Arts & Entertainment Community

Harbor Happenings: Thunderbird No. 1 goes back in the water Saturday

Posted on August 22nd, 2023 By:

Gig Harbor BoatShop and the Harbor History Museum will relaunch the restored historic sailboat Thunderbird No. 1 on Saturday, Aug. 26.

The festivities run from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the BoatShop, 3805 Harborview Dr. Thunderbird No. 1 will be rechristened and launched at 3:20 p.m.

Ed Hoppen built the boat in 1958, and now boaters around the world sail in its successors. After Saturday’s launch, the BoatShop and History Museum plan to sail Thunderbird No. 1 to Port Townsend for the Wooden Boat Festival, Sept. 8 through 10. Then it will return for display at the museum ahead of History Rocks, Harbor History’s big annual fundraiser.

Saturday’s celebration will feature presentations by Steve Helgeson, the last shipwright hired by Ed Hoppen at Eddon Boat Co., who will discuss Thunderbird’s history and unique design; Mark Hoppen, son of the boat’s builder, who will share memories of being an eyewitness to the beginnings of the Thunderbird; and Riley Hall, the museum’s master shipwright, who led the restoration.

The Thunderbird No. 1 during restoration work at the Harbor History Museum on July 26.

And still more boats

The Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum will host a free display of about 30 Willits canoes, which were first manufactured in Gig Harbor in 1914, starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. The museum is located at the Tacoma Narrows Airport.

The beloved canoes were originally manufactured near Wollochet Bay before the Willits Brothers moved their operations to Day Island in University Place. The company made more than 900 of the small craft from 1914 through the early 1960s.

On Saturday afternoon, a fleet of Willits owners plan to paddle out to Tanglewood Island, off Fox Island. Find more information in our story.

Food Backpack 4 Kids’ clothing giveaway

Food Backpacks 4 Kids will host its fourth annual Community Clothing Drive and Giveaway Friday through Sunday, Aug. 25-27, at the Key Peninsula Civic Center, 17010 S. Vaughn Road.

Community members donated thousands of items of clothing at collection sites around the area starting in June. This weekend, people can come and pick up items for free.

The distribution event is timed to coincide with back-to-school shopping season, but clothes for all ages are available. All items are free.

Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday. Aug. 25; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26; and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Aug. 27.


  • Two Macs and Friends plays twice in Olalla this week The Latin/jazz/pop band takes the outdoor stage at the Olalla Winery at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. On Saturday, Aug. 26, the band moseys down the road to the Olalla Bay Market and Landing for an afternoon show at 2 p.m.
  • The Summer Sounds at Skansie concert series wraps up Tuesday, Aug. 29, with Gig Harbor popular Sounds Like Dolores playing a high energy mix of dance rock favorites, plus a few oldies and a dash of country. The music starts at 6 p.m., rain or shine.

At the movies

  • “The Notebook” is the Flashback Cinema movie at Galaxy Theatres Uptown on Wednesday, Aug. 23. It’s the story of a poor but passionate young man who falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom. But soon their social differences separate them. “The Notebook” plays at 11:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • PenMet’s last “Movie in the Park” for this summer is “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” playing at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, at Sehmel Homestead Park. Bring a blanket or low-back chair and a picnic to enjoy the free movie.
  • The Flashback Movie at the Galaxy on Sunday, Aug. 26, is “The Goonies” at noon and 6 p.m. In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate’s ancient valuable treasure. Flashback movies are just $5. “The Goonies” also plays Sept. 6.
  • “Nancy McPhee Returns” is Galaxy’s SummerFest film on Aug. 29 and 31. A governess uses magic to rein in the behavior of seven ne’er-do-well children in her charge. 10 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. SummerFest movies are just $3.
  • The Film Festival’s Movie of the Month is “32 Sounds,” playing at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28. The film explores the phenomenon of sound by weaving together 32 aural explorations into a cinematic meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders and shape our perception of the world around us. It investigates the mysterious nature of perception and the subtle yet radical politics that arise from sensation and being present in one’s body. The film will be presented in two unique forms: one (which had its world premiere at Sundance 2022) is specifically designed for a completely immersive at-home or theatrical experience; the other is for a live audience complete with individual headphones for each audience member and featuring live narration and a live score.

Farmers Market

City staff will be on hand at the Waterfront Farmers Market from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, to discuss updates to the city’s comprehensive land-use plan. Kids Corner activities include a scavenger hunt and coloring sheet thanks to Harbor WildWatch. Mary Farr will provide live music from 3 to 5 p.m.

Library quilt show

Not Your Mother’s Quilt,” a display of contemporary, hand-crafted quilts by members of the Gig Harbor Quilt Guild, continues through the end of the month at the Gig Harbor Library, 4424 Point Fosdick Dr. Quilts by Cathy Stone, Lisa Street, Jen Bolentini, Anne Puckett, Shirley Lane, Marilyn Colyar, Jan Sachs, Cindy Thomsen are included in the exhibit.