South Sound Maritime Heritage Association/ Olympia WA
August 25, 2020 Contact: Don Chalmers/ 360-280-0511
Carol Riley/ 360-566-0498
Scaled-Down, Virtual Olympia Harbor Days Event Announced
Working within Washington State coronavirus health guidelines, the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association (SSMHA) has developed a scaled-down version of its popular Olympia Harbor Days festival normally held every Labor Day Weekend, according to board president Don Chalmers.
“While we want to continue our 47-year- long Harbor Days legacy, we are also aware that we need to offer a safe event for the public in this coronavirus pandemic era,” Chalmers said. “So, we’re presenting a virtual event with safe at home community participation activities, Olympia Harbor Days Lite, which keeps our transitional tugboat heritage theme, while using online digital media content and other ways to provide family-friendly activities.”
Among the features of this year’s event are ……
For the past nine years the SSMHA had licensed the Kiwanis Club of Olympia to host the event. However, because of the health impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit service organization had to end its sponsorship for 2020.
“The Association and its community partners, including the City of Olympia, Port of Olympia and Kiwanis, have worked diligently to accomplish their goals to keep the festival alive in 2020,” Chalmers said, “and to find new partners to help us present our traditional Harbor Days tugboat festival and races 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on this year’s event.”
Under State and local health limitations, the SSMHA has developed a series of Harbor Days Lite activities designed to accomplish this goal for 2020. A full list of event information, activities, videos and links will be available at www.HarborDays.com, www.MaritimeOly.org and on Facebook.com/OlympiaHarborDays starting September 5th.
For Immediate Release July 23, 2020
Denise Steigers, OKC President 360-451-3549 firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Riley, Executive Director 360-556-0498 info@HarborDays.com
The Olympia Kiwanis Club (OKC) has had the distinct privilege of hosting Olympia Harbor Days for the last 9 years. However, we have regretfully decided to suspend our continued sponsorship of Olympia Harbor Days so that we may maintain the financial viability of OKC and its other charitable activities. Due to the significant losses incurred by the OKC as a result of the cancellation of 2020 Olympia Harbor Days due to COVID-19 pandemic, the impact to other OKC fundraising from the pandemic, and the continued financial risk towards hosting a 2021 Olympia Harbor Days event and the possibility it may not be possible or profitable, we have contacted the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association and notified them we must discontinue our sponsorship of this event. We look forward to working with SSMHA and other stakeholders to find a way to continue this cherished event.
For more information please contact Denise Steigers, OKC President at 360-451-3549.
Carol Riley, OHD Executive Director 360 556-0498 email@example.com
Mary Hall, OHD Committee Chair 360-250-7527 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Hall, Race Master 360 250-7526 email@example.com
Brian Sanford, Course Setter/Removal 360 870-7068 firstname.lastname@example.org
_________, Race Announcer 360 701-3213 email@example.com
Bob Peck, Start Official 360 402-2394 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thom Abbott, Finish Official 360 561-4158 Thomabbott@comcast.net
Chuck Fowler, Race Recorder 360 791-0818 email@example.com
Karla Fowler, Finish Line Photographer 360 790-6341 firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke Robert, Start Mark Yellow Boat Walter 360 999-7682 email@example.com
Neil Falkenburg, Finish Boat - Spirit of Olympia 360-701-5045 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Stanfill, Race Monitor Boat - My Girl 253 927-5351 email@example.com
Bruce Marshall, Harbor Patrol 360 701-7562 BruceM@portolympia.com
GENERAL: The Olympia Harbor Days (OHD) Vintage Tugboat races, too be held at 1300 hours on race day. Each master or representative must have completed and filed a “Tugboat Registration Form” with the OHD Executive Director or Race Master prior to 0900 hours on the day of the event. Early registration by mail, Email, or On-line is encouraged.
CLASSIFICATION: To participate, a competitor must presently be, or have engaged as, a “towboat” or a “pushing boat” vessel. The definition of a “vintage” tug is one that is at least 30 years old and has, or has had a tow-bit. Proof may be required. The participating tugs are assigned their final heat classification by the Rules and Classification Committee at 0900 hours on the day of the race, the listing will be available at the assigned Host Boat. Any protests of classification must be received by 1000 hours. The Judge of Fact will settle all protests during the event based on sound advice from the Rules and Classification Committee. The available classifications are; Small Harbor Tugs, Vintage Tugs under 400 HP, Vintage Tugs 400 HP and over, Ocean Unlimited and Demonstration Tugs for any not wishing to race in other categories. Afield minimum of three Tugs’ is ideal or reassignment may occur. Alternate classifications two race= under 50’ and 50’ and over.
The Skippers Meeting (Safety Meeting) will be held on the working deck of Galene at 1000 hours on the day of the races. Each competing master or representative must be present to allow operation in the tug races.
START AND FINISH: Tugs in each heat will begin from a standing start, lined up between 20” Red Marker Buoys. All must remain within the designated racecourse during the competition and must not start prior to the start announcement, or be disqualified from a winning status in the event. All vessels competing in the event must monitor or call the Race Official on Marine VHF 72. The course is about 1.6 miles long, and runs northerly in the ship channel.
Start Line vessel: Yellow Parks and Recreation vessel “Walter”. The official start will be announced on Marine VHF Channel 72 by the start line judge. The Start vessel will be in-line with the Start Buoys. The start line will be near the Percival channel entrance and will be marked by 20” Red Marker Buoys on each side of the course. The course is marked by 20” Yellow Marker Buoys.
Finish Line Vessel: “Spirit of Olympia”. The finish line will be marked by 20” Red Marker Buoys on each side of the finish line. The Finish vessel will be in-line with the Finish Buoys. The Chief of Timing will be on the finish vessel and will document the results. Each competitor must pass between the Red Finish Line Marker Buoys to be deemed a finisher.
SAFETY: The vintage tugboat course will be ONE-WAY NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC FROM 1230 HRS TO RACE END ONLY on the day of the event. Any safety alert announcement (on Channel 72 or 16) from the Start Line Judge, Finish Line Judge or official Patrol Boat will immediately stop the heat in progress. Marine VHF Channel 72 will be reserved for race traffic, and emergency safety only! VHF Channel ___ will be used for Race Announcing. Safety will be foremost in each master’s and crew’s mind. Each master will ensure that the wheelhouse is equipped with a red flare that can be launched aloft. This will signal all afloat that an emergency exists, or is imminent, and will stop the heat. In addition, the first to sight a safety situation on the water will broadcast the location and describe the situation to Race Officials.
AWARDS: All vessels are requested to return to their moorage at Percival landing after the race event. DO NOT RETURN THROUGH THE RACE COURSE DURING THE EVENT. Wait for the end of all race heats prior to returning to Percival Landing.
Winners will be among those registered who were not disqualified by these rules, The Rules and Classification Committee, or the Judge of Fact. Trophies will be given to the first such vessel in each class of tugboat competition. Trophies will be awarded after the race at 5:00 PM at the Harbor House.
Parthia is being restored to her appearance during the mid-1950s when owned by Delta V. Smyth Tugs & Barges Company.
A lasting Working Waterfront heritage legacy.
A bit of History
The 50 foot long, 23 ton Parthia was built in 1906 on Bainbridge Island by James Hall, son of Henry Hall of the famous Hall Brothers ship building family. The Halls original shipyard was established in 1873 at Port Ludlow, then moved to Port Blakely next to the famous Port Blakely mill, and finally to Winslow. For many decades, more than 100 Hall Brothers-built schooners, some owned by the Port Blakely Mill Company, carried lumber and other cargo from Puget Sound to California, and elsewhere in the world. However among all of their vessels, the Halls only built two tugboats, one of them Parthia.
After her initial working years in central and north Puget Sound, in 1934 she was purchased by Delta V. Smyth Tugs & Barges of Olympia as part of the growing tugboat company. In 1961, Parthia was acquired by Foss Launch & Tug, now Foss Maritime, and continued working in the Capital City until sold in 1975, a total of more than 40 years. As a true working waterfront historical icon, it's vital to save, and restore Parthia as a publicly visible, heritage and educational attraction for South Sound residents, students, and visitors. And the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association is dedicated to achieving this worthy goal.
As the Puget Sound area continues to grow, it's essential that people, businesses and other organizations that helped make our history, and build our economy, be recognized for their important contributions. And the Parthia, with her proud working waterfront history at the Port of Olympia and other Puget Sound ports, will be a visible, educational, lasting link to this proud heritage.
Recognizing the tug's notable Olympia history, including her participation in 26 Harbor Days events, and winning her race class six times, knowledgeable and dedicated members of the nonprofit South Sound Maritime Heritage Association decided to take action. After serious due diligence, they voted to acquire this treasure of Puget Sound maritime history. Together with other volunteers, their plan was to restore her as a permanent shore-side educational exhibit on Olympia's working waterfront. Parthia would also be a fitting tribute to the individuals, families and companies in the Pacific Northwest that helped build the region's strong maritime and timber economy, including tugboat and other working waterfront companies, and labor organizations like the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Achieving the Vision
The donated design of a protective timber and steel canopy is currently underway by Olympia architect Ron Thomas. Informational panels interpreting the colorful working history of the tug and the Olympia waterfront, and donor recognition, will be incorporated into the structure. In addition, a primary site and alternatives have been proposed and are being reviewed.
Although the site pay be donated, the construction of the canopy needs to be funded. As of July 2018, the Sought Sound Maritime Heritage Association (SSMHA) had spent about $30,000 in cash on the Parthia restoration project. In addition, interested businesses, individuals and organizations have donated another $25,000 in in-kind services, salvage, towing, truck hauling, architecture and others,. So while a total of more than $55,000 has been invested in the initial restoration effort, we need your help to complete the project. In addition, SSMHA wants to build an endowment to ensure Parthia is properly maintained as a permanent historical, educational, and visitor attraction for future generations.
After ten months of dedicated volunteer and paid professional work, Parthia is shown more than 85 percent restored to her final exhibit condition.
How you can help:
You can join our Parthia project crew, and help complete her restoration and permanent exhibit on Olympia's continually developing, popular central waterfront. To make a contribution send a check made out to the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association to this address: P.O. Box 2351, Olympia, Washington, 98507.
The Festival is this coming Labor Day Weekend!
VINTAGE TUGBOATS, A 25-FOOT SALMON, A TON OF BRICKS and a BEER GARDEN!
By land or by sea, there is something for everyone at Olympia Harbor Days
Olympia WA - Only at Olympia Harbor Days, this weekend August 31 – September 2 will you find vintage tugboats, a 25-foot salmon and a ton of bricks and so much more. Final plans are headed for the finish line, making way for the 45th Annual Edition of Olympia Harbor Days Vintage Tugboat Races and Festival, South Sound’s largest and free maritime festival at the Olympia waterfront. Over 55,000 are expected to attend. The award winning event is presented by the Olympia Kiwanis Club with title sponsor the Squaxin Island Tribe. “This free family friendly event has been 45 years in the making and 3 years in finessing – bringing new and exciting features and landside activities as well as increasing the tugboat and harbor ship participation.” says Executive Director Carol Riley.
A wide array of music will be found on Washington’s Lottery Main Stage at Percival Landing next to the amazing international food alley. Sea Shanties, the Army’s First Corps Jazz Band, and Taiko drumming add to the sounds of many of Olympia’s classic rock bands. From the Boardwalk to Columbia Street will be hundreds of vendors offering so much that all your holiday shopping can be accomplished without going online! Booths include arts, crafts, commercial, importers, non-profits and food. “We have enjoyed our many years at Olympia Harbor Days (OHD). We started doing OHD because our daughter lived down that way and she helped us every year. Now they have their own business so we are passing the torch.” Randy Yaple, Yaple Kettle Corn.
And what is the South Sounds largest harbor festival without Pirates, Vikings, Balloon Artists, Face Painters, Caricatures, Woodcarvers and so much more. There is even a Treasure Chest at the Harbor House for those that come to the festival dressed like a pirate.
Riley wants to thank the many community businesses and maritime partners for continued or new sponsorship to keep the tugs and ships coming to Olympia and allowing the expansion of land side offerings. “Without the support of the community and sponsors over the years, this festival would not have been able to become what it is today” says Riley.
For a complete schedule and all festival details or for more information, please visit www.HarborDays.com. Find the special event program in The Olympian this Sunday or through the link on the website or pick up a copy at the festival. Net proceeds and suggested donations support Kiwanis scholarships and activities that benefit kids and their families.
Carol Riley, Executive Director Phone: 360-556-0498 Email: info@HarborDays.com