Photo by Kira Erickson / Whidbey News Group
                                Glass artist Callahan McVay shows how to shape a sea float during a demonstration.

Photo by Kira Erickson / Whidbey News Group Glass artist Callahan McVay shows how to shape a sea float during a demonstration.

2020 Sea Float Scramble bigger than ever

Sea float seekers, get ready. Langley’s annual Sea Float Scramble will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4.

The event, now in its 10th year, will follow a format similar to previous years. Floats are placed on dry land at Seawall Park. A second location at Langley Park on Second Street and Anthes Avenue is available for kids under 5 years old and for those with disabilities.

The Sea Float Scramble is hosted and funded by the Langley Main Street Association, although in previous years the lodging tax funded it as a tourism activity. Callahan’s Firehouse provides the floats.

Glass artist Callahan McVay said the event is based on the county fair’s now-defunct barnyard scramble. As a little kid, he remembers being pecked by an angry goose while participating.

The Sea Float Scramble offers a more humane — and non-threatening — activity for youngsters to scoop up treasures to take home. The event was his idea.

The sea floats have undergone fine-tuning over the years. Floats were originally too big for a child to hold without dropping, so the size had to be minimized.

“Kids dominate the playing field,” McVay said. “They’re really fast and they’re low to the ground and they’re super focused.”

The sea floats are created with the aim of making “zero waste products.” McVay said floats are made mostly from scraps from his gallery and from a sheet glass factory. About 90 percent of materials are recycled.

Nearly a third of the 1,200 participants last year in the “extreme Easter egg hunt” were from out of town, according to McVay.

He credits the event with bringing economic development to the city, but believes it to be at max capacity. His gallery made 1,000 floats this year for the event.

“We stuck with 1,000, partially because Seawall Park can only handle so many people,” said Michaleen McGarry, executive director for Langley Main Street Association.

As usual, wishing stones will be given out by volunteers to mitigate sniffling.

Because there are often fewer floats than people participating, McGarry emphasized that people should take only one float home. For those looking for extras, Callahan’s Firehouse will offer discounts on the floats in the gallery.

And when the Sea Float Scramble begins, prepare to run.

“We jokingly say they’re hidden in plain sight,” McGarry said. “They’re all over the place. It’s more of a scramble, and when the cowbell rings they just sort of run for it.”

Photo by Kira Erickson / Whidbey News Group
                                A barrel full of wishing stones in Callahan’s Firehouse.

Photo by Kira Erickson / Whidbey News Group A barrel full of wishing stones in Callahan’s Firehouse.

More in Life

Making a blanket statement

Combining the generosity and artistry of the South Whidbey community with a… Continue reading

Orca poo, salmon restoration focus of workshop

As captivating as whales are to observe, there’s a lot of information… Continue reading

Bayview gallery’s theme adds new flavor

Bayview Cash Store’s newest art show has a special twist. Located in… Continue reading

Whidbey Reads 2020 book focuses on gender identity

Don’t fret if you’re not ready for Whidbey Reads 2020. All five… Continue reading

Oak Harbor’s Roller Girls gliding into 10th year

There’s a somewhat of a juxtaposition in the actions on the floor… Continue reading

Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News Group
                                Lauren Flynn
Clinton musician finds her voice

Lauren Flynn isn’t afraid of a tough crowd. Or of much, really.… Continue reading

Losing weight, gaining perspective

For some, moving to Whidbey Island can be refreshing, rejuvenating and a… Continue reading

2020 Sea Float Scramble bigger than ever

Sea float seekers, get ready. Langley’s annual Sea Float Scramble will take… Continue reading

Farmers milking the opportunity to teach about goats

When it comes to goats, Clinton resident Anza Muenchow is not kidding… Continue reading

New preserve is born on Whidbey

By RON NEWBERRY Special to the Record As you step from the… Continue reading

Ring in the New Year where ever you are on the island

With New Year’s Eve approaching, there are several events and celebrations planned… Continue reading

‘Fantastic Beasts’ actor reported on South Whidbey

It’s unclear if any fantastic beasts have been set loose on South… Continue reading