Among the many events that are back after two years of Covid cancelations, none is bigger for the community than this weekend’s Maritime Gig Festival.
An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people typically turn out for the festival, according to the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, which organizes it. It was last held in 2019 before being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
It will be the 25th Maritime Gig Festival.
A scene from the 2019 Maritime Gig Festival Grande Parade. Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce
“It’s phenomenal,” said Miriam Battson, president and CEO of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festival. “Everyone is so excited for this to happen, rain or shine.
“It’s an opportunity to come out and celebrate the businesses that have put their heart into this throughout the Covid pandemic.”
Highlights include the Grande Gig Parade (starting at 10 a.m. Saturday); entertainment and music (starting at 12:15 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday); the vendor fair, with 76 businesses, food, nonprofit, and craft vendors (noon); the Wheels on the Water car show (11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Skansie Brothers Park); and the Blessing of the Fleet (1 p.m. Sunday at Skansie).
“Celebration” is the theme for this year’s parade.
These roads are closed for the duration of the festival, from 5 a.m. Saturday, June 4, until 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5.
These roads are closed for the parade, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Pierce Transit will provide shuttle service between the Kimball Park and Ride and the festival Saturday and Sunday. You’ll want to watch which bus you get on, though. Both dedicated shuttle service and the regular Gig Harbor route will be making stops at the park and ride. Signage at the park and ride and drop off points will say how long and how often the shuttles operate.
Other parking options include the lots at Gig Harbor United Methodist Church (7400 Pioneer Way) and St. Nicholas Catholic Church (3510 Rosedale). The churches charge for parking, but the fees go to support each institution’s charitable efforts.
Sadly, it might rain on our parade.
As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service forecast for Gig Harbor read, in very Northwest fashion: “A chance of rain before 11 a.m., then showers likely after 11 a.m.” A high temperature of 66 degrees is predicted, with the chance of precipitation set at 60 percent.
Sunday’s forecast is much the same, though the chance of precipitation on June 5 rises to 90 percent.
The parade starts at the intersection of North Harborview and Harborview and runs along Harborview Drive to Soundview Drive. It ends on Judson in front of the Peninsula Shopping Center. Spectators can line up anywhere along the parade route to watch.
About 100 entries are expected to participate. Awards are given in these categories: Best animal entry, best antique vehicle, best children’s entry, best commercial entry, best costumes, best depiction of the theme, best motorized unit, best musical group, best service organization, chairman’s choice, judges’ choice, mayor’s choice and most original.
8 a.m.: Kiwanis pancake breakfast, serving until 10 a.m. near Lucky Dog (3104 Judson St.)
8:30 a.m.: Kids Dash
8:45 a.m.: U.S. Bank Family Fun Run
10 a.m.: Maritime Gig Grande Parade
Noon: Vendor fair opens
Noon: Skansie Netshed, Harbor History Museum and Harbor WildWatch all open
12:15 p.m.: My Guilty Pleasure
1:30 p.m.: Peninsula Youth Orchestra
2:30 p.m.: Wally & The Beaves
3:45 p.m.: Band LeLe (Ukulele Trio)
4:45 p.m.: The Night Gig
5:45 p.m.: Kim Archer
7 p.m.: The Shy Boys
10 a.m.: Skansie Net Shed Foundation Activities
10 a.m.: Harbor WildWatch Opens
11 a.m.: Wheels on the Water Car Show
11 a.m.: Skansie Netshed Opens
1 p.m.: Blessing of the Fleet
3 p.m.: Car Show Awards
10 a.m.: Harbor Dance
11 a.m.: Harbor Voice Brianna Frohling
Noon: Narrows Music Society (Dixie Dusters & Ceremonial Band)
2 p.m.: Two Macs & Friends
3:30 p.m.: Kalimba The Spirit of Earth Wind & Fire
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