuttle to the canoe races from downtown to Captain Coupe Boat Launch on Ninth Street.

The race order is: single man, single woman, mixed doubles, six junior buckskin, six buckskin, six woman, six man, 11 junior buckskin, 11 buckskin, 11 woman and 11 man.

Performances on the main stage begin at 11 a.m. with the Shifty Sailors. At 12:30 p.m., enjoy dancing and storytelling with Gene Tagaban, followed by the Tsimshian Haayuuk Dancers at 2:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. is Ted Vigil, and flutist Peter Ali follows at 5 p.m.

This year’s celebration also includes “Native Spirit,” a juried, two-day art show featuring American Indian and native-theme artists from throughout the Northwest.

Traditional and contemporary pieces, reflecting native and regional art influences from Northwest Coast, Plains, Woodlands, Great Basin, Southwest and Central America, will be represented, and demonstrations will present opportunities for questions and discussion.

Artists in the show are carver Bill Bailey, painter Chholing Taha, master weaver Lois Thadei, potter and painter Doe Stahr, journal and talking-stick maker Norma Roberts, carver John Long, sculptor Gerald Pike, painter Gerry Roberts and carver Joseph Albert.

“Native Spirit” is in the Coupeville Rec Hall, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on the Penn Cove Water Festival, visit

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