Welcome the Whales event moves online

A beloved tradition of Langley has resorted to taking place online.

The Village by the Sea is known for its plentiful parades, perhaps the most unique of them all being the annual Welcome the Whales Parade and Festival. Year after year, participants dive headfirst into whale costumes in celebration of Whidbey’s finned visitors.

But with the cancellation of all in-person gatherings, organizers decided to have a virtual celebration instead to capture the spirit of the event.

Photos of costumes are encouraged to be submitted to the Facebook page, “Virtual Welcome the Whales Parade & Festival.”

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, two guest speakers will present over Zoom, a video conferencing website, about gray whales. John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research Collective and Steven Swartz of the Laguna San Ignacio Ecosystem Science Program will be leading the webinar. Questions can be asked after each presentation.

After the webinar, participants are invited to imbibe in a virtual happy hour.

Pre-registration for the webinar and the following happy hour can be completed on the home page of the Orca Network’s website.