Kyle Jensen / The Record — Olive Stieber, a 7-year-old Seattle resident, shows off her finds at the Sea Float Scramble. She says she picked a second up for her dad, who couldn’t attend.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Olive Stieber, a 7-year-old Seattle resident, shows off her finds at the Sea Float Scramble. She says she picked a second up for her dad, who couldn’t attend.

Sea Float Scramble brings about 1,000 scavengers to Langley

One-of-a-kind glass orbs and wishing stones littered Seawall Park in Langley Saturday morning, but if you blinked you might have missed a chance to take one home.

Roughly 1,000 people young and old scuffled around the park for the annual Sea Float Scramble, the event in the Village by the Sea that welcomes the new year.

Although there were many to take home, eager scavengers quickly poached what they could. Within 10 minutes, the scramble was over.

“I thought they were all taken, but then I saw there were some in the bushes,” 7-year-old Seattle resident Olive Stieber said. “So I got two, one for my dad. I’m just happy I got one.”

The Sea Float Scramble, hosted by Callahan’s Firehouse and Langley Main Street Association, saw a healthy turnout despite some soggy weather. There were more sea floats and wishing stones than ever before for people to take, perhaps even outnumbering the amount of people in attendance. The colorful glass objects, cast by glass artist Callahan McVay, could be found all over Seawall Park. Some were in puddles, bushes, trees — one even fell into Saratoga Passage’s chilly waters. Of course, one brave soul managed to fish it out of the sea as another unsuccessfully raced to grab it.

A smaller, more kid-friendly scramble was held at the same time in Langley Park, located on Second Street and Anthes Avenue.

Lorinda Kay, Programs Manager for Langley Main Street Association, said there were 1,000 sea floats this year and “probably around 900 to 1,000” people in attendance. Langley Main Street Association roughly recorded attendance statistics and zip codes. Kay added “we always miss a few people.”

Kay says about half of those in attendance were from off-island. That took her and the organizers by surprise, especially considering the conditions.

“We were inundated by rain all morning, so it was a little concerning regarding the attendance, but we’re happy to say we had a great attendance,” Kay said. “We had people from Olympia, Tacoma, people from all over the region and we even had about 50 people from out-of-state. People braved the elements.”

The Sea Float Scramble is always advertised off-island, Kay said, but the healthy off-island attendance is a sign of the scramble’s growing popularity. Seattle resident Bonnie Stieber, Olive Stieber’s mother, said her family heard about last year’s event as her husband is “always looking for artsy things to do in the area.” It’s been on her calendar ever since, and she was happy to take her daughter to this year’s scramble.

She wasn’t as skilled as Olive, but she didn’t seem to mind.

“She managed to get two, and I got zero,” Bonnie Stieber chuckled.

The Stiebers plan to go next year.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — A woman takes a selfie with her baby holding her sea float.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — A woman takes a selfie with her baby holding her sea float.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — A brave soul took a dip to grab the lone sea float in Saratoga Passage. Organizers didn’t plan to hide any in the water, but the wind pushed it off a park ledge.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — A brave soul took a dip to grab the lone sea float in Saratoga Passage. Organizers didn’t plan to hide any in the water, but the wind pushed it off a park ledge.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Kids eagerly wait for the start of the kids’ scramble at Langley Park.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Kids eagerly wait for the start of the kids’ scramble at Langley Park.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Two teenagers braved chilly waters in an attempt to fetch a glass orb in the water.

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Two teenagers braved chilly waters in an attempt to fetch a glass orb in the water.

More in News

Transit director pick named

Island Transit’s board of directors picked its new executive director an Everett… Continue reading

Boat builder christens mighty new crane

The crack of a champagne bottle sounded at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders… Continue reading

House race still close

It’s still too close to call a winner in one of the… Continue reading

Gambling leads to ice cream store theft

A 27-year-old man admitted to stealing from a Langley ice cream shop… Continue reading

Island Transit board names choice for executive director

Island Transit’s board of directors picked for its new executive director an… Continue reading

Aggressive rooster | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Fire departments welcome grads

South Whidbey Fire/EMS and Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue welcomed a… Continue reading

Churches deliver cheer to Western State

Annual van full of donations helps residents

State House race still close

The race between an incumbent and an educator for a District 10… Continue reading

Most Read