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Sea Float Scramble brings hundreds to Langley

Hundreds of people scramble for hand-blown glass sea floats hidden in plain view at Seawall Park in Langley on Saturday, Jan. 4. The event, organized by the Langley Main Street Association, is designed to bring in a new year and attract people into the seaside city during a slow time of commerce.  - Lorinda Kay photo
Hundreds of people scramble for hand-blown glass sea floats hidden in plain view at Seawall Park in Langley on Saturday, Jan. 4. The event, organized by the Langley Main Street Association, is designed to bring in a new year and attract people into the seaside city during a slow time of commerce.
— image credit: Lorinda Kay photo

A bounty of see-through treasure was found on Saturday during the annual Sea Float Scramble in Langley. Over 300 people came to the event and lined up early to participate.

Hundreds of blown glass sea floats, made by Callahan McVay of Callahan’s Firehouse, were hidden in plain view along Seawall Park and at Langley Park at Second and Anthes for young children. Many participants lined up 45 minutes before the 11 a.m. ribbon drop to ensure a front row spot.

Over 300 floats were found or sold on Saturday, according to McVay. Many of the treasure hunters dropped by his shop on Second Street after the scramble to buy one at a special price, or blow their own float, so everyone had an opportunity to take something home.

People came from throughout the region, including Seattle, Everett, Port Townsend and from all over the island, some by the bus load. They spent the day in Langley, graced by sunshine, walked the seafront, enjoyed the shops and filled the restaurants.

“There was at least double the number of people from last year,” McVay said. “It was a great way to start the year. It brought lots of people to town.”

Sponsored by the Langley Main Street Association and Callahan’s Firehouse, volunteers worked for participants to enjoy themselves. If a young child was empty-handed after the event, volunteers had pocketfuls of glass sea stars and wishing stones to hand out, which turned pouts to smiles. There were also glass floats hidden along Cascade Avenue, so after the scramble those without a float had a second chance to find hidden loot. 

People planned to attend the event for months, according to Mynda Myers, manager of the Boatyard Inn.

“Some guests booked rooms for the event back in March,” she said. “All our guests participated in the event, and every one came back with a float.”

Main Street President Janet Ploof added, “One of the goals of Main Street is to produce events to support this great community. People definitely enjoyed the day. It was great to see groups of people laughing and having fun.”

This is the second year for the Sea Float Scramble. After this year’s success, organizers expect the event to continue to grow in the coming years and endure as a Langley tradition. It was an auspicious day, bringing hundreds of people to town after the holidays during a typically slow time of year.

 

Editor’s note: Lorinda Kay is the program manager of the Langley Main Street Association and a former reporter and administrator for the South Whidbey Record.

 

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